Smoke Generator

Now with propylene glycol


Qualitative wind tunnel studies are often just as important as quantitative ones. In some cases, they’re more so. Many techniques have been developed to “see” the airflow over a test model. These include yarn tufts, colored oils and smoke.

AEROLAB now offers propylene glycol as an alternative to white mineral oil.

AEROLAB’s electric-powered Smoke Generator produces thick white smoke. Although originally developed for wind tunnel testing, the system has been used in other applications such as heating and ventilation, medical research and automotive design.

Smoke Fluids Comparison

Advantages of propylene glycol:

  • Very little residue on test models
  • No unpleasant odor
  • Ventilation to the outdoors unnecessary
  • Dissipates quickly (usually by tunnel exit)

Advantages of white mineral oil:

  • Very long-lived, thick “smoke”

Performance Specifications

  • Run time at highest flow rate is approximately 45 minutes

Detailed Description

The AEROLAB Smoke Generator requires only compressed air and 110VAC to operate. It produces smoke by vaporizing white mineral oil or propylene glycol as it flows through the electronically heated wand tip. Compressed air moves the smoke fluid from a reservoir to the wand. Wands are available in two lengths. Custom lengths are available through special order.

The system is composed of two major components: the base and the wand. The base houses a compressed air regulator, a smoke fluid reservoir, a heater control and an indicator lamp. The wand houses the heating element. Smoke density and volume are controlled by a combination of air pressure and heater setting adjustments.

Base Unit

  • Dimensions – 14.5 x 5 x 7.75 inches (36.8 x 12.7 x 19.7 cm)
  • Weight – 10.5 pounds (4.76 kg)
  • Reservoir capacity – 16 fluid ounces (473 mL)
  Short Smoke Wand Long Smoke Wand
Overall length 18 inches (45.7 cm) 45 inches (114.3 cm)
Insertion length 13 inches (33 cm) 40 inches (101.6 cm)
Probe diameter .625 inches (15.9 mm) .625 inches (15.9 mm)
Weight 1 pound (0.45 kg) 1.7 pound (0.77 kg)

(Custom Lengths Available Upon Request)

Complete System Includes

  • 1 Base Unit
  • 1 18 or 45-Inch (46 or 114-centimeter) Smoke Wand (custom lengths extra)
  • 1 Gallon (3.79 liter) Smoke Fluid (Kaydol white mineral oil or propylene glycol)
  • 1 Quick-Release Air Chuck (to modify existing air supply lines if necessary)
  • Instructions and Material Data Safety Sheets (MSDS)


See the Smoke Generator brochure.

Smoke Generator