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Author: Subject: Exotic thermites & analogs
Jylliana92
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[*] posted on 24-10-2014 at 05:48
Casting ingots with thermite


The well-known thermite reaction has as a product a molten metal(usually iron, but other metal oxides can be used too).
Until now, I've always caught the molten metal in sand or pebbles/rocks.


I was wondering if anyone of you has experience with casting an ingot this way, and mostly: what material can be used as a mold for the ingot, considering the temperature?

Because, I have a copper powder from a redox reaction, but a shiny copper ingot would be nicer, especially when made myself :)




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PHILOU Zrealone
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[*] posted on 24-10-2014 at 09:35


Hoi Jylliana92,

Maybe look first into the sticky tread about thermites ;-)
Misschien kijk eerst in de chat over vreemd/exotieke thermieten ;-)
Energetic materials- exotic thermites

CuO/Al thermite is quite energetic and sometimes even explosive if the grain/particle size is fine enough.

Doiiiggg/Schuss

[Edited on 24-10-2014 by PHILOU Zrealone]




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Bert
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[*] posted on 24-10-2014 at 12:20


Sorry about not looking well enough... thanks for merging them.



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specialactivitieSK
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[*] posted on 19-12-2014 at 02:10


I made titanium ingot, Aluminum reacting with TiO2.
I was curious about the reaction of Magnesium with TiO2, unpressed.
Out of 300 g of a mixture (TiO2 + Mg 62:38) I have received 160 g of black powder.
The flame burned up to 1 to 1,5 meters.
Is it possible to extract titanium, from this powder ?







[Edited on 19-12-2014 by specialactivitieSK]

[Edited on 19-12-2014 by specialactivitieSK]

Al2.jpg - 62kBAl1.jpg - 78kBMg.JPG - 2.1MB
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[*] posted on 19-12-2014 at 06:18


I believe that's a lower oxide of titanium. I would recommend re-doing the thermite with the black oxide to try and reduce it all the way to the metal
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[*] posted on 19-12-2014 at 06:46


Yep, that's most likely titanium(III) oxide.
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[*] posted on 6-1-2015 at 15:11


Could tantalum pentoxide from old tantalum capacitors be used to make tantalum-aluminum thermite, and produce tantalum metal?
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[*] posted on 6-1-2015 at 19:28
Catching Molten Slag


Are significant amounts of product lost due to the molten slag flying off? If so, is there a good way to capture the pieces? I thought I may be able to take a ceramic water dish, drill a hole in the middle (for the fuse), and invert that over a flowerpot (this also may make it a bit safer...).
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[*] posted on 8-1-2015 at 15:23
Explosive ZinCox / MagCox Thermite


A little while ago I was experimenting with thermites that could be made with common and cheap metal/metal oxide combinations. I came up with two that rather than burn at a high temperature like a normal thermite, explode colorfully. The first combination I came up with is zinc and copper oxide (ZinCox I call it). I took cupric oxide (CuO) that I obtained by taking "Basic Copper Carbonate"
which I got from electrolysing copper pipes in tap water (I know, not very pure, but it has just enough ions to get the electrolysis started). Initially the source voltage was around 300V (From an inverter I made with 10 disposable camera flash circuits in parallel charging a 1200uF cap bank through rectifiers) then after enough copper ions had formed in the solution to allow the electrolysis to sustain itself I switched over to a 12V 15A power supply and let the electrolysis run for about 72 hours, replacing the anode occasionally and scraping as much of the basic copper carbonate into a separate container as I could manage. I later filtered the copper carbonated, air-dried it, and then heated it in a crucible at 600F until the green powder had turned uniformly black, and ground it using a mortar and pestle until it was a super-fine powder (it crushes like talc).

I mixed this in a 1 to 1 molar ratio with magnesium or zinc powder. When lit off in a fire-cracker-like package the materials explode rather powerfully. They both produce a small blue-white fireball and a lot of noxious smoke.

~~Cheers! Andymadman



[Edited on 8-1-2015 by andymadman]




Elements Collected: 55
H, He, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne, Na,
Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ar, K, Ca,
Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn,
Ga, Ge, Se, Br, Kr, Sr, Zr, Mo,
Pd, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, I, Xe, Ba, W, Pt,
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[*] posted on 8-1-2015 at 16:41


Interesting.

Despite the lengthy list of compositions studied in this Sandia report, which considers some very exotic thermites (beryllium, hafnium and yttrium fueled):

http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=Get...

no compositions using zinc as a fuel are investigated.
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chemrox
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[*] posted on 8-1-2015 at 18:02


Could you post the Sandia report as a pdf? Thanks. Question; why does lemon and NaCl remove the CuOx from copper? Is it reducing the oxides or picking them up?

[Edited on 9-1-2015 by chemrox]




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[*] posted on 8-1-2015 at 18:14


Quote: Originally posted by chemrox  
Could you post the Sandia report as a pdf? Thanks. Question; why does lemon and NaCl remove the CuOx from copper? Is it reducing the oxides or picking them up?

[Edited on 9-1-2015 by chemrox]


It has been posted at least twice on various thermite threads, I hesitate to keep posting copies of it, it is a bit difficult to pull up the in-line posting on this forum though.
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[*] posted on 9-1-2015 at 16:32


Quote: Originally posted by chemrox  
Could you post the Sandia report as a pdf? Thanks. Question; why does lemon and NaCl remove the CuOx from copper? Is it reducing the oxides or picking them up?

[Edited on 9-1-2015 by chemrox]


First off, the NaCl is not needed in the reaction, only the acid, I've tried it with both vinegar (acetic acid) and lemon juice (citric acid), the salt makes no discernible difference. If you look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_copper_carbonate you'll see that the material on a penny is likely not copper oxide as that does not form at low temperatures, it is not copprt hydroxide as that only forms in conjunction with copper carbonate, both of which are a noticible blue or green (you can look at my blog to see what color this is, l did an experiment where I electrolysed copper in sodium bicarbonate to create copper carbonate). My guess is the patina (copper tarnish) that forms is most likely a naturally stabilized insoluble mixture of copper sulfides and sulfates similar to the blue-gray sulfur-based tarnish that forms on silver which probably react with the acids to produce soluble copper acetate or copper citrate along with other compounds as a result of reactions with materials on the pennies.
Finally, if you look here:
http://nautarch.tamu.edu/CRL/conservationmanual/File12.htm
you'll see this:
"...copper sulfides only discolor the copper, imparting an unnatural appearance to the metal, and are easily removed with commercial cleaning solvents, formic acid, or citric acid."

I found this after I'd come up with my theory, but it does seem to support it.




Elements Collected: 55
H, He, Li, Be, B, C, N, O, F, Ne, Na,
Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, Ar, K, Ca,
Ti, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn,
Ga, Ge, Se, Br, Kr, Sr, Zr, Mo,
Pd, Ag, Cd, Sn, Sb, I, Xe, Ba, W, Pt,
Au, Hg, Pb, Bi, Ce, Nd, U, Am, Cm
Check meh out!:
http://theexperimenterlife.blogspot.com/
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Ragbips
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[*] posted on 26-4-2015 at 08:13


Would thermite reactions with PtO2, PdO or Na2O work? I can't find anything about it.
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[*] posted on 26-4-2015 at 09:04


Thermiting PtO2 or PdO would be utterly pointless, which is why you won't find anything about it. Such thermites would in all likelihood fizzle because these oxides decompose at too low temperatures. Even if they worked it would be like taking a pneumatic drill to a crumbly nut: complete overkill.

Na2O is not a chemical that's easy to obtain or prepare. <b>NaOH</b> has been reacted with Al powder (there's some information on this forum, somewhere) but it's a fairly useless activity that results in mostly a mess.

If your only purpose is to generate heat from the oxidation of Al, consider reacting Al powder with KClO3: extremely exothermic. Even Al powder with CaSO4 (wall filler) runs at well over 2,500 C.




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[*] posted on 22-6-2015 at 02:12


I'm about to do some tests with PbO2/Al and PbO2/Mg in small amounts, including trying something to stabilise them from decomposion. I'll post my results here.
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[*] posted on 30-11-2015 at 08:23


Quote: Originally posted by Polverone  
Many oxides/salts of less reactive metals can react vigorously when mixed with an appropriate quantity of magnesium or aluminum and initiated by high temperatures (or, in some cases, by a detonator). The most common of these mixtures, of course, is aluminum and iron oxide.

I've experimented with a few other different mixtures. Anhydrous CuCl2 and aluminum is easy to ignite, though not terribly vigorous. I was able to wrap some CuCl2 powder in aluminum foil to make a tube and ignite the tube at one end with an alcohol burner. Combustion progressed with a small amount of pinkish flame (I would have expected green or blue, but it was pink) and considerable smoke, with solid copper being deposited. CuCl2 and 300 mesh aluminum powder burned quickly.

Flour-fine CuO from a ceramics supplier burned with extreme vigor with 300 mesh aluminum in a stoichiometric ratio. I ignited one charge of about 30 grams at night with a hot aluminum/sulfur ignition mixture. The thermite mixture was in an aluminum can with the top cut off and the igniter laid on top. The CuO/Al burned in a fraction of a second with a hearty "whump!" and shot glowing debris (likely the igniter slag) 10 meters in the air.

A 50 gram charge of the same mixture was initiated in the daytime with 2 grams of HMTD. There was a satisfying flash and explosion, and a large cloud of brownish smoke (vaporized copper mixed with aluminum oxide) rose above the test site. It is interesting that this mixture yields *no* permanent gases at STP yet exploded with sufficient force to make the plastic stand holding the charge vanish without a trace.

I have oxides of tin and chromium on hand, which I hope to try at some point in the future. I would also like to try lead salts/oxides, though I fear excessive sensitivity with these, and also with silver salts/oxides, though I fear sensitivity *and* price with them.

Have any other experimenters here wandered off the beaten path of "standard" thermite?


CuCl2 plus aluminum looks like an interesting reaction... would it be possible to carry out the reaction in a test tube and condense the smoke on a cold finger to obtain anhydrous aluminum chloride?
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[*] posted on 13-12-2015 at 04:23
Copper (II) Chloride


I started making some copper (II) chloride thermite out of OTC materials. First I dissolved 100.00 g of CaCl2 monohydrate in 200 mL of water. I checked the specific gravity of the solution to ensure that I did in fact have the monohydrate salt, and it matched up very closely to what I expected. Then I dissolved 193.55 g of copper sulfate pentahydrate in 700 mL of water. With strong stirring, I added the calcium chloride solution in 10 mL portions. Gypsum precipitated out of solution with a green color that quickly dissipated. Towards the end, the solution became too sludgy for my stirrer, so I had to mix it with a PTFE-coated paddle. I let the reaction mixture stand overnight in the hopes that it would settle but afterwards could only pour off a couple hundred mL of solution, so I vacuum filtered and discarded the clay-like gypsum filter cake after washing it with 100 mL of water. The cyan-colored filtrate did not react any further with CaCl2 solution, but it does etch aluminum pretty vigorously, depositing powdered copper. Now I'm going to simply evaporate the filtrate to dryness and bake it in an oven to obtain anhydrous copper (II) chloride.

Update: As the water evaporates, the solution is becoming turbid with a small amount of precipitate... I assume this is probably gypsum, so I'll filter when I determine that the solution is saturated with copper (II) chloride.

It occurred to me that I can moderate the rate of reaction between copper (II) chloride and aluminum by changing the size of the aluminum particles and possibly by introducing an impurity into the copper (II) chloride (sodium chloride, for example). The reaction looks extremely vigorous in YouTube videos, and it's not going to do me a whole lot of good if the aluminum chloride just escapes.

[Edited on 13-12-2015 by JJay]
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[*] posted on 22-5-2016 at 10:34


PtO/Mg mixtures are supposed to detonate extremely violently.
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[*] posted on 23-5-2016 at 00:57


Sounds like bullshit. Please provide a reference - if you don't have one, don't post your ideas as facts.
PtO contains 7.5% oxygen by weight, so the thermite won't contain much energy...

[Edited on 23-5-2016 by Dornier 335A]
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glymes
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[*] posted on 23-5-2016 at 03:34


I thought that a less reactive oxide and a more reactive metal makes for a more powerful thermite?
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[*] posted on 23-5-2016 at 04:57


Quote: Originally posted by glymes  
I thought that a less reactive oxide and a more reactive metal makes for a more powerful thermite?

No you need a more reactive metal oxide and a more reactive metal...to speed up the reaction.
CuO and Al is famous.
PbO2 and Mg should do.
PbO2 and Al should do.

XeO3 and Mg or Al would be interesting although not a thermite in stricto senso.




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[*] posted on 23-5-2016 at 07:50


Those are more like flash powder, instead of thermite. I once tried CuO and aluminum thermite (stoichiometric mixture, both finely powdered), and it exploded. I know PbO2 (or also Pb3O4) with aluminum or magnalium is used to make crackling fireworks, so the mixture is quite energetic.



As below, so above.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 05:27


I tried a fun experiment a couple of days ago: a thermite made of lithium and silicon dioxide. I just placed a ~0.25 g chunk of lithium on some silica beads, in a cheap silica crucible I didn't mind losing, and lit the lithium on fire with a torch. It doesn't need to be powdered because it will melt as it burns, igniting the SiO2 and setting off the thermite within a few seconds.

It's definitely a vigorous reaction, with lithium's deep red flame making it especially pretty. I repeated this one more time with the same result. I wouldn't say it's any more explosive than CuO/Al thermite, though small pieces of unreacted lithium do go flying and will (unlike the full-sized chunk of Li) explode on contact with water. Goggles and face shield highly recommended. Now I have a crucible with an interesting looking lump of unreacted silica plus elemental silicon fused into it.

[Edited on 4-11-2016 by Stibnut]
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[*] posted on 30-12-2016 at 08:58


Quote: Originally posted by glymes  
I thought that a less reactive oxide and a more reactive metal makes for a more powerful thermite?

The oxide of a less reactive metal makes for a more powerful thermite, because it holds the oxygen with less conviction and the norm reactive metal can combine with it easily (or, in case of gold oxide, it would even release energy as it releases oxygen!)
For copper compounds, they are generally very reactive towards aluminium. I once made an Al foil - partly anhydrous CuCl2 burrito, literally power laying on the foil and scrolled up into a cylinder, and this ignited with heating from a candle! I'm not sure if the water helped (catalyzing the combustion like it catalyzes the reaction of CuCl2 and Al in solution, hydrocarbon flames, Na-Cl2 flames and many others), or if it hindered by absorbing heat with its evaporation.
Edit: remembered water also sets of Al - I2, so up to a certain amount it must be helpful in general, among other things by being a mind of 'flux' by creating a way for reactant species to cross from grain to grain without having to evaporate.

[Edited on 30-12-2016 by Theoretic]
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