Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
There is no such thing as 'generic smoke fluid'
When you buy a smoke machine, the instruction manual you receive with it will tell you that you must use fluid that has been made by the same manufacturer for that machine. Using other types of fluid will invalidate the warranty and could damage the machine. Other fluids may work in the machine, but by no means all. They may create a sub-standard smoke that is unpleasant to breathe and could damage your health. They could also damage your machine. If you do use another manufacturer's fluid in your machine and need to get it repaired under warranty, the first thing the service engineer will do is use a special indicator to see if you've used the correct fluid or not. You will either then be charged for the repair, or it will be sent back to you unrepaired. If you want to see your smoke machine last a long time, we recommend you use the manufacturer's fluid. It will be optimised for use in your machine.
The main reason smoke generator manufacturers state that the chemical used should be their own is that generators are designed around a specific mixture of chemicals, with specific boiling ranges. Using a smoke fluid that for example is based on propylene glycol /water, which has a relatively low boiling range, through a generator set for glycerine / water (with a much higher boiling range) potentially can crack the chemical, forming unpleasant and potentially toxic compounds (acroleins, aldehydes etc). Even changing the % of water in a mixture can have an effect.
A couple of years ago all the major manufacturers prepared a joint letter stressing the dangers, or more accurately potential dangers of mixing and matching smoke chemicals, stressing that so called generic smoke chemicals simply could not be relied upon to produce a consistent and safe smoke in every generator.