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Author: Subject: Powerful simulated volcano
TheAlchemistPirate
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[*] posted on 8-6-2014 at 08:43
Powerful simulated volcano


We all have heard of or done the vinegar and sodium bicarbonate volcano experiment, but the reaction really isn't that impressive compared to an actual eruption. I decided to see if I could (with more powerful chemicals) build one that effectively replicates the power of a volcano. My plan is to build one that's 4 feet wide and around 4 feet tall, puts out a bunch of black smoke, shoots some debris out, and with the use of some high explosives, shakes the ground and makes a bunch of noise. I will probably build it out of concrete powder and dye it black with paint dye. I didn't really know what thread topic to post this in, but I assume that we will be discussing EMs mostly. I was wondering if anyone here has done anything like this and could elaborate.



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[*] posted on 8-6-2014 at 09:03


ammonium dichromate
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[*] posted on 8-6-2014 at 09:46


The use of high explosives might cause problems if you plan to demonstrate in public. Perhaps blackpowder burning and some nitrocellulose mixed in to shoot up puffs of powder? Add in a strontium salt to mimic red fire, and finally make the tip of the volcano out of red wax with dirt mixed in to simulate flowing lava as it melts?

Just a thought. Although if you can, I would love to see a HE powered volcano.:)




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TheAlchemistPirate
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[*] posted on 8-6-2014 at 12:44


Right now I am planning on using a powerful fuel such as either coarse black powder, ammonium dichromate, or iron powder/sulfur mixture. I'm not sure about the iron/sulfur mixture though because it produces sulfur dioxide gas ,though I and all the spectators will be standing 60+ feet away. I was also wondering about types of thermite that would work too, but I would probably mix those with some black powder and a binder to slow the reaction down. For the sounds and the ground-shaking, I was thinking of connecting fuse from the main inside the volcano to underground high explosives. I'm not sure however if I could use the amounts of explosives would need to get the ground to actually shake without it blowing up in my face (literally). For the debris, I was thinking of either putting a strong metal cylinder inside the volcano and putting explosive charges inside with the fuel, or having small hidden cannons at the top shoot flaming fireballs out. Unfortunately this involves experience with pyrotechnic timing and other skills in the fireworks industry, which I don't have.



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[*] posted on 8-6-2014 at 14:09


High explosives would be too dangerous and would not produce the desired effect; your volcano would explode instead of shooting stuff out the top.

Sulfur dioxide would be realistic for a volcano.

I would love to see a simulated pyroclastic flow.


[Edited on 8-6-2014 by Cheddite Cheese]




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[*] posted on 8-6-2014 at 16:58


Its impossible to shake the ground without blowing your volcano to bits
and spraying the audience with shrapnel.

How about buying roadway flares and grinding them up (leave some unground chunks in to create flaming fireballs) and putting it in a large paper tube (add sawdust to slow the burning rate as needed). Should give a nice read color, sulpurous smelling smoke and hopefully burn at a slow enough rate to create a nice effect.

BTW adding black powder (good quality BP) to thermite will not slow it down. BP burns faster than thermite and BP produces gas which would spray the burning thermite all over!
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TheAlchemistPirate
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[*] posted on 8-6-2014 at 19:46


I figured I could let the main fuel(maybe ammonium dichromate) burn down to fire-resistant cardboard tubes with binded, solid clumps of fuel(maybe black powder) at the top and a small amount of high explosives or propellant at the bottom. I would make it so the main burning fuel would ignite both the fuel clumps and the explosive or propellant, this would hopefully shoot burning debris out during the reaction without destroying the volcano. For the ground shaking explosives I would bury them around the volcano instead of inside of or on top of if that's what you thought. I also meant I would add the binder to hopefully slow down the thermite, the black powder would be for smoke. I am however having trouble thinking of ways to simulate actual molten lava. Of course in nature volcanoes have pressure that pushes molten magma out caused by geothermal heat, but in this reaction I unfortunately don't have a geothermal well of molten rock I can use for my purposes. I was thinking of thermite and gravel, but this wouldn't make enough volume to overflow the top and might explode. This is one of those projects that require lots of experimenting and trial and error.

[Edited on 9-6-2014 by TheAlchemistPirate]




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[*] posted on 20-6-2014 at 03:23


you could put a big bucket of water in the ground below the volcano, if you want to simulate shaking in the ground.. but 60m away you need a decent probably handsized charge to get it to be felt 60m away..
if you go for this, make sure its perfectly waterproof (nc lacquer?) and dont rely on using the bucket any other day, and have dirt perfectly in contact with the bucket for maximum energy transfer..
perhaps mix up some mud below the thing instead? but again, not having the entire thing going into pieces might be hard if you want people 60m away feeling it

for fire resistant material you could use gypsum and sand, could easily be coloured etc.. doubt it will make it porous




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[*] posted on 7-7-2014 at 15:27


Did you get to do this display yet? I would be curious to see a video if you did. It would be pretty neat if you pulled it off.



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[*] posted on 7-7-2014 at 17:46


All these suggestions are dangerous as fuck!
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TheAlchemistPirate
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[*] posted on 17-11-2015 at 17:55


Quote: Originally posted by NeonPulse  
Did you get to do this display yet? I would be curious to see a video if you did. It would be pretty neat if you pulled it off.

I have been looking back at my old posts recently, mostly cringing at things I did only a year ago :D . To answer your question, neon, I never did try doing any of these suggestions. Maybe that was for the better, but I might attempt to shake the ground sometime soon.




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