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Jul. 27th, 2006 @ 07:41 am It was Spontanious Combustion I Tell Ya!
That didn't work for long when I was a kid either...

I've been making great mounds of sawdust but was putting off putting it in a trash can in case someone threw a drink or something wet in there.

It would be like wet bales of hay in a barn I kept thinking and then I remembered blowing the lid off of coffee cans in science class with a candle, straw, and powdered sugar...

A pile of sawdust will smoulder like a pile of leaves, but if it is fine enough and dry enough and dispersed in a cloud, the ratio of wood to O2 will be pretty optimal for a flash explosion.

Fine Sawdust

Sawdust

Two

Sawdust Go Boom


free invisible hit counter


Basically how a bunker buster works.

I wonder if any buildings have ever gone up because someone was sweeping the floor?

This might be a job for MythBusters!
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From:jhimm
Date:July 27th, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
(Permanent Link)
i believe they did do an episode
which included that kind of phenomena,
although i believe they were looking at baking flour
or something else similar.

its a fun trick, isn't it?
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From:senseless
Date:July 27th, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)

I needed a break...

(Permanent Link)
Yeah something so inert...
From:chriswheeler
Date:July 27th, 2006 01:25 pm (UTC)

Re: I needed a break...

(Permanent Link)
I thought that the explosions with grain silos was more to do with methane given off by the grain, rather than dust.

I like the photos btw.

So...whats the candle, straw and sugar thing?
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From:jhimm
Date:July 27th, 2006 01:31 pm (UTC)

Re: I needed a break...

(Permanent Link)
i think i remember now...
they were looking at spontaneous mill explosions or something.

or maybe that was on Good Eats...

anyway,
flour mills used to spontaneously explode.
that's why.

apparently the particulates themselves
and what they're made out of
are largely unimportant,
its more about them being small enough
and dispursed thoroughly enough
to simply create "jump points"
for the combustion of the oxygen to move through the air.