Watch as a can of silly string is crushed flat by a hydraulic press. Learn about some of the history of silly string. Did you know that it was reported that in 2006 silly string was used by American and British soldiers to see otherwise invisible tripwires in Iraq! After reports of soldiers using silly string to expose trip-wires purpose it became widely searched on the internet for the chemistry behind how silly string really works.
We expose some of the chemistry of silly string by explaining the basics of aerosols using propellants that evaporate when they are no longer under the pressure of the can. Freon 12 was first used in the original patent for silly string. However, it depleted the Ozone layer so it is no longer used as a propellant in silly string.
After the science and background of silly string is briefly discussed, then it is the hydraulic press's turn to smash the silly string. As the hydraulic press presses down on the silly string, it sprays out more and more until the pressure of the can equilibrates with the ambient pressure. Then watch in fast motion again as the silly string can is crushed. Then watch again in reverse motion in case you missed anything.
Finally, a recap is made of the whole event. The silly string did not explode as you would expect a pressurized can to do. However, it did spray out its entire contents and then was crushed flat by the press.
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