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Heat Treating with alcohol/ethanol

52 Ford

May 20, 2021
Depends on whether hot cocoa is at hand.

[Note to self: Do not confuse hot cocoa and hot cloaca in conversation. You will be stared at funny...]

I'll try and keep both on hand

The marshmallows - not the cloaca.


Nov 29, 2016
Hmmm, I guess that it is a little on the dangerous side if the gasses created by the transformation of ethanol above 400 deg. C are flammable (H2, CO, ect.).

Thanks technocrat for the breakdown- it answers the question as I was not concerned about methanol vapor but the byproduct of the gasses.

rcoope, unless it is a very small oven then it can be dangerous- I agree. I also agree that you would have to use something with atmospheric control on something bigger.

So bear with me and tell me if I'm wrong but...:

As I see it, the major hazard is not the vapor ethanol but the byproducts of the new gases formed during the transformation which would outweigh the ethanol percentage in the kiln/oven enormously.
So on a normal kiln, if you wanted to do a quenching on parts, as soon as you open the door, introducing oxygen, then the chamber would probably ignite because of auto ignition. Auto ignition of say, H2, is 585°C and 609 deg. C for CO. Stoichiometry percentages are probably irrelevant because at some point on opening the door, there will be a ratio that will burn and there will be a hotspot in the kiln well above auto ignition temperature. I guess it would be technically safer to temper parts and leave the door closed but still potentially very dangerous.

Thanks all for the replies- much appreciated. It is good to know why not to do something as opposed to "just don't do it".