It's a terrible idea to try to extinguish burning metal with a water or CO2 fire extinguisher. Steve Mould shows why.
Subscribe for regular science videos from the Ri: http://bit.ly/RiSubscRibe and be sure you check out Steve's channel - https://www.youtube.com/stevemould
The working principle of a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher is that it starves a fire of oxygen. However, carbon dioxide itself has two oxygen atoms for every one carbon atom, and in the case of metal fires, the burning metal strips CO2 of its oxygen atoms, thereby adding more oxygen to the mix. It's even worse with water fire extinguishers, as when the oxygen atoms are stripped, only hydrogen remains, which is in itself explosive.
The correct way to put out a metal fire is with a powder fire extinguisher that covers the fire entirely with non-reactive powder.
Link to the chladni figures video Steve recommended - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR_XL192wXw
Link to this video without any music - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LvuH3D7CCo
A very special thank you to our Patreon supporters who help make these videos happen, especially:
Alessandro Mecca, Ashok Bommisetti, bestape, David Lindo, Elizabeth Greasley, Greg Nagel, John Pollock, Lester Su, manish upmanyu, Osian Gwyn Williams, Radu Tizu, Rebecca Pan, Roger Baker, Sergei Solovev, and Will Knott.
The Ri is on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TheRoyalInstitution
and Twitter: http://twitter.com/ri_science
and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/royalinstitution
and Tumblr: http://ri-science.tumblr.com/
Our editorial policy: http://www.rigb.org/home/editorial-policy
Subscribe for the latest science videos: http://bit.ly/RiNewsletter