Aluminum: It burns


#1

Continuing the discussion from Video of Coke cans being devoured by lava:

You are correct that aluminum does not change color as it is heated, but it most definitely burns. I worked as an union aluminum MIG and TIG welder for a few years. As a welder if you hold the heat in the same place for to long the aluminum just burns away. This is what is known as burn through. Thermite, a mixture of Aluminum and Iron Oxide three (rusted iron) leaves behind molten iron when ignited by burning off the aluminum and the extra oxygen in the iron. Many explanations of this can be found on YouTube.

Also: Aluminium is a silvery white metal. The surface of aluminium metal is covered with a thin layer of oxide that helps protect the metal from attack by air. So, normally, aulumium metal does not react with air. If the oxide layer is damaged, the aluminium metal is exposed to attack. Aluminium will burn in oxygen with a brilliant white flame to form the trioxide alumnium(III) oxide, Al2O3.
Source: http://www.webelements.com/aluminium/chemistry.html


#2

It makes an interesting rocket fuel too. The idea being that you land on The Moon or Mars or wherever and make the fuel there rather than having to bring it with you.


#3

Burn through is obviously when the aluminium melts away as you heat it. The temperature you need for the aluminium to actually catch on fire is not something you want to be anywhere near.


#4

I remembered HMS Sheffield sinking eventually after being hit by a missile in the 1982 Falklands Thing. News reports at the time said the aluminium structure burned due to the heat of the explosion from the nasty Exocet missile the naughty French sold to the naughty Argentinians.

But that was wrong, it wasn’t made of aluminium, apparently. And the missile didn’t seem to have detonated. It was a French missile though.

But! My researching was made worthy by the discovery that the crew of the ship sang ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’ as they waited for rescue.


#5

Seriously? your digging a hole for yourself. I even provided a link for you. I can tell you from experience that when you burn through aluminum with a welder the material is gone rather than melted away from the hole. Then extra material must be melted into the hole to replace the material that was lost.


#6

Your link showed nothing of the sort, but now you’re making me curious. What’s the chemical reaction that happens?


#7

Surely you are trolling and not worthy of my time. Good day.


#8

Well, I just wanna know what temperature you’re welding at that could get the stuff to burn, when we couldn’t get aluminium to catch on fire at 1000deg C.


#9

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