Skip to comments.(GA) Tech students badly burned behind frat house (thermite, anybody?)
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.
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 ...
Chem majors - or metallurgy - aren’t what they used to be at Tech!
Here, hold my beer and watch this.
Soon to be on You Tube.
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.
That was my first thought, as well.
Thermite is extremely nasty stuff and very, very unstable too. Stay away!
I’m a rambling wreck from Ga Tech and a heck of an engineer.
The times they are a changing. Grade inflation.
Oxygen is flammable?
The collage ain't teachin' it or the doofusses ain't learnin' it. Mebby both.
And just where were you? Lol.
Mythbusters Toast 1/2 Ton of Thermite
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.
These guys are in college? We used to do this stuff in HS, AND we never blew ourselves up either.
There’s a reason Georgia woudn’t have them.
Well, I certainly never got caught doing anything this silly.