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Different thermites


rthmjohn
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The only thermite I knew of until recently was the ferroaluminum thermite. I now know that any oxide can be used (as is stated in the definition of thermite). Does this mean that V205 or MnO2 can be used in thermites? What are some other strange thermites that you've heard of?

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Have a look at the activity series of metals, or the standard reduction potentials table. A metal with a more negative reduction potential can reduce a metal with a more positive reduction potential from its oxide.

 

For example, ferro aluminum thermite works because the reduction potential of Al3+ is -1.66 volts while the reduction potential of Fe3+ is -0.04 volts.

 

Al wants to give up its electrons more badly than Fe, and we know this because it takes more energy to reduce Al from an oxidized state.

 

Here's a good table of reduction potentials...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Table_of_standard_electrode_potentials

 

This table is very useful for predicting thermites and other types of single displacement reactions.

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I was thinking maybe I could use Al electrodes (I'm guessing they should be pretty pure since their from a supply co.) and file them down with a bastard file and then place the filings in a ball mill...

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Sulfates can also be used.

 

 

These three thermites have a calculated temperature of over 5000 Kelvin :)

Y + MnO2

Nd + PbO2

Nd + I2O5

 

Remember to protect your eyes against the ultraviolet radiation that is created from thermites.

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skylighter is ok, but i find that they're a bit on the expensive side. I got some great quality aluminum powder on ebay, 5 pounds for 25 bucks. Works perfectly in the thermite reaction with Fe2O3, never had to relight any of it. I'm going to get my hands on some magnetite soon though, I'll see how that works out. I've heard that it's safer (less splatter) and even that it burns hotter. I'll have to see for myself. Does anyone know if the ratio between aluminum and iron oxide is different for a magnetite reaction? or is it still 1 to 3?

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Just got back from the beach, collected about 2 pounds of impure magnetite. I plan on running my magnets over the magnetite/sand mixture several times to purify it; i have seen pictures of what the pure stuff should look like (it's also the stuff used in etch-a-sketches, i think). I'll post again once the purification is complete, then it's on to the thermite testing...

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