How to Make Thermite
What is Thermite?
Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition usually consisting of metal powder and a metal oxide. It is not usually explosive, but it does create extremely high temperatures in a very small area for a short period of time. For instance, aluminum/iron-oxide thermite temperatures are as high as 4500 degrees F.
Thermite is used for welding, metal cutting or boring, field-expedient metal repairs, science demonstrations, high temperature ignition, disabling military equipment (including artillery, document files, and hard drives), and other applications.
Making Thermite Using Iron Oxide Red
Having the correct balance of fuel and oxidizer is key to having a stable burn in a thermite reaction. The thermite recipe for iron oxide red and aluminum is 3 parts iron oxide red to 1 part aluminum fuel. In pyrotechnic compositions the finer the ingredients and more well mixed they are, generally the easier it is to ignite, and the faster the reaction will progress.
So our goals in selecting thermite ingredients are ease of ignition and a stable, non-explosive burn.
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