Rusty Balls
Have I ever shown you my balls.  No?.  Well I got a set of balls you won't believe.  Now it's not what
you are thinkng!.  Noooo not those balls, that's not what I meant, where is your mind.  You've heard of
buns of steel, now I have balls of rusty iron!  when I slam these balls together not much happens
if I cover one with a sheet of aluminum foil - bang - that's the thermite reaction !
This reaction  has caused numerous explosions on barges carying fuel - when they would suction them
out for cleaning - the tips of the wands were at one time made of aluminum
Chemical reactions are most often exothermic, like Dan's rusty balls - where they give off energy.  Most
everything in our lives is the result of a chemical change.
If you would like to have your very own pair of Rusty Balls - we will ship you a pair,
ready to go complete with instructions on how to perform the demo, tips on what to say
during your lecture, a CD with slides and video clips for your powerpoint to accompany
the demo, a pair of safety glasses...
the cost is $65 - send us an email with your name & shipping address to:   
testtube@ix.netcom.com
then click on the link to the right to pay with PayPal
Thank You and enjoy your Rusty Balls
The Thermite Reaction is an absurdly exothermic reaction - producing
temperatures in excess of 4500 degrees F.
 When you take one of the Rusty
Iron Balls, wrap it with a sheet of aluminum foil and then smash the two balls
together.....a loud crack, a mini-explosion, sparks flying.... you can feel, hear,
see, smell, the power of this oxidation-reduction chemical reaction... Who
would of thought, some simple rust, iron(III) oxide could pack that much
power?  The thermite reaction is so hot it melts the iron and the aluminum...
The reaction can then move even faster as it takes place in the liquid phase -
the oxygen jumping ("a single replacement reaction") from the iron to the
aluminum...
By smashing the two balls together we are able to overcome the
Activation
Energy
so the reaction can proceed....the iron loses the oxygen to the
aluminum, iron is reduced, aluminum is oxidized!