Tuesday, 16 June 2015

These Guys Like Pucks

With the ongoing experiments being done on our favorite piece of hockey equipment, the next experiment might result in the mushroom cloud seen to the left. We've seen our trusty scientist on YouTube, known as CarsandWater, put a hockey puck through a number of rather extreme tests already, and our amateur physicist is back with another grueling test for the little puck that refuses to be destroyed. The red-hot ball of nickel was no match for the vulcanized rubber of the hockey puck, and we saw it withstand the super-cooling of liquid nitrogen as well. Today? CarsandWater turns up the heat in a big way.

If you really want to turn up the heat, thermite is an appropriate compound to use. Industrial uses see thermite used for welding together railway segments and for welding together electrical and telecommunication lines on towers. The high temperatures that thermite burns at can be used in small spaces, making thermite welding a safe and easy job when done right.

The most common type of thermite, as seen in our video below, is iron thermite. Iron thermite can reach temperatures of 2500°C when ignited, so to say that this little experiment is far more dangerous than the last two would be an understatement. When lighting the iron thermite, a ribbon of magnesium is inserted into the thermite and lit on fire. As it burns down, it heats the thermite causing a chemical reaction that gives off heat. A lot of heat, apparently.

What will it do to a hockey puck made of vulcanized rubber?
Well, the puck certainly took a bigger beating than in the previous experiments, but it didn't actually lose its shape. As stated in the red-hot ball of nickel experiment, vulcanized rubber can withstand higher temperatures, but who knew it could withstand 2500°C?

If you're keeping score, that's Puck - 3 and Science - 0.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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