RE: Stupid users (was Re: Is there a term for this?)

Subject: RE: Stupid users (was Re: Is there a term for this?)
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 13:46:25 -0500



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Peter Neilson
>
> On Fri, 10 Feb 2012 12:08:43 -0500, Lion Internal
> <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com> wrote:
>
> > ...
> > And if any of you guys out there are dealing with sensitive data,
> avoid
> > SSDs at all costs, no matter what system you're using (more info
> here:
> > http://nvsl.ucsd.edu/sanitize/).
>
> Could use about 5500K. That's a temperature, not a unit of storage.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Please read through, at least one time, before starting.
You will need:

- well-rusted iron or steel
- some scrap aluminum (alloy will work, but purer is better)
- a thin strip of magnesium (high-school chem labs used to have this)
- a scraping tool or tools
- [optional] a container of heavy, inert gas
- a ceramic bowl, preferably narrow for its height, or at least with an inside-bottom that slopes to center
alternatively, if you can find one, an old insulator for high-voltage electrical lines or transformers is excellent and might already have a suitable hole
- a drill with a bit suitable for ceramic/glass (size, around 1/4 inch, not much smaller... could go as big as half inch)
- a small patch of tissue paper (a corner of a Kleenex is fine)
- BBQ lighter
- really dark sunglasses or welder's goggles

Scrape or grind as much rust as you can off the iron. Keep the rust powder. Discard the steel or iron. You want at least several spoons-full of nice, finely-granular rust. Any more than a cup (250ml) is excessive for the current task. Finer is better.

Scrape or grind the aluminum to create a powder; again, at least several spoons-full. If you have the optional container with heavy inert gas, store your aluminum powder under a pool of the gas - this is just to keep oxygen away, and not critical. Again, the finer the powder, the better.

Drill a hole, roughly 1/4 inch or half a centimeter(-ish) in diameter through the center bottom of the ceramic bowl.
Place the tissue over the hole.
Mix, thoroughly, your powdered aluminum and your powdered iron oxide (the rust), and pour the mixture into the bowl. The tissue should keep the powder from flowing out the hole.

Insert a strip of magnesium a few inches long (several centimeters), into the powder. It should stand approximately vertical. The positioning and alignment are not critical - you just want the tip easily accessible an inch or two above the surface of the powder, and at least an inch of magnesium strip buried into the powder.

Place the crucible ... er... the bowl of powdered aluminum and iron oxide with its little spike of magnesium ... on top of the drive that needs erasing.

Don your dark glasses.

Use the BBQ lighter to start the tip of the magnesium strip burning. You'll know when it catches...

Stand back.
No, further.
Avoid looking at the burning magnesium if you aren't using welder's goggles. This won't take long.

When the magnesium flame reaches the powder, it should bring some of it to a temperature sufficient to strip the oxygen from the iron and allow that oxygen to begin recombining with the nearest aluminum (i.e. burning it). It might be best to avoid breathing the smoke that results... you aren't doing this indoors, are you?

Compared to normal household interactions, once established, this is a strongly exothermic reactions. Perhaps we should have listed a fire-extinguisher in the tools-and-materials section. It wouldn't stand a chance against the primary reaction, but it might save nearby combustibles

The growing puddle of molten iron and burning aluminum (any that doesn't become smoke) soon hits the bottom of the powder, obliterates the tissue, and begins flowing down the hole and onto the drive, which turns to slag, as well as emitting various nasty airborne partially-combusted phenols and other noxious substances (the guts of your former drive). You are standing UP-wind, aren't you?

Depending upon the quantities you used, the products of the reaction might easily pass through the offending drive, the table it was sitting on, the floor beneath the table... we could go on, but we know how much work it was to gather and prepare even that much of the required ingredients, so anything below your floor or patio is probably safe (-ish).

We hope you have safely and happily, possibly even a bit gleefully, enjoyed your own practical demonstration of Thermite in domestic use.

Thank you, and go let those nice firemen in, before they break something expensive.







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References:
Re: Stupid users (was Re: Is there a term for this?): From: Steven Jong
Re: Stupid users (was Re: Is there a term for this?): From: Lion Internal
Re: Stupid users (was Re: Is there a term for this?): From: Peter Neilson

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