Atmospheric Effects

All atmospheric effects have one goal -- to put something into the air.  Often is is a large number of small particles such as water drops, ice crystals, smoke particles, etc.  Sometimes they are larger as in rain drops, snow flakes, bubbles, or confetti.

Some effects only work well indoors, some only outdoors, some both.  The weather -- wind, temperature, humidity -- will often determine if an effect can be used outdoors.

This is the atmospheric effect most people are aware of, and one of the most inexpensive.  A water-based fluid is (very basically) heated like in a steam iron by spraying it into a high-powered heated nozzle.   The fluid turns back to very small water drops when it hits the air.  These small drops are the "fog."

The fog that comes out is semi-transparent and easily carried by the wind.  Since the air it is in is heated, it always tends to rise up – don't confuse this with “ground fog.”  It can be cooled, but not worth the effort.

It doesn't last very long as the hot water droplets tend to evaporate or coalesce into larger drops that fallout.  10-30 minutes top is all that can be expected.

It does create some odor, and all the fog fluid comes down somewhere eventually, so it can stain.  Some people with allergies may not like breathing it. They tend to pull a lot of power (1 KW typ.) and can take many minutes to warm up.  They normally must be bursted on a timer or manually triggered, as they cannot produce fog continuously.

Prox Pyro and its associates can supply foggers from small low-power units to large truck bed mounted units.

Hazers & Crackers
In a hazer or cracker, typically the molecules of a fluid of some type (typically oil) is mechanically broken into little floating bits by pressurizing it and squirting it though a nozzle, sometimes at a pin to crack it.  Typically no heat is used, and no warm-up time is required.  These small fragments of the fluid in the air are the "haze."

This tends to make a very fine, very uniform light “haze” in the air, used indoors only.  These are used at most rock concerts to show the light and/or laser beams in the air.  The unenlightened will call them foggers.

The haze is long lasting, 2-4 hours with typical units.  The fragments really don't want to coalesce, don't want to fall out of the air, they just float around. 

Again, some people with allergies may not like breathing it, but it is typically not as bad as a Fogger.

LN2 Fog & Bursts
“LN2” is short for Liquid Nitrogen (N2).  It is an extremely cold liquid used to create fog by freezing humidity in the air.  The little ice crystals in the air that result are the "fog." 

The fog that results is dense white and tends to flow down and low to the ground since the air holding it is very cold..  (It looks much like “dry ice” fog – however, LN2 is much more efficient and controllable than a block of dry ice in a washtub on a hotplate).  It can last a very long time, depending on conditions.  The ice crystals will last much longer than fluid-drop based fogs and makes the fog much more white and dense.

LN2 can be sprayed directly into the air (LN2 Bursts) and will freeze the moisture already in the air.  This is not 100% efficient as more LN2 is wasted cooling the air if the humidity is less than 100%.  However, the burst can be dramatic and requires no “warm up” time once the system has been purged.

Large volumes of LN2 fog can be efficiently made with a “dry fogger.”  This has some supply of water that is heated to provide high humidity air, into which the LN2 is sprayed.  A large fogger can produce enormous volumes of fog in burst or continuously once the unit is warmed up (about 30 minutes).  They do pull a large amount of power for the water heaters (9 KW typ.).

The fog produced is real, honest-to-mother-nature fog, as used in clouds in the sky -- just visible moisture in the air.  It is basically a large humidifier.  LN2 Fog can often be used outdoors if conditions permit -- just like real fog, sun and heat chase it away, wind can blow it away.

Prox Pyro can supply all types of LN2 effects, from burst systems to dry foggers.  We can interface to most show control systems -- or we can make a wedding reception unique and beautiful.

Pyrotechnic Smoke
One of the oldest atmospheric effects is to burn something to create smoke.  Sometimes a fuel is burned inefficiently and "unspent particles of combustion" are produced.  A hot, dry fire produces little smoke, but throw on some wet leaves and they will burn poorly and produce smoke. 

Another common method used by smoke bombs is to burn a fuel mixed with a colored dye.  A fuel that burns coolly "sublimates" the dye, the desired result is the dye is turned into a vapor but isn't burned.  When the exiting dye leaves the smoke bomb, it condenses into tiny little dye particles in the air.  Many smoke bombs use an exit cooling chamber to help cool the dye before it hits the air -- if it leaves too hot it will burn when it hits the air.

Careful consideration must be given to what kind of smoke is used for what purpose.  Some smokes will stain.  Many smokes are toxic to inhale -- especially the case with black smokes.

Prox Pyro can supply pyrotechnic smoke for all applications.  Outdoors, indoors, on stages.  We have almost all colors available in formulas that are safe indoors for both performers and audience.

Chemical Smoke
A chemical called Titanium Tetrachloride is often used to produce smoke in movies.  The liquid evaporates and produces a dense, white smoke.   However, the liquid and the smoke it produces are both harmful to skin and lungs, so it must be used with great care.

Prox Pyro can supply Titanium Tetrachloride smoke effects and has the equipment needed (SCBA, etc.) to use it safely.

Rain & Snow
With our allied suppliers, we can make it rain over any area you desire, indoors or out.

We can also supply snow effects -- from "real" snow made from ice blocks for outdoor and film use, to a "fake" snow that can be used indoors on stages that evaporates and disappears when it lands.

Bubbles & UV Bubbles
Prox Pyro can fill the air with bubbles!  We can even supply bubbles that glow blue or gold under black light (UV), and we can light huge areas with black light.

Our mega-powered strobe light units can be used with bubbles for amazing effects.

Flutter Fetti
We can fill the air with genuine Flutter Fetti®, a special type of confetti that hangs in the air almost forever. 

We can put it in the air via pyrotechnic bursts, or via air cannons.

Home ¤ Who Are We? ¤ Why Prox Pyro? ¤ Proximate Pyrotechnics ¤ Flame Effects ¤ Atmospheric Effects ¤ Publications ¤ Photos ¤ Reviews ¤ Links to Suppliers ¤ State Laws ¤ Forms ¤ Frequently Asked Questions ¤  Contact Us
CAT LogoProx Pyro™ is a division of Cooney Applied Tech, Inc.
©2001,2002,2003,2010     Prox Pyro™ is a trademark for Pyrotechnics and Special Effects services.
Flutter Fetti® is a registered tradmark of Flutter Fetti, Inc.  •  •  •