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Thermate is a variation of thermite and is an incendiary pyrotechnic composition that can generate short bursts of very high temperatures focused on a small area for a short period of time. Unlike thermite, it has little civilian use and is used primarily by the military in incendiary grenades.
Similar to the classical thermite, thermate consists of a mixture of very fine aluminium metal powder and iron(III) oxide, but also has in its composition elemental sulfur and barium nitrate, which serve to boost the thermite reaction.
The most common and used version of thermate is called Thermate-TH3, which consists of 68.7% thermite, 29.0% barium nitrate, 2.0% sulfur and 0.3% binder (such as polybutadiene acrylonitrile or PBAN). As both thermite and thermate are notoriously difficult to ignite, initiating the reaction normally requires a strong ignition charge.
The aluminium and iron oxide powders are mixed thoroughly, and most compositions can even be mixed in a blender, as the mixture is very stable. Then, powdered sulfur and barium nitrate are added to the thermite mixture, and stirred until they mix properly.
- Cut metal
- Pyrotechnic demonstrations
Thermate burns extremely powerful and may spew hot metal droplets, so keep distance when igniting it. Wear proper protection when working with this material.