Summary: Molten, white hot iron is made by igniting aluminum power and iron (III) oxide with a magnesium strip resulting in spectacular display of heat and light.
Do not take this demo lightly.
The molten iron is white hot!! Use care!!
NEVER USE WATER OR GLASS in any combination to catch the molten thermite.
BE SURE there is a depression in the sand for capturing the molten metal. Make sure that the molten iron will fall into the sand and not hit the sides of the bucket.
Do not make the reaction too big!!
The reaction is very exothermic! Everyone must stand back!
Chemicals and Solutions:
Thermite and thermite starter
Ringstand and ring to hold flower pot
ENAMEL bucket half filled with sand
6 inch Magnesium ribbon
Fill bucket about half full with sand.
Set up flower pot and ring stand such that pot hangs over center of the bucket.
Cover hole in pot with piece of filter paper.
Pour in about 1/2 inch of thermite powder.
Cover thermit with thermite starter powder.
Thermite can be ignited in a couple of different ways.
First, the Mg ribbon can be ignited using a bunsen burner flame. The ribbon can then be dropped into the flower pot, igniting the thermite.
Second, the Mg ribbon can be inserted into the powder like a fuse, then lit with the bunsen burner.
Turn off classroom lights so class can better appreciate the reaction.
Lift red hot iron metal out of sand with tongs.