Can Chemicals Cut Through Hardened Steel?

In summary, there are various chemicals that can quickly eat through steel, such as a thermite reaction or royal water. However, the effectiveness of these chemicals depends on the type of lock and the method of application. It is important to handle such chemicals with caution.
  • #1
wolram
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I have a bet that no chemical can cut through hardened steel like in the movies, will i loose?
 
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  • #2
There are some wicked reagents out there that can eat steel up pretty quick. Could you better define how you mean by 'in the movies'?

Not to mention stuff like a Thermite reaction that can quickly melt through steel just using gravity and a glob of molten hot iron and aluminum.
 
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  • #3
LtStorm said:
There are some wicked reagents out there that can eat steel up pretty quick. Could you better define how you mean by 'in the movies'?

Not to mention stuff like a Thermite reaction that can quickly melt through steel just using gravity and a glob of molten hot iron and aluminum.

The secret agent has a phial of chemical , that will cut through the lock in seconds.
 
  • #4
I don't know about exact rates, but a vial of freshly prepared http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_water" could probably do it pretty quickly. Of course, this is ignoring the problems of applying the reagent to the lock, and is assuming something like a padlock where it could be poured directly onto the small locking arm to eat up/weaken that enough that it can be snapped off by hand.

Injecting it with a pipette into any other kind of key lock would certainly wreck the mechanism, but may or may not make it easier to open...
 
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  • #5
Royal water is good if you can heat it; at cold is better to have more HNO3 than HCl and add also HF; with this mix you can dissolve easily (but not as quickly as in movies) even stainless steel.
Don't breath the acid vapours.
 

Related to Can Chemicals Cut Through Hardened Steel?

1. Can chemicals really cut through hardened steel?

Yes, certain chemicals have the ability to cut through hardened steel. These chemicals are known as acids and are typically very strong and corrosive in nature.

2. How do chemicals cut through hardened steel?

Chemicals cut through hardened steel by dissolving the iron-based compounds in the steel. The acids react with the iron, breaking it down and weakening the structure of the steel.

3. What are some examples of chemicals that can cut through hardened steel?

Sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and nitric acid are some of the most commonly used chemicals for cutting through hardened steel. Other chemicals such as phosphoric acid and hydrofluoric acid can also be effective.

4. Is it safe to use chemicals to cut through hardened steel?

No, it is not safe to use chemicals to cut through hardened steel without proper training and safety precautions. These chemicals are highly corrosive and can cause severe burns if not handled carefully.

5. Are there any alternative methods for cutting through hardened steel?

Yes, there are alternative methods for cutting through hardened steel such as using specialized cutting tools like plasma cutters or laser cutters. These methods are typically safer and more precise than using chemicals.

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