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Thread: Is it dangerous to have aluminum powder?

  1. #1 Is it dangerous to have aluminum powder? 
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    I have been reading up on thermite and the required ingredients. I have extremely fine aluminum powder from a small etch-a-sketch sitting on plastic wrap in my room. On the comments page of the site i got the thermite ingredients from, multiple people said that thermite could explose if you use too fine of a powder. I have also read that powdered aluminum can become very explosive when it is exposed to air or if it becomes damp. Ive gotten particulary worried because the humidity right now is 93%. So, is powdered aluminum too dangerous to have in house and is too fine powdered aluminum explosive when in thermite?


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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Decreasing the particle size will increase the chance of water causing spontaneous heating.

    Did you do any research before working with dangerous materials?


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    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
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    And topping tonights evening news, A young person playing with dangerous compounds that they had no training in the use of, has blown themselves into itty bitty squishy bits.
    Not all who wander are lost... Some of us just misplaced our destination.

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    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
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    Bluskyz, Please accept this darwin award.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluskyz View Post
    I have been reading up on thermite and the required ingredients. I have extremely fine aluminum powder from a small etch-a-sketch sitting on plastic wrap in my room. On the comments page of the site i got the thermite ingredients from, multiple people said that thermite could explose if you use too fine of a powder. I have also read that powdered aluminum can become very explosive when it is exposed to air or if it becomes damp. Ive gotten particulary worried because the humidity right now is 93%. So, is powdered aluminum too dangerous to have in house and is too fine powdered aluminum explosive when in thermite?
    It's very explosive, like gun powder basically. I don't think you can injure yourself with amounts less than a gram unless it blows up in your eyes, but, just know it's very dangerous. When it's wet it releases gaseous hydrogen and forms aluminum oxide but if your particle size is micro sized and not nano-sized, the reaction might stop early due to the formation of a protective oxide layer. This reaction with water is not that dangerous with micro sized particles, I have personally done it 100s of times, the powder basically burns into a boiling black goo releasing hydrogen. It looks very similar to when you add HCl to aluminum scrap, it's a runaway reaction. Unless you do that with amounts larger than a pound, there won't be enough hydrogen accumulation in order to blow up a 250 square foot room but be safe, still.

    Storage...I would store it just like LiAlH4 basically, it's actually not that different from LiAlH4, in a tightly closed HDPE (plastic (2) code) vial (avoid using glass vials, dangerous) inside of a larger vial containing silica gel or preferably magnesium sulfate, or sodium sulfate, anything that removes water basically.
    Last edited by Oxycodone; September 6th, 2012 at 01:37 PM.
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Why in heaven's name do you want to make thermite?
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Why in heaven's name do you want to make thermite?
    For the love of science I guess lol. I remember when I was a kid in high-school, there was this electrochemistry experiment where we had to make a potassium permanganate solution and measure conductivity. Well, when the teacher wasn't looking I instead mixed concentrated sulfuric acid with potassium permanganate power enough to fill a 20mL vial, then poured that green, extremely corrosive, shock sensitive explosive and health hazardous oil into a bag of chips under the fume-hood. After the fireball, there was nothing left but beautiful violet flakes of KMnO4 gently falling down, like snow. I got kicked out for 2 weeks, extra vacation, they still have no idea wtf I mixed, I didn't tell them haha. I knew I had to be a chemist! Lol.
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    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    That demonstrates well that one shouldn't play with volatile compounds without proper training!

    It's all fun and games, until someone winds up with severe burns or dies.
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
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    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    That demonstrates well that one shouldn't play with volatile compounds without proper training!

    It's all fun and games, until someone winds up with severe burns or dies.
    That's actually one of the very few compounds known that instantly sets human skin on fire upon contact, with a single oil drop being able to cause penetrative burns 1/4th of an inch deep within less than a second of exposure. This was tried on a chicken wing but I doubt anyone's hand could do much better. Nitrile gloves are able to withstand for 10-30 seconds. That's definitely 2 things you must not mix in amounts larger than 2mL ^_^
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    You are well aware that aluminium powder is the unstable solid rocket fuel nasa uses right? And whatdafuq did you do to create purple snow... I created a toxic cloud once. HCl, water and .. Well A nitrilous compound, no idea which one, it turned into a blue cloud. But it was an accident. Some jackass switched beakers with me. I ran for my life that day...
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    You are well aware that aluminium powder is the unstable solid rocket fuel nasa uses right? And whatdafuq did you do to create purple snow... I created a toxic cloud once. HCl, water and .. Well A nitrilous compound, no idea which one, it turned into a blue cloud. But it was an accident. Some jackass switched beakers with me. I ran for my life that day...
    Looked a bit like this, on a larger scale except that my flakes were purple lol:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hJEtT_9y2o
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    hmm, interesting. Eiter small explosions, or the forming of dust out of gasses..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxycodone View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KALSTER View Post
    Why in heaven's name do you want to make thermite?
    For the love of science I guess lol. I remember when I was a kid in high-school, there was this electrochemistry experiment where we had to make a potassium permanganate solution and measure conductivity. Well, when the teacher wasn't looking I instead mixed concentrated sulfuric acid with potassium permanganate power enough to fill a 20mL vial, then poured that green, extremely corrosive, shock sensitive explosive and health hazardous oil into a bag of chips under the fume-hood. After the fireball, there was nothing left but beautiful violet flakes of KMnO4 gently falling down, like snow. I got kicked out for 2 weeks, extra vacation, they still have no idea wtf I mixed, I didn't tell them haha. I knew I had to be a chemist! Lol.
    Please change your forum name to "Deathwish". Hopefully, you'll never get your hands on plutonium!
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    As far as i know, plutonium does not grow on trees. Anthrax however, does..
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    3 KClO4 + 8 Al → 4 Al2O3 + 3 KCl

    I have a gallon can of aluminum powder sitting on a shelf in the paint and chemical area of my studio.
    I use it for patinas
    no problems so far
    20+ years and counting

    shades of Alfred E Newman
    "What, me worry?
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    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
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    I keep a few ounces of powered aluminum in my chemical storage as well. It is perfectly safe as long as you are carefull with it... Just like any chemical if you fail to respect it you will suffer consequences. I do not however condone the creation of potentially lethal compounds by rank amatures with no training. People like that give those who have the training and the love of experimentation a bad name.
    Not all who wander are lost... Some of us just misplaced our destination.

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    Just don't mix mercury with iodomethane and leave it hanging in the sun.
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    why?
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    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    It produces something like methyl mercuriciodide, which, I'm guessing, is highly toxic?
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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    List off
    Last edited by Oxycodone; September 22nd, 2012 at 12:51 PM.
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    List off
    Last edited by Oxycodone; September 22nd, 2012 at 12:51 PM.
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  23. #22  
    Forum Bachelors Degree dmwyant's Avatar
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    Why, By all that anyone holds holy, would you put a list like this up where KIDS could find it. This is not an adults only forum and you are posting information that has the potential to cause serious harm. Are you retarded?
    Not all who wander are lost... Some of us just misplaced our destination.

    I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of a man is to live, not to exist.
    -Jack London
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    Offensive comment deleted.
    Last edited by adelady; September 22nd, 2012 at 08:56 PM.
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