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(GA) Tech students badly burned behind frat house (thermite, anybody?)
Atlanta Journal Constitution ^ | 6/2/2010 | Mike Morris

Posted on 06/02/2010 5:40:45 AM PDT by markomalley

Two Georgia Tech students were seriously burned early Wednesday in a chemical explosion behind a fraternity house.

(snip)

Mechanical engineering student Michael Parker of Hiram was at an adjacent fraternity house when the incident happened.

Parker told WSB Radio that Keen and Grzybowski had mixed aluminum powder and rust powder in an experiment that he called "high school basic chemistry." The experiment can produce a pyrotechnic effect, much like a huge sparkler.

"It's real simple to get; you don't have to really go very far to get the materials," Parker said. "You just put them together and ignite them with a butane torch and it's called a thermite reaction."

Parker said the resulting reaction "runs thousands of degrees Celsius – it's molten iron."

Parker told WSB that he didn't hear an actual explosion.

"In a thermite reaction, there should never be a real explosion, unless they hit an oxygen pocket or something like that that was exceedingly flammable," he said. "Once the reaction has actually started, it's literally just molten iron, but it can get out of control if you don't have it set up right."

(Excerpt) Read more at ajc.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; US: Georgia
KEYWORDS: darwinawards

1 posted on 06/02/2010 5:40:45 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Chem majors - or metallurgy - aren’t what they used to be at Tech!


2 posted on 06/02/2010 5:43:12 AM PDT by Rummyfan (Iraq: it's not about Iraq anymore, it's about the USA!)
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To: Rummyfan
Another sad case of “hey yall, watch this”.
3 posted on 06/02/2010 5:51:57 AM PDT by pappyone (New to Freep, still working a tag line.)
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To: markomalley
...but it can get out of control if you don't have it set up right.

Here, hold my beer and watch this.

4 posted on 06/02/2010 5:53:45 AM PDT by Obadiah (I can see November from my house!)
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To: markomalley

Soon to be on You Tube.


5 posted on 06/02/2010 5:55:48 AM PDT by reagan_fanatic (Never trust anyone who points their rear end at God while praying.)
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To: Rummyfan
Even a quick wiki search yields:

Ignition of a thermite reaction normally requires only a simple child's sparkler or easily obtainable magnesium ribbon, but may require persistent efforts, as ignition can be unreliable and unpredictable. These temperatures cannot be reached with conventional black powder fuses, nitrocellulose rods, detonators, pyrotechnic initiators, or other common igniting substances. Even when the thermite is hot enough to glow bright red, it will not ignite as it must be at or near white-hot to initiate the reaction. It is possible to start the reaction using a propane torch if done correctly. The torch can preheat the entire pile of thermite which will make it explode instead of burning slowly when it finally reaches ignition temperature.

6 posted on 06/02/2010 5:57:53 AM PDT by Second Amendment First ("Stripping motivated people of their dignity and rubbing their noses in it is a very bad idea.")
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To: Obadiah

That was my first thought, as well.


7 posted on 06/02/2010 6:12:51 AM PDT by Pecos
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To: markomalley

Thermite is extremely nasty stuff and very, very unstable too. Stay away!


8 posted on 06/02/2010 6:16:10 AM PDT by NaughtiusMaximus (Mexico presents a more profound threat to our territorial integrity than Germany or Japan ever did.)
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To: markomalley

I’m a rambling wreck from Ga Tech and a heck of an engineer.

The times they are a changing. Grade inflation.


9 posted on 06/02/2010 6:38:15 AM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (We are an Oligarchy now and worse if we fail. TeaParty On...)
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To: markomalley
...oxygen pocket or something like that that was exceedingly flammable...

Oxygen is flammable?

The collage ain't teachin' it or the doofusses ain't learnin' it. Mebby both.

10 posted on 06/02/2010 6:40:38 AM PDT by CPOSharky (What outrage will the administration foist upon We the People that will be the last straw?)
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To: markomalley
Sounds like somebody’s been watching Mythbusters.
11 posted on 06/02/2010 6:56:16 AM PDT by IMR 4350
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To: FreedomPoster

And just where were you? Lol.


12 posted on 06/02/2010 7:06:25 AM PDT by Vigilantcitizen
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To: markomalley

Mythbusters Toast 1/2 Ton of Thermite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPAYZMzGMwQ


13 posted on 06/02/2010 7:07:13 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Vigilantcitizen

No where close! Though I have been going down that way a lot lately. There’s an awesome pizza place on Hemphill between 10th and 14th called Antica Pizza Napoletana which draws me there. It’s literally a 2 minute walk from a house I rented for a couple years while at Tech.


14 posted on 06/02/2010 7:18:07 AM PDT by FreedomPoster (No Representation without Taxation!)
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To: markomalley

These guys are in college? We used to do this stuff in HS, AND we never blew ourselves up either.


15 posted on 06/02/2010 9:29:36 AM PDT by calex59
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To: markomalley

Rookies.


16 posted on 06/02/2010 9:31:30 AM PDT by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: markomalley

There’s a reason Georgia woudn’t have them.


17 posted on 06/02/2010 9:33:25 AM PDT by Protect the Bill of Rights
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To: markomalley

Well, I certainly never got caught doing anything this silly.


18 posted on 06/02/2010 9:37:35 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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