The reaction of thermite requires the oxidation of metal oxide. The oxide-shaped metal should have lower potential for reduction than the iron. Because aluminum has a strong affinity to oxygen and its oxide, Al2O3 is a highly exothermic compound, it is chosen as metal.Thermite reaction requires metal oxide reduction.
Exothermic reactions between a metal and a metal oxide means thermite, between metallic elements means intermetallic, and the combustion of metals (metal oxidation reactions) are extremely useful sources of energy production. In order to properly contain the thermite reaction, the reaction is carried out in refractory-lined cylindrical steel vessels, or pots. These pots vary in size and diameter-height proportion depending upon the alloy being smelted. A thermite reaction involving the aluminum MCV assembly, metal particles, and metal oxide particles was the most likely cause of ignition.