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Pyrolixer - can you help me figure out what it is? Answered

I need to figure out the actual name of something I bought years ago under the name of "Pyrolixer" for pyro-effects (in Germany). I am also curious as to whether you could diy it.

Let me describe what this is about: a liquid that you apply to paper and let dry. When you set fire to that area, it will smolder away, but only where you applied the liquid. From what I gather, it is used for magic tricks and similar effects. In addition to have paper smolder slowly, you can use it to reveal a message by letting it burn away specific areas.

Can anyone help me out? "Pyrolixer" does not appear to be a good search term, and thus probably now the English/original/technical name for this. Any feedback is appreciated, and ideas about how to make your own even more so!

Thank you!

Discussions

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Yonatan24

3 months ago

So it's a kind of "ink", that makes paper very sensitive to heat where it's applied?

Can't find anything like that :(

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rickharrisYonatan24

Reply 3 months ago

Essentially a "paint" made froe a Nitrate compound that acts like a fuse.

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Jack A Lopez

3 months ago

I found a Youtube video, that looks similar to what you describe, here:

I am just going to copy-and-paste the description text here, because it is pretty good. I mean, it's descriptive. It tells us some important details, including the identity of the chemical substance, potassium nitrate in water,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_nitrate

and how it was ignited; i.e. with a glowing splint rather than with a flame

In this demosntration[sic] a paper has had a message written on it using a
cotton ball soaked in concentrate[sic] potassium nitrate solution. The paper
is then dried and lit with a glowing splint and then the char spread.
This video has been sped up to eight times its original speed. This was
one of the second practice run that I did this year seeing if the
blackboard behind the paper would work against me [here the background
is a slate table, which behaves similar to the board and also explains
why the tail of the "y" doesn't fully connect].

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Dominic BenderJack A Lopez

Reply 3 months ago

Yes! That is exactly it! Now I can look into getting my hand on it and experiment with it a bit. Thank you!

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Jack A LopezDominic Bender

Reply 3 months ago

It looks like weird stuff. I was somewhat surprised the whole paper did not go up in flames.

That might be part of the trick. I mean, picking a kind of paper that, by itself, is somewhat resistant to fire.

Anyway, I am glad I could help you find what you were looking for.

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Dominic BenderJack A Lopez

Reply 3 months ago

Maybe, but the stuff I had (not knowing what it was) worked on different kinds of paper without issue. Might be something worth looking into, too.

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Jack A LopezDominic Bender

Reply 3 months ago

Um... on second thought, the kind of paper might not be important. As evidence to support this, we can see there are several related Youtube videos doing this, and most seem to be using, what appears to be ordinary paper.

At the risk of continuing to bore you with my speculation on this topic, I am going to guess that maybe the trick lies in the difference between, flaming combustion and smoldering combustion.

I mean, the thought that was confusing to me from the from the beginning, from just reading your initial description, was that if I were to touch a flame to an ordinary piece of paper, I imagined it would just catch on fire, and burn up completely.

But that's what happens in flaming combustion, and the fire was not started with flame. It was started with a glowing splint.

If instead the combustion is restricted to just smoldering combustion,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smouldering

and if paper with dried nitrate salt in it, smolders much faster than plain, untreated, paper, then maybe that is enough to explain how this magic works.

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Dominic Benderrickharris

Reply 3 months ago

Yes, that is it! Apparently it is more widesread as an experiment rather than an effect. Thank you!