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How do I powder aluminium?

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How do I powder aluminium?

Unread postAuthor: )DEMON( » Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:36 am

I have a binbag full of aluminium shavings that I would like to reduce into powder (can't say why), what is the easiest way to do this?
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I thought of using a ball mill but isn't that only for fining out course powder?
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:38 am

You could try a mortar and pestle but I've found it easier to just break open a Etch-A-Scetch. It contains AL powder that is about 600 grit. There are also beads in the Etch-A-Sketch that may need to be filtered but, if you're doing with the powder what I think you're doing, filtering should be no problem.

Have fun.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:42 am

Thermite/rocket fuel?

:D

you'll have to do it in a vacuum or inert gas, otherwise you'll get aluminium oxide opwder.
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Unread postAuthor: )DEMON( » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:56 am

Damn, how did you know it was thermite :P

Can't you make thermite with aluminium oxide powder?
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Unread postAuthor: Fnord » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:17 am

I think aluminum oxide is what is left after thermite burns, so no, I doubt it (that and pure iron, it makes sense if you think about the reaction).
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Unread postAuthor: ALIHISGREAT » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:34 am

thermite is cool, last year our chemistry teacher showed us a thermite reaction 8) how are you planning to light it? my chemistry teacher used magnesium but i'm sure there are other ways.
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Unread postAuthor: MaxuS » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:42 am

I used to make and ignite thermite, must have done it a billion times because my friends like the molten iron.
My Al was 600mesh and my Iron Oxide III was very finely powdered also, use a sparkler, not magnesium ribbon, its beyond crap for lighting thermite, the ribbon will either light then go out instantly, or burn just until it reaches the surface of the thermite and then out. Use a sprakler, they're much easier to come by than magnesium ribbon.
The products of Iron Oxide III + Aluminium = Aluminium Oxide + Iron, because Aluminium is more reactive than Iron, the Aluminium will 'steal' the oxygen molecules from the Iron Oxide.
The reaction is very exothermic, its like that because of the 'stealing' of the oxygen molecules.
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:10 pm

This topic may just be on the lines of those "illegal discussions" talked about in the rules. We might just want to take it easy and answer the original question.
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Unread postAuthor: MaxuS » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:16 pm

Fair enough, then the best way to powderise aluminium is in a coffee blender, but dont do it too often, and dont make coffe in it afterwards. Pestle and mortar doesnt work, if all else fails, stick the shavings in a cylinder with some ball bearings and shake it for all youre worth, its better than nothing. Just make sure that the ends are on tight.
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Unread postAuthor: Hubb » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:33 pm

I'm not to sure how fine the powder will turn out in a coffee blender, but I've never tried that. I usually just open the Etch-A-Sketch or either grind down some aluminum bar and catch the shavings.
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:47 pm

You don't necessarily have to do anything in a vacuum. Aluminum isn't as reactive as magnesium, it won't oxidise immediately. I do know that you can buy aluminum powder fairly cheaply. You can get it from skylighter.com for 15 bucks a pound. As for making it from shavings, I'm really not sure. As for how did we know what you're using it for? Well, there's only two things I know to do with aluminum powder, one is thermite, and the other involves aerial explosives. But you didn't hear that from me...
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Unread postAuthor: ALIHISGREAT » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:17 pm

paaiyan wrote:You don't necessarily have to do anything in a vacuum. Aluminum isn't as reactive as magnesium, it won't oxidise immediately. I do know that you can buy aluminum powder fairly cheaply. You can get it from skylighter.com for 15 bucks a pound. As for making it from shavings, I'm really not sure. As for how did we know what you're using it for? Well, there's only two things I know to do with aluminum powder, one is thermite, and the other involves aerial explosives. But you didn't hear that from me...


hmm aerial explosions sounds completely uninteresting to me and i definitly don't want to recieve any PMs explaining to me what they are :wink: because i assume it could be against the forum rules...
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:45 pm

ALIHISGREAT wrote:
paaiyan wrote:You don't necessarily have to do anything in a vacuum. Aluminum isn't as reactive as magnesium, it won't oxidise immediately. I do know that you can buy aluminum powder fairly cheaply. You can get it from skylighter.com for 15 bucks a pound. As for making it from shavings, I'm really not sure. As for how did we know what you're using it for? Well, there's only two things I know to do with aluminum powder, one is thermite, and the other involves aerial explosives. But you didn't hear that from me...


hmm aerial explosions sounds completely uninteresting to me and i definitly don't want to recieve any PMs explaining to me what they are :wink: because i assume it could be against the forum rules...


Well then I certainly haven't sent you a PM explaining the obvious. I've also heard that soem hobby shops sell aluminum powder, though I'm not sure why that would be. No sarcasm intended (for once). I really don't know what a hobby shop would have it for. Maybe reflective paints?
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Unread postAuthor: ALIHISGREAT » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:49 pm

I really don't know what a hobby shop would have it for. Maybe reflective paints?


maybe just for thermite enthusiasts?
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Unread postAuthor: paaiyan » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:51 pm

I don't know if that really fits into most hobby shops definition of a hobby. I mean, if that was in their definition, then why don't they carry PVC and propane too?
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