Concept Smoke Systems | Concept Engineering Ltd.

Concept Smoke Systems | Concept Engineering Ltd.

Welcome to the Concept Smoke Systems website. Whether you need high temperature oil based smoke machines for hot fire training applications, or water based smoke generators for security, leak testing or air visualisation Concept Smoke can help you. Non toxic smoke, portable smoke systems, fixed smoke installations and design and build expertise all come as standard at Concept Smoke Systems. If you have a need for a smoke machine, aerosol generator, smoke generator or fog machine just talk to us!

Company details

7 Woodlands Business Park, Woodlands Park Avenue , Maidenhead , Berks SL6 3UA United Kingdom
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Air Filtration
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
Year Founded:
$1,000,000 US - $10,000,000 US

This company also provides solutions for other industrial applications.
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Artificial smoke is produced by heating a smoke fluid chemical above its boiling point within a heat exchanger. The fluid is then vaporised, and it is when the vapour exits the heat exchanger and mixes with the relatively colder atmosphere that rapid condensation of the vapour takes place, resulting in a visible smoke (or technically fog).

It is important that the vaporisation of the fluid within the heat exchanger is complete, otherwise the production of a 'wet' smoke, or a smoke with a very large particle size will result.

Conversely, it is important that the heat exchanger through which the smoke fluid is passed is not operating at too high a temperature, otherwise unpleasant and potentially hazardous pyrolysis products will be formed.

Depending on the type of smoke fluid being vaporised it may be necessary to use an inert propellant gas as a “carrier” for the fluid as it is heated within the heat exchanger.

Concept's machined range of heat exchangers produce a smoke or fog effect with a particle size an order of magnitude less than conventional smoke systems, giving significant benefits in terms of smoke concentrations required to achieve obscuration targets, health and safety, flammability and settling velocities of the resulting fog

Water Based

The majority of smoke chemicals in use today are generally referred to as 'water based'. This rather vague term describes chemicals which are water miscible, and are in the main based on pharmaceutical grade glycols and glycerol.

Water based smokes are dense and white, and the generators that produce them, such as our Colt, can be simple to operate and very compact.

Typically two-thirds of the 'Smoke Chemical' is made up of active ingredient, the remaining one-third being purified, de-ionised water.

Different Glycols produce smokes of differing persistencies, Propylene Glycol generally being the least persistent. Glycerol is by far and away the most persistent 'water based' smoke.

We would normally recommend that, where dense concentrations of water-based smoke are required (e.g. Fire Brigade Training, Leak Testing), that the most persistent smoke possible is produced (like our Colt 4 or Spirit 900A). The use of chemicals with high percentages of glycols, whilst producing dense white smoke, is not cost effective, as the smoke disperses so quickly that one is having to produce smoke almost all the time in order to keep up with the rate of breakdown of the smoke.

Glycol smokes begin to layer noticeably at 35-45°C, Glycerol smokes at about 50-60°C.

Oil Based

Concept also have over 40 years experience in the production of food quality oil based smoke systems.

These systems produce a smoke that is far more persistent than the very best of the water based smokes, and so are capable of smoke logging huge volumes with relatively low consumption of smoke chemical.

The smoke produced by the ViCount is also extremely resistant to very high temperatures, starting to layer at 135 - 200°C dependent on the viscosity of the oil chosen. This makes it highly suitable for hot fire training, or hot smoke tests in atriums, hangars and warehouse environments as well as unheated applications.

The persistency of smoke produced by the ViCount, and it’s very small particle size, makes it an ideal system for smoke logging very large volumes. For example, in road tunnel testing applications, ViCount smoke will travel many kilometres, enabling entire tunnels to be effectively smoke logged by just 2 smoke systems. In building pressurisation testing, a single ViCount can take the place of 5 or 6 water based systems, and give better results!

The ViCount can also be configured to use FDA approved smoke chemicals (POA’s) in the filter testing and clean room testing environment.

Concept do not compromise on quality or safety. We have been producing artificial smoke systems since 1962, and have a comprehensive technical library of health and safety reports, analyses, independent laboratory tests and particle distribution data second to none. The smoke or fog produced by our systems is amongst the safest available today.

Indeed, the scope of our ISO 9001 Quality Assurance certification specifically refers to 'Design and manufacture of NON TOXIC smoke systems'.

If you have a query relating to a particular application for artificial smoke and would like guidance on the suitability of various systems for that application, or indeed just general advice, please contact us. We will contact you by return.

A comprehensive Health and Safety Data pack, incorporating MSDS sheets and independent report from the like of Health and Safety Executive, US Navy and independent analytical laboratories is available on request.


Smoke from most Concept systems can be ducted if required, using the inherent velocity of smoke produced by the systems, or incorporating fan assistance if rapid distribution of smoke is required.

Generally a small amount of deposition should be expected in ducting systems as the smoke particles are being artificially restricted, and cannot separate and spread out as they would in free air. For best results the ducting should be as short and straight as possible, with as smooth a bore as practical, so that frictional losses within the duct are kept to a minimum.

Smoke can be ducted at very low output, (as illustrated) to highlight for example laminar flow, or at high output if smoke logging areas for the purpose of training or leak testing.

For larger volumes where dense smoke logging is required, we would normally recommend the use of fan assisted distribution systems. These allow ducting runs of typically 30 - 40m.

This allows for several rooms or compartments to be smoke logged simultaneously if required, distributing the smoke typically through smooth bore PVCu pipework into the respective areas.

Fan assistance can greatly improve the effectiveness of ducted systems.

Concept have considerable expertise in the application of ducted smoke, as calculating the pressure and flow performance of a proposed ducted system is critical in ensuring an effective result. Every application is different however, and the pressure required to overcome frictional resistances within the ducting system, and hence the fan specification, depends on many criteria.

Concept have built a reputation for designing and manufacturing some of the most advanced smoke generators available today. We aim to make our products widely available and to provide first class localised support where possible.

We have distributors and representatives in countries all over the world, but some are specific to particular applications and industries (for example, specialist distributors for fire and safety training).

With almost 50 years’ of experience in the use of artificial smoke and a wide range of systems to chose from, we are in an unrivalled position to supply the equipment and advice best suited for your application.

Examples of some of the applications for which our products are used are detailed below. If your application doesn’t appear—don’t worry—we have almost certainly come across similar uses and we’ll be pleased to share our experiences and recommendations with you.