ref. Chemical Demonstrations, Shakhashiri, pp. 85-89, vol 1.
See also additional references Shakhashiri p. 88
For purposes of eChem 2010727 recording:
To show high temperature, roast a marshmallow above the glowing iron.
Alternate camera shots to show wide shot and closeup of glowing iron.
- Ref. the Hindenberg accident
- Ref. an injury accident involving thermite and water at a major university - tbd
- Incidents information
Other Notes - ref. UC Berkeley College of Chemistry Demo Lab
- Photo of our thermite experiment
[Note - from left to right: Prof, experiment, experimenter, 2 firefighters, spare Prof.]
- We use a graphite crucible (6-8cm i.d. at opening) for the reaction. The crucible has a ~1cm hole drilled in the bottom, and we cover that from inside the crucible with household aluminum foil that has been folded into 12 layers. This seals the hole so that the starting material can be contained. The foil is melted during the reaction allowing the product to fall through the hole and onto the DRY sand about 1-2 feet below the reaction vessel.
- Within minutes before the experiment, add the ignition materials, a combination of magnesium (Mg) ribbon fuse, and "flash powder."
- Flash powder
- Using a powder funnel and glass rod, form a ~1 cm^3 reservoir at the center of the upper surface of the thermite. Holding the funnel carefully, add ~1 cm^3flash powder, then retract the funnel. You will make a "puddle" of flash powder which reliably starts the thermite reaction when initiated by the Mg ribbon. The flash powder and thermite should not be packed or pressed at this stage or later.
- Magnesium ribbon - Clean the magnesium ribbon by rubbing with Scotch-Brite®3M cloth. Fray the end to be lit using scissors. Cut the other end of the ribbon to form a sharp point (about 45 degrees). Very carefully insert the magnesium ribbon vertically, digging into the flash powder and slightly beyond into the underlying thermite.
- Light the Mg ribbon with a match (2-3 matches held together work well). Be prepared to quickly retract your hand and back away - especially quickly retract the remains of your hand should the reaction begin prematurely.
- Two designated and briefed firefighters should be standing by with CO2 fire extinguishers in hand.