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Author Topic: aluminum foil and bathroom cleaner, can the mixture be explosive  (Read 97239 times)

Offline telesound

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Like I said, Chemistry used to be fun.
Our Grammar school Chemistry teacher inspired us to enjoy science by doing wacky stuff and even he blew the school lab up several times.
The real thing teaches you to be careful better than any book.
I still have all my fingers and eyes because of that.
Never lose your curiosity Nic  but lets be careful out there.
 

another_someone

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Like I said, Chemistry used to be fun.
Our Grammar school Chemistry teacher inspired us to enjoy science by doing wacky stuff and even he blew the school lab up several times.
The real thing teaches you to be careful better than any book.
I still have all my fingers and eyes because of that.
Never lose your curiosity Nic  but lets be careful out there.

I agree, but the important thing is that you had someone there to give you advice about safety rather than just leaving you to do it all on your own, and find out the hard way.

In any event, I'm not sure it is now that easy for a layman to get hold of the concentrated acids you need to make nitrate based explosives (too many people would like to make explosives for purposes more malign than merely curiosity - like blowing up underground trains).
 

Offline telesound

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Apart from our slightly bonkers Chemistry teacher, I had no advice about safety from anyone.
My dad worked at a place where he knew people who worked in the R and D labs and they freely gave him him materials and equipment to encourage his young son in Chemistry .
I had the best chemistry set in the country!
I am not saying that young people should pursue a "Jackass" approach to being blown up to see what it feels like.
I learnt by my mistakes and developed a special sense of when what I was doing was dangerous which I could not have achieved by books.
It has stood me in good stead in laboratory jobs and in my own present business of electronic design. Electricity hurts and components can explode.
I don't want young people to get hurt but I am also not a fan of the nanny state where kids are frightened of and protected from everything.
The best teacher is experience, pain and personal achievement.
Most great discoveries were by someone saying "I wonder what would happen if......" ,  not lets just repeat what is in the book.
Just a quick note about safety, one of my more nerdy,less cool hobbies was stamp collecting and the standard technique for seeing watermarks was immersing the stamp in benzene.
Benzene fumes have now been found to be extremely carcinogenic so actually stamp collecting has turned out to be pretty dangerous and I might die of cancer in later life!
Blowing myself up with my chemistry set looks pretty safe compared to that.
As for getting hold of nitrate based materials, farms are a good and easy source. Never seemed to be much of a problem for the IRA.
Various industrial processes use strong acids so thats no problem either..
Anyway, if I were a techno-terrorist I would go the nerve gas or biological route.
Plague, anthrax or ebola make explosions look amateur.
And with virtually all our fighting forces committed abroad,(some say the government should be committed instead)  we are defenceless.
 Sorry, getting a bit cynical in my old age.
 

Offline lightarrow

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Apart from our slightly bonkers Chemistry teacher, I had no advice about safety from anyone.
My dad worked at a place where he knew people who worked in the R and D labs and they freely gave him him materials and equipment to encourage his young son in Chemistry .
I had the best chemistry set in the country!
I am not saying that young people should pursue a "Jackass" approach to being blown up to see what it feels like.
I learnt by my mistakes and developed a special sense of when what I was doing was dangerous which I could not have achieved by books.
It has stood me in good stead in laboratory jobs and in my own present business of electronic design. Electricity hurts and components can explode.
I don't want young people to get hurt but I am also not a fan of the nanny state where kids are frightened of and protected from everything.
The best teacher is experience, pain and personal achievement.
Most great discoveries were by someone saying "I wonder what would happen if......" ,  not lets just repeat what is in the book.
Just a quick note about safety, one of my more nerdy,less cool hobbies was stamp collecting and the standard technique for seeing watermarks was immersing the stamp in benzene.
Benzene fumes have now been found to be extremely carcinogenic so actually stamp collecting has turned out to be pretty dangerous and I might die of cancer in later life!
Blowing myself up with my chemistry set looks pretty safe compared to that.
As for getting hold of nitrate based materials, farms are a good and easy source. Never seemed to be much of a problem for the IRA.
Various industrial processes use strong acids so thats no problem either..
Anyway, if I were a techno-terrorist I would go the nerve gas or biological route.
Plague, anthrax or ebola make explosions look amateur.
And with virtually all our fighting forces committed abroad,(some say the government should be committed instead)  we are defenceless.
 Sorry, getting a bit cynical in my old age.
To get concentrated acids is a thing, to get concentrated acids with enough purity is another. Purity, Exact control of temperature in every moment, purification of the products from acids immediately after the reaction and many other things are required; substances like that can go off For no reason at all. What kind of experiment can you do in such conditions?
 

another_someone

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I do agree that experience is the best teacher, but it has to be done in a step by step way, where you have some degree of unknown and a great deal of already known to guide you by.

I too do not like the nanny state, and I don't say that I am pleased about all the things one cannot obtain any longer (even getting simple nitrates, or concentrated hydrogen peroxide, can lead you into trouble); but at the same time, I do think when people start messing with this kind of stuff (not the simple nitrates, but concentrated acids), they should find a mentor that can provide some guidance (even if you did not think much of your school teacher, I'm sure your father did give you some guidance, at least until he was happy to think you could be left on your own to try things).
 

Offline rosalind dna

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Ever heard of Elbow grease, I have and no chemicals needed.

LOL LOL LOL
 

lyner

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The people who these 'nanny' rules protect are not 'us'. 'We' are responsible enough not to blow ourselves up or ruin our lungs. It's the 'others' who need protection.
?
 

Offline shockwavemikey65

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true
I know foil and draino will explode!
 

Offline lightarrow

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i heard that if you put bathroom cleaners (tub and shower cleaners, countertop cleaners, ECT.) and aluminum foil in a bottle and let the mixture sit the bottle will explode. is this true
I know foil and draino will explode!

But the same if you, e.g., mix vinegar and marble powder (calcium carbonate) or lemon juice and baking soda, ecc. ecc. and close the container. Do you really have to think to such strange things as Al and draino?
 

Offline Lab Rat

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get draino or caustic soda (NaOH) and mix it with aluminum balls and water in a bottle, put on the lid shake it and stand back.
I have always been one for controlled combustion reactions and explosions for demonstrations/experiments, but...

I, personally, would strongly discourage taking the time to stand there and shake a bottle that will explode in a short amount of time.  Instead, this time should be used to get as far from the bottle as possible to avoid severe or permanent damage to the eyes, especially, and the rest of your body caused by flying droplets of corrosive chemicals and pieces of plastic that have now been turned into projectiles.

I have read on the Internet where a lady somewhere lost an eye (I think) and had severe damage done to her face because she was not far enough away from a dry ice bomb when it exploded.  May have been same story, can't remember, but a person was severely injured when they shook a dry ice bomb and it blew up while they were still holding it.  (Sure dry ice bombs aren't the same as what is discussed here, but this could be considered even more dangerous because you have the added danger of flying corrosive chemicals besides the force of the blast.)

So basically, I suggest not to try this unless you know what you are doing and/or have a very large area, away from people, structures, etc., to utilize to do this experiment.  Please excuse me if this article seems a bit overprotective and long-just don't want someone who doesn't know what they are getting into being injured by this experiment.
« Last Edit: 28/11/2012 21:20:35 by Lab Rat »
 

Offline SorryDnoodle

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While all of these suggestions are fine, perhaps except nitroglycerin, which you probably should't try out in your kitchen, due to it exploding just by looking at it the wrong way I will suggest Flash powders

Flash powders are the following: Dry, stable, and leave very low amounts of residual "Stuffery" behind to clean up, blowing up a bottle filled with Sodium hydroxide is probably a pretty bad idea, as it is very toxic and will kill you if ingested, or blind you if you get it in your eye.

The only downside is that the ingredients you need aren't really found at your local mall, well some of it may be depending on where you live.

Potassium Nitrate, Sulfur and Magnesium powder, mix that together at pretty much any ratio and you've got your self a pretty explosion, I did this a little while back and uploaded it to video anyone interested in watching.

I didn't record any ratios because I was simply experimenting on my own, but it was 92 grams if my memory serves.

Happy cheming, but seriously, be careful and use long ignition cords, this stuff will kill you or maim you badly if done wrong, this cannot be said enough time.
I crapped my pants when I found out this little bomb by mistake the first time.
 

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