HDD Self-Destruction: Attempt 3


First, a little back-story. Even after building my first two self-destruction rigs I had quite a bit of thermite left over. After a few years the aluminum seemed to be getting pretty oxidized, so I decided to use the rest on one last HDD self destruct rig.
The thermite jet from attempt No. 2 seemed to work pretty well, so built a scaled up version for part 3.

The housing is just 2 chunks of 2x4 with a 1.5in hole drilled through them, enclosed on each end with 3/8in plywood. On the side you can see some of the reinforcing screws I added across the grain.
Here's another shot of the container, the edge of the nozzle is visible at the bottom.
Here's a shot of the combustion chamber's nozzle from underneath.
This is the ignition mixture. As with my other thermite projects I used powder from fireworks as the primary igniter, but this time I cut it 50/50 with some smokeless powder.

The smokeless doesn't do anything to light the thermite (it doesn't burn hot enough), but I was running low on pyrotechnic powder at the time, so I added it in hopes of getting the most out of the pyrotechnic powder I did have.
To set off the primary, I used a short length of ni-chrome wire.

In a pinch I could probably have used a strand of steel or copper wire instead. As long as it glows red-hot when powered, it'll work fine.
Drew Pilcher © 2013 -