OpenStudy (anonymous):

Why does cotton combust and catch on fire after you add superglue to it?

4 years ago
OpenStudy (anonymous):

Did you see this on youtube?

4 years ago
OpenStudy (anonymous):

Yes.

4 years ago
OpenStudy (anonymous):

Is it just a chemical reaction or something greater?

4 years ago
OpenStudy (anonymous):

Well, have you tried it yourself? I doubt it would catch on fire. The video looks like it was edited, right before we see the cotton ball on fire. However, when we pour superglue onto a cotton ball, it does make the cotton warmer. Heat is released. Cotton is fluffy and airy. It has a lot of surface area. You can think of SURFACE AREA the amount of surface that actually comes in contact with the air. Since cotton has a great amount of SURFACE AREA, there's more space for the superglue to spread, when you pour it onto the cotton. And when superglue spreads quickly, it cools quickly. Whenever anything cools, it releases energy, in the form of heat. When water cools, for example, it can release enough heat, until it has so little heat that it turns into ice. Well, since the superglue cools so quickly, it gives off a lot of heat, all at once. And that makes the cotton warm. But again, I doubt that the cotton ball would erupt into flames. Maybe you ought to try it.

4 years ago
OpenStudy (anonymous):

Thanks for the help.I'll try.

4 years ago
OpenStudy (anonymous):

Yeah be careful. If you touch the superglue, you're screwed.

4 years ago
OpenStudy (nottim):

if you do, use petroleum jelly. Or, if you really don't care about your skin, nail polish removver

4 years ago
OpenStudy (koikkara):

lol...luckly, i din't smell the fume......this can be the most dangerous to do, please do not try it unless all safety precautions are undertaken. ie awareness of flames and possible toxins given off by the fumes.

4 years ago
OpenStudy (koikkara):

Since the reaction gives out heat, the cotton bud therefore gets hot (and as it becomes hotter so the reaction goes faster etc), and it may get hot enough to catch fire. I wouldn't like to guess what the fumes might be, as I don't know which out of the cyanoacrylate or the cotton bud would break down first, and to what extent any nasties would be burnt before evaporating...

4 years ago
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