The Chemistry of Thermite


  • Thermite is a multi use compound that when activated will produce extreme heat that is able to melt steel. I chose to do thermite because I enjoy watching things that burn, and thermite interested me on how it works and what it’s purpose was.Composition of ...
    • How: Thermite is formed when a human being mixed iron oxide and aluminum powder
    • What: Fe2O3 + Al powder = Thermite powder
    • When: thermite was discovered in 1893
    • Why: Thermite is used to make “thermite iron” an almost carbon free version of iron, used in the welding of railroad ties.
  • Where: across the world both in military and civilian use

Main Chemicals, Compounds, Components


Red Iron Oxide(Fe2O3)

    • Aluminium a Metal on the periodic table
  • Red iron oxide is an oxidized form of iron

Chemistry's Role

Chemistry is involved in making thermite by the process of oxidation of the iron and is used in the reaction with electronegativity because aluminium has a higher electronegativity, it takes the oxygen from the iron oxide.

The 2 main components in thermite are iron oxide (naturally occurring) and aluminum powder(Man-made by crushing aluminum)

Chemistry is involved more in the reaction of thermite and not as much in the creation.





How to make it

Davis Raymond,Frey Regina, Sarquis Mickey, Sarquis Jerry; Modern Chemistry; Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 2006 version (Not a link)

The Book we use in class


About the Author

Gregory Bonner is a junior at Senior High School. He enjoys learning about how Chemistry affects his life everyday. He has lettered in Football and will be going to Montana State in 2 years.