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Melting metal

  1. Mar 3, 2008 #1


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    I have a bet that no chemical can cut through hardened steel like in the movies, will i loose?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 3, 2008 #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.
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2008
  4. Mar 3, 2008 #3


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    The secret agent has a phial of chemical , that will cut through the lock in seconds.
  5. Mar 3, 2008 #4
    I don't know about exact rates, but a vial of freshly prepared http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_water" [Broken] 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....
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  6. Mar 6, 2008 #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.
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