YuKonstruct has had a few Don’t Try This At Home workshops and this week’s topic was Thermite Casting!

Thermite is a combination of metal powders that create an exothermic reaction at an extremely high heat. What remains after the reaction, is metal “slag” and solid iron. We attempted to make iron paperweights during the workshop using this process.

We each created our own mold using casting sand and little plastic toys inside wooden frames. We then took the two metal powders and mixed them together in a container. We filled a clay planting pot with the powder, lit an igniter, and stood back a safe distance with a welding mask to watch the reaction.

The product of the reaction pooled into the mold and gave us the paperweight. Some worked better than others. Regardless of the final product, the goal of this workshop was the learn about thermite and safely experiment with lighting it up- and we did that!

YuKonstruct has more workshops from the Don’t Try This At Home series so stay tuned on our events page!