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Old 06-27-2008, 04:27 AM #1
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Default Thermite - The coolest thing since lasers

A couple of buddies and I went in and bought some thermite from ebay. Today we went out and set it off over an old computer and a can of shaving cream. The result was awesome, and we almost got busted by the cops, which were attracted by the huge amounts of smoke. Here's the video footage we took:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L27p-P85BI8

For the unaware:

Thermite is a mixture of iron oxide and aluminum powder in a 8:3 mass ratio. When burned, the mixture heats up to roughly 2100 degrees celcius and produces elemental iron. Iron is a liquid at that temperature, and thus splashes around and flows downwards, and can cut a hole straight through the engine block of a car. The reaction requires very high temperatures to start, and the most popular way of setting it off is via burning magnesium. Which is exactly what we used.


The damage was pretty good. It burned clear through the computer and into the ground. The shaving cream bottle exploded and sent a stream of shaving cream into the air. The most spectacular part was the mini explosion once the reaction got underway, sending chunks of molten iron almost 8 feet into the air.

I'm the guy with the white shirt and black pants. I organized the event. The guy in the red shirt and jeans is my friend who's idea it was in the first place.


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Old 06-27-2008, 04:40 AM #2
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Default Re: Thermite - The coolest thing since lasers

Being in the Army we get to play with cool stuff like that. I've seen a thermite grenade pwn an engine in a car, not to mention the hood that we placed it on and a decent sized hole under the car.

Twas glorious.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:22 AM #3
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Default Re: Thermite - The coolest thing since lasers

Nothing like the smell of burning electronics in the morning [smiley=evil.gif]
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Old 06-27-2008, 01:06 PM #4
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Default Re: Thermite - The coolest thing since lasers

Thermite is some cool stuff, man that stuff gets hot! I remember a friend and I put a few ounces of thermite on top of an old grill, and to our surprise it didn't burn through it, I think the aluminum was to fine.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:01 PM #5
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Default Re: Thermite - The coolest thing since lasers

Thermite mixes make really awesome fountains. *Get a nice thick cardboard tube (or something that won't produce shrapnel in case it happens to explode), pack it very tight with a ram, stick a little starter mixture on top (I use sugar + KNO3) and light.... mine would shoot golden sparks 20 feet or higher and last a good minute or so for about 1/2" ID tube about 12in long.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:40 PM #6
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Default Re: Thermite - The coolest thing since lasers

Nice videography with the multiple angles!

Brings back memories of my childhood....and a wonder that I'm still alive!
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Old 06-28-2008, 03:36 AM #7
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Default Re: Thermite - The coolest thing since lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by rkcstr
Thermite mixes make really awesome fountains. *Get a nice thick cardboard tube (or something that won't produce shrapnel in case it happens to explode), pack it very tight with a ram, stick a little starter mixture on top (I use sugar + KNO3) and light.... mine would shoot golden sparks 20 feet or higher and last a good minute or so for about 1/2" ID tube about 12in long.
That's a good idea. We only used half the thermite we bought and we are looking for ideas to make it more awesome. I think we jsut might try that!
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:40 AM #8
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Default Re: Thermite - The coolest thing since lasers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Event Horizon
[quote author=rkcstr link=1214540866/0#4 date=1214589671]Thermite mixes make really awesome fountains. Get a nice thick cardboard tube (or something that won't produce shrapnel in case it happens to explode), pack it very tight with a ram, stick a little starter mixture on top (I use sugar + KNO3) and light.... mine would shoot golden sparks 20 feet or higher and last a good minute or so for about 1/2" ID tube about 12in long.
That's a good idea. We only used half the thermite we bought and we are looking for ideas to make it more awesome. I think we jsut might try that![/quote]

Happy to help a fellow pyro ;D

You can mix it with a little of any type oxidizer to speed up the burn rate a little (ie KNO3, or KCL04 if you want it to burn VERY fast!). Also, adding some flake Al or other type of larger mesh metal will make a nice addition as well.
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