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Old 01-15-2009, 06:12 AM #1
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Default Thermite

I want to do a couple of chemical reactions with thermite- specifically Iron (II) oxide and Chromium (II) oxide. *

I already have the stoichiometric ratios, but I have a few questions.

1. *Will magnesium ribbon do a good enough job of lighting it? *What is the best, safest way to go about it, just a magnesium fuse?
2. *How far away from the thermite should I be (it will be less than half a pound.)
3. *Is there a UV light hazard?
4. *How pure will the products be?
5. *What container should I put it in?
6. *Can I do it in my driveway?

Thanks,
Mark


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Old 01-15-2009, 08:34 AM #2
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Default Re: Thermite

Container? for thermite? that stuff burns through metal safes let alone "containers". You seen the videos on youtube?
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Old 01-15-2009, 01:32 PM #3
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Default Re: Thermite

1) Magnesium ribbon is fine for igniting thermite; it does however have a tendancy to go out...
2) 10-15 feet is fine as long as there is no shrapnel(make sure your container is open at one end)
3) Just don't stare straight at it. If you really must, use a welding helmet.
4) Not very...
5) A clay flowerpot is ideal but do expect it to be consumed after the reaction.
6) If you want a hole in it seriously though, do it over dirt or something...

Also, as a side note do not use Chromium oxide, it has a much higher melting temp than Iron...
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Old 01-15-2009, 02:52 PM #4
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Default Re: Thermite

1. Use Mg if you have a lot of time to burn...It goes out easily and it is a pain to mes with. When I was into pyro I just mixed up thermite starter and put a little bit of that on top and stuck a regular fuse in it. The comp is the the same as nitrate flash, I can't remember the exact ratio but it has fine Al, KNO3, and S in it.

2. Just get back where you feel comfortable, molten iron can splash out everywhere, more so if the aluminum is fine.

3. There is a lot of UV light so don't stare at it.

4. Not that pure, you'll have aluminum oxides plus oxides of the metal product mixed in with the metal.

5. Clay flower Pot

6. NO!
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:03 PM #5
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Default Re: Thermite

Can you light Thermite with a sparkler as a fuse? Also do you make the thermite yourself or buy it? Some places like unitednuclear sell thermite mix and igniter, but it seems overpriced.
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Old 01-15-2009, 06:37 PM #6
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Default Re: Thermite

Thermite is no more than Iron oxide mixed with aluminum powder.

A sparkler should work but you need to keep it pretty deep in the mix(Keep about 2 inches under the mix). A more reliable way is to disassemble a highway flare and use a normal visco fuse to ignite the flare mixture. It mixture burns much hotter for longer than a sparkler or Mg ribbon.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:34 AM #7
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Default Re: Thermite

A bucket of sand is a good "catcher" for whatever is going to likely be consumed by the thermite. The sand will hold up just fine against thermite, no problem.

Last time I used in, we had a big container of sand and a small amount of thermite. We put the thermite in a disposable container (I don't remember exactly, it may have been a little aluminum weighing pan, or maybe even just some plastic or something) inside a clay flower put that had a hole in the bottom, and suspended that above the bucket of sand. On top of the sand, we laid two big nails across one another. Lit the thermite, the thermite came through the bottom of the flower pot, fell on the nails, and welded them together quite nicely in just a few seconds. It was pretty awesome.
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:12 PM #8
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Default Re: Thermite

About the driveway thing:

I forgot to clarify. I will be making water drop blobs with the thermite. (I know, I need a lot of water and a deep container.)

My concern about doing this in the driveway was regarding the flying eruption material; I will cut a hole in a ceramic pot so that the metal can spill out the bottom into a vat of water. Will there be enough flying molten metal to leave visible pieces in my driveway?

Thanks,
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:22 AM #9
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Default Re: Thermite

Quote:
Originally Posted by rocketparrotlet
About the driveway thing:

I forgot to clarify. *I will be making water drop blobs with the thermite. (I know, I need a lot of water and a deep container.)

My concern about doing this in the driveway was regarding the flying eruption material; I will cut a hole in a ceramic pot so that the metal can spill out the bottom into a vat of water. *Will there be enough flying molten metal to leave visible pieces in my driveway?

Thanks,
Mark
I'm not sure if the water idea is a good thing on your driveway...the water will explode and it could break the container and butcher up your driveway. Do it somewhere else in your yard and get way back because of the water explosion hazard.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:00 AM #10
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Default Re: Thermite

Thermite will travel thru water like it wasn't even there, its nearly impossible to put the stuff out once its lit. and with water, you also get the added explosion effect. it will travel right to the bottom of the water container.
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Old 01-18-2009, 05:04 AM #11
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Default Re: Thermite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Things
Thermite will travel thru water like it wasn't even there, its nearly impossible to put the stuff out once its lit. and with water, you also get the added explosion effect. it will travel right to the bottom of the water container.
Well yeah I know it will sink right down! That's the point; I want to make the water drop blob shapes.

But there won't be much of an explosion hazard if there's a lot of water. Right?

-Mark
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Old 01-23-2009, 05:22 AM #12
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Default Re: Thermite

Woot Chromium Oxide thermite! *

MAN this stuff was hard to light! *I had to get it to almost white hot with a propane torch AND use magnesium ribbon just to catch it! But it was awesome!

How can I safely light Fe3O4 thermite? This required heating it with a propane torch and magnesium ribbon (close up), but it's much lower energy than Fe3O4 thermite would be. What's the safest way to do this, without buying any other chemicals?

-Mark
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