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Having trouble lighting magnesium powder


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#1 Tom

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 01:19 PM

Hey, I'm having trouble getting magnesium powder to light up furiously.  Ideally for the project I'm working on I need a solid medium(not liquid) that is highly flammable, that I can ignite with ease- which will then ignite the magnesium. So far I tried putting the magnesium on top of paper towels and lighting it but that fails pretty quickly.

 

Any suggestions?

 

Any other solid substances that also burn hot like magnesium does?  

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

-Tom



#2 NeighborJ

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 05:04 PM

This post is a bit vague to be able to provide assistance. What are you trying to ignite? What mesh size Mg are you using? Does it have an oxidizer mixed in? If the Mg is a fine particle size, could it be old and oxidized?

#3 Tom

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 02:33 PM

I was trying to ignite this MG-- https://www.ebay.com...353.m2749.l2649

 

The MG is fairly new.

 

I don't have an oxidizer/not sure what an oxidizer is.

 

I'm working on a product concept, the basic idea is a safe, were say- a fortune 500 company, large government body ect, may keep important documents(trade secrets/classified info), on paper or in flash drive form(so I need some thing that will melt plastic quickly). The idea is that the safe incinerates these materials when it detects a bad actor trying to steal the information(could be a disgruntle employee, Chinese spy, traitor in the government ect). So all in all it would need something that burns hot and ignites quickly along with not being an explosive.

 

If this idea sounds absurd, it's because I came up with it while writing a science fiction story! And thought to myself it would be cool to see if it could be made haha!

 

So I have no background in pyrotechnics(I work in finance so very unrelated). Although I am taking a welding course in the winter time.

 

 

Any help is appreciated! 

 

Thanks

 

-Tom 



#4 chuckufarley

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 03:36 PM

Sounds like a job for thermite.
If I remember correctly it's,
75% fine, atomized aluminum
25% red iron oxide

It does take alot of heat to get going. I hear magnesium ribbon works well, I always used kmno4 and glycerine to get it started.
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#5 AustralianPyromaniac

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 08:58 PM

Thermite would definitely be a good option especially because the reaction produces little to no gas and thus the safe wouldn't be blown the pieces even if it was fully closed. To ignite the comp some type of ignitor with a hot prime included would work well. Maybe add some silicon. Most people do just use Mg ribbon but in an enclosed space an e-match with Mg and silicon added would probably do it. Look for some e-matches on eBay and find a video about how they work.

 

Regards, AP


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#6 Tom

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 07:53 AM

Thanks for the help!  I would prefer not to use termite since it can burn through metal.  I'll check out the recommendations.

 

Thanks

 

-Tom 



#7 Tom

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 08:19 AM

Thermite would definitely be a good option especially because the reaction produces little to no gas and thus the safe wouldn't be blown the pieces even if it was fully closed. To ignite the comp some type of ignitor with a hot prime included would work well. Maybe add some silicon. Most people do just use Mg ribbon but in an enclosed space an e-match with Mg and silicon added would probably do it. Look for some e-matches on eBay and find a video about how they work.

 

Regards, AP

 

What do you mean by silicon? When I search for it all that comes up is silicon cell phone cases 



#8 spectra1

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Posted 09 October 2018 - 10:09 AM

https://fireworkscoo...owder-200-mesh/

You can also find it on amazon. Just type silicon powder

#9 Mumbles

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:14 PM

One thing to remember is that if you have Mg in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space it's going to quickly use up all the oxygen around and put itself out.  For this to ultimately work out, it will likely need some sort of internal oxygen source.  Mg is a strong fuel, and can extract it from a lot of normally unorthodox oxidizers though.  


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#10 NeighborJ

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 04:52 AM

I say you could develop a NC disk as the hard drive. A simple igniter could be used to ignite it and it would burn up without smoke. Poof, government secrets gone.
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#11 Tom

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 08:57 AM

One thing to remember is that if you have Mg in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space it's going to quickly use up all the oxygen around and put itself out.  For this to ultimately work out, it will likely need some sort of internal oxygen source.  Mg is a strong fuel, and can extract it from a lot of normally unorthodox oxidizers though.  

Any suggestions?



#12 Tom

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 09:22 AM

Also if you used thermite, what could you make the safe out of so the safe itself wouldn't melt?



#13 tortoise

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 12:28 PM

You can very the amount of thermite to keep it from burning through the safe or if it were fire proof it would work.



#14 FlareLauncher

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Posted 26 October 2018 - 01:41 PM

Tom, you have been granted access to a LIBRARY of knowledge right here. Please get a cuppa coffee or a cool drink and start reading. Thats how I did it. As you read, take notes - write down questions. Many will answer themselves as you read on. This is a really nice group of folks, and most all are happy to give kind, insightful advice. If you don't have one yet, you NEED a composition notebook to take notes in. Start out with just a simple pad of paper and then you'll figure out what dividers (chapters) you'll need in your composition book. Use this place, and its resources as a learning tool. Please ask questions, and seek advice. That said, FIRST you have to know the following terms (to start with); Fuel, Accelerant, Oxidizer,Low explosive, High explosive, Brisance  and gain a basic understanding of shapes and sizes - atomized, tubular, flake, etc and what that means as far as how chemicals interact. If you're serious, find out about professional pyrotechnicians and how they have learned. Eventually, if you are a true science geek, you'll want to learn about the molecular level of chemistry (many of use find it fascinating) and releasing energy and how it happens. There is a beauty that happens when you create colors and effects and they do as you want them to. Please don't jump off into explosive stuff too fast. Everybody wants to start with flash powder, which is why there aren't as many 'everybody's' as there used to be. Learn about stars, glitter and different devices you can make easily that are fun. Good luck!



#15 Richtee

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Posted 27 October 2018 - 06:25 PM

I say you could develop a NC disk as the hard drive. A simple igniter could be used to ignite it and it would burn up without smoke. Poof, government secrets gone.

 

There’s yer answer. A sheet of NC. You could line the safe bottom with old school guitar picks.. ;)


I like smoke! On food or in the air equally well.

#16 Mumbles

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Posted 30 October 2018 - 08:06 PM

Any suggestions?

 

 

You may want to try out some less reactive oxidizers.  Plaster or iron oxide might be a good place to start.  My first thought was something like potassium nitrate, but that might not have the best shelf life.


Just so you guys quit asking, here is the link to the old forum. http://www.xsorbit2....forum/index.cgi

The sky is my canvas, and I have 2,113 pounds of powdered paint in the workshop.




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