Letter | Published:

Fall of liquid metal into water

Naturevolume 254pages321322 (1975) | Download Citation



THERE is a possibility of explosions under a wide variety of conditions1–6 when liquids are rapidly mixed. When molten tin is poured from a crucible into water in defined conditions, a rapid explosive interaction takes place producing a sponge-like mass of debris7–9. We have repeated these experiments using an apparatus which provides small ( 0.25 g) and reproducible single drops of molten tin, and have been able to determine quantitatively the dynamics of the interaction by a photographic technique. Using a metal temperature of 570 K and water at room temperature metal drops were produced which entered the water in a straight vertical line but were then observed to deviate suddenly and sharply from their course without losing their pear-like shape. This metal temperature was just below that necessary to produce explosive interactions for the given water temperature.

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  1. Department of Chemistry, University of Aston, Birmingham, B4 7ET, UK

    • M. KONURAY
    • , H. B. MEAD
    •  & F. M. PAGE


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