Door 16: Steel wool fire

Why you shouldn't throw batteries in the junk drawer!

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Be careful where you store batteries and steel wool! 

NB! This experiment must not be done indoors. Experiments must always follow the safety rules that apply to laboratory experiments. Remember protective gloves and goggles.

You need: 

- safety goggles and gloves  

- Steel wool without soap 

- A 4.5 v battery 


1. Wear safety goggles and gloves 

2. Pull the steel wool slightly so that it is loosely packed 

3. Hold the steel wool against the poles of the battery 

4. It immediately begins to sparkle and burn 

The electrical resistance of a conductor depends on the cross section. The thinner the conductor, the greater the resistance. The metal wires in the steel wool are so thin that the resistance develops heat and it begins to burn. Be careful where you store batteries and steel wool!