Thermite was a pyrotechnic composition of metal powder fuel and metal oxide. When ignited by heat, thermite undergoes an exothermic reduction-oxidation (redox) reaction. Most varieties are not explosive but can create brief bursts of high temperature in a small area. Its form of action is similar to that of other fuel-oxidizer mixtures, such as black powder.
Thermites have diverse compositions. Fuels include aluminium, magnesium, titanium, zinc, silicon, and boron. Aluminium is common because of its high boiling point and low cost. Oxidizers include bismuth oxide, boron oxide, silicon oxide, chromium oxide, manganese oxide, iron oxide, iron oxide, copper oxide, and lead oxide.
The reaction is used for thermite welding, often used to join rail tracks. Thermites have also been used in metal refining, demolition of munitions, and in incendiary weapons. Some thermite-like mixtures are used as pyrotechnic initiators in fireworks.
On several occasions JB Dix has created thermite explosives to defeat powerful enemies.