In a nutshell, the fog, or smoke effect as it’s sometimes called, is created when heated water is poured over Dry Ice. Hotter water will make more fog. Smaller pieces of Dry Ice like the pellets, which have more surface area, produce a greater volume of fog and cool the water down much faster. In both cases the result is a more dramatic fog effect for a shorter length of time. Keep the water hot to produce fog for a longer time. Otherwise when the water gets too cold it must be replaced to continue the fog effects.
The Dry Ice sublimation (the Dry Ice turning back into a gas form) will vigorously bubble the water and splash it out. Even a 3/4 filled container will splash some water so place the container where spilled water will not ruin anything. The water vapour fog will also dampen the area it flows across. Be careful because after some time floors do get slippery.
The greatest amount of fog will be produced the first 5 to 10 minutes. There will be far less fog for the next 5 to 10 minutes as the water cools and the volume of Dry Ice diminishes. As the water temperature cools, the fog becomes wispier. When the water gets colder than 50°F or 10°C, the Dry Ice stops making fog, but continues to sublimate and bubble.
Dry Ice is CO2 gas compressed into a solid. It has a surface temperature of -78oC. Touching the Dry Ice directly with your skin could cause but prolonged contact with the skin will freeze cells and cause injury similar to a burn. For this reason insulated gloves should be worn at all times when handling Dry Ice.
You can contact Team FX for help. For enquiries on hiring out
pea-souper smoke machines please Tel: 01 276 0590 or visit
their website for more information – http://www.teamfx.ie.
Absolutely, you can still create a fun fog effect in a number of ways. The most basic of ways being to use a container (ideally plastic, something that can’t shatter), place Dry Ice into it, and then pour heated water over the Dry Ice. This will give an immediate fog effect. If you want to create the fog effect in a localised area (i.e. not trying to cover a large floor space) for a brief period of time, then this is an ideal method.
As the Dry Ice is –78oC it will rapidly cool the water, once the water is cold the fog effect will dissipate. As a rough guide 1Kg of dry ice pellets added to 1.3 Litres of hot water, will give a good dramatic effect for approximately 3 minutes before starting to fade. Based on this, 10Kgs should give you about half an hour of fog effect, however you would need to change out the cold water for heated water or find a way to reheat the water every few minutes. Having a larger volume of heated water to begin with will help prolong the effect.
To save on the time and effort involved with changing out water, you could try using an old soup kettle. This would reheat the water for you, and could be disguised as a cauldron for Halloween. When the fog effect starts to fade, more Dry Ice can then be added into the soup kettle. If you wanted to cover a large floor area with the fog effect, for a prolonged period of time, you would probably require 1 – 2 smoke machines to give a really strong effect.
Do not put Dry Ice loose into drinks. If it accidentally swallowed it could cause internal injuries, and if the Dry Ice comes into direct contact with skin it can cause burns. If you wish to create the smoke effect in drinks, we supply a product called Mistystix. These were developed as a safe way of using dry ice in drinks. They are approx. 7” in length, with a locking capsule at one end capable of holding one 16mm diameter Dry Ice pellet.Each loaded Mistystix gives approximately 5 minutes fog effect depending on the volume of liquid in the glass.