Today’s Chemistry Lesson: Thermite

Wirecutter tells us about cutting metals with it.

Today I’m going to talk about thermite.
Possessing thermite is not a crime as long as it’s not used or intended to be used in an illegal manner. It’s used for cutting metal or welding, so if you do any metal work at all you have a legitimate use for it. I do some lightweight metal working and have used it in the past to cut plate steel – what would take me hours to cut using a cutting wheel (not to mention about a million cutting wheels) can be done in minutes using thermite. It will not make a clean cut (lots of slag) but it beats the hell of changing cutting wheels every 3 minutes. Yes, you can accomplish the same thing by using an arc welder if you have one and cranking up the voltage but sometimes that’s not an option.”

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2 Responses to Today’s Chemistry Lesson: Thermite

  1. notamobster says:

    The military uses thermite to breach metal doors, destroy artillery and mortar tubes and disable vehicles but that’s not my purpose here – I’m just trying to educate folks on the fine art of cutting metal. Got it?

    Before I go any further I want to caution you to be extremely careful in all aspects when using thermite. That shit cannot be extinguished, it will burn until the compounds have been exhausted, it showers burning metal once ignited and it’s extremely bright and will blind you if you watch it burn. You burn down your fucking garage while cutting metal, it’s on you, not me. You have been warned.

    I just added this guy to my bookmarks list! He’s pretty funny. (This is one of the ways the Fed’s can leak that a suspect had “bomb-making materials” at their home. This and household chemicals which shall remain unnamed.

  2. locke n load says:

    I went thru those pages Jim, fascinating. Probably went a bit too deep down the rabbit hole tho.
    At the risk of igniting a renewed conversation about 9-11 truthers I DID find this little discussion of the ‘explosives couldn’t have been used’ argument interesting.
    Also learned a few things about directing thermite heat :) Cool
    Looks like National Geographic got the Thermite question wrong, lol.

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