When He Placed A Red Hot Ball Of Nickel On A Block Of Foam, I Never Expected This To Happen!
When I think about someone placing a red hot nickle ball on anything, I automatically assume that the red hot ball will melt through anything it touches.
This video by RHNB, which shows the RHNB causing a weird reaction in floral foam (which, incidentally, is a lot of fun to jab with your thumb), is the best RHNB video yet.
#2 The Floral Foam
The floral foam is a phenolic foam, which is basically expanded phenol formaldehyde resin that is formed by reacting – you guessed it – phenol with formaldehyde.
Many polymers, when burned, give off volatile hydrocarbons which then combust with the air, creating a chain reaction in which the heat from the combustion burns off more of the polymer, giving off more volatile hydrocarbons etc.
Keep reading ahead to see the video.
#1 The Video
In the case of phenol formaldehyde, however, the chain reaction spreads slowly (hence the need for a time lapse) because phenol formaldehyde already contains a significant amount of covalently bonded oxygen (i.e. already partially oxidized), so less heat is released per mole of the polymer, which significantly reduces the speed of the chain reaction.
Another thing is that the byproduct of the thermal degradation of the floral foam, the black stuff you see, is char. The char serves as a sort of fire retardant, slowing the chain reaction by decreasing the amount of heat that reaches the untouched phenol formaldehyde.
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