The Firey birth of thermite A chemical reaction


In this experiment you should expect many things. The most main thing you should expect would be lots of fire! If you do this experiment I recommend wearing googles and other safety items. In this demonstration you should also expect a temperature of over 100 degrees F if you where right in the center of the reaction. This experiment will vary on how much items you use. If you use to much of the items it can result in a very big KABOOM, so in this experiment we recommend doing it outside.


Revelant Chemistry Concept

The chemical change in this reaction would be called a synthesis. This reaction is a synthesis reaction because of how two main items (Aluminum Power and Iron oxide) make one thing (Thermite). In this experiment you should also be beware of a very hot exothermic reaction that occurs when the the two products emerge. This reaction gets very hot because the aluminum and an additional magnesium strip is a fuel and spark for fire. These items are the reason why this reaction catches on fire. Aluminum and the magnesium strip is very important for the fire because is takes all the items into the next state of matter, which is thermite.



The materials that were used are Aluminum Powder, Black Iron Oxide, Magnesium strips, and sparklers.

Iron Oxide and aluminum powder


  1. Obtain finely powdered iron oxide (rust), aluminum powder, and a thin strip of magnesium.
  2. Mix the aluminum and iron oxide powder together in a 27:80 ratio by weight.
  3. Pour the mixture into a strong container, such as a cast iron container or clay flower pot.
  4. Wrap the sparkler in a magnesium strip.
  5. Insert the magnesium strip wrapped sparkler.

Safety Procautions

  • Wear a welding mask or sunglasses whilst performing this demonstration
  • Make sure there is nothing that can burn within four meter radius of the reaction. Check that metals with low melting points, such as lead, tin, cadmium, or zinc, aren't near your four meter radius.
  • Wear sturdy gloves and cover your body.
  • Do not pour an extra amount of thermite on a thermite flame or on the hot reaction products.
  • Do not try to grind up the metals into powder yourself. Buy them in jars from a chemical company.
  • Lighting thermite on an ice block is highly discouraged as it may cause a dangerous explosion.
  • Use only a very strong container, and don't hold it while it burns.
  • Do not try to extinguish a thermite reaction using water. When you have selected your site carefully it is safest to let it burn. Otherwise use copious amounts of dry sand. A thermite reaction is irreversible once it starts.
  • Do not look into the flame directly, use welders glasses.
  • Use of thermite is illegal in some regions.
  • If something happens call emergency services immediately.
  • This is a dangerous activity. Thermite burns at an incredibly high temperature and may cause burns.
Welding Goggles


Created with images by Joshua_Willson - "garden chair outdoor"

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