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Super glue and cotton

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Super glue seems to react with cotton or wool to give smoke and fire. But, why does this happen.

Is the -oh groups from cellulose causing the cyanoacrylate to harden or something ?

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Super glue seems to react with cotton or wool to give smoke and fire.

 

Video evidence, please. [/MacGyver]

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It doesn't light fire to my cotton T-shirts, canvas jeans, wool gloves, wool hat, kitchen towels, etc.

 

Edit in: apparently I've been lucky - Wiki uses the phrase "powerful exothermic reaction".

 

Epoxy glues do heat up a bit during the catalyzed reaction (simply scaling up the catalyst quantity linearly when mixing big batches can be kind of dangerous, actually - a lot of heat pretty quick). But super glues as ordinarily termed don't have separate catalysts to make that mistake with.

Edited by overtone

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I really don't like how tightly the camera is pulled in as the cotton catches fire. It suggests to me that an open flame somewhere nearby was applied to provide combustion. I think this video is faked.

 

I think this would lead to a major recall of the product if it were true. Have you tried this yourself?

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I really don't like how tightly the camera is pulled in as the cotton catches fire. It suggests to me that an open flame somewhere nearby was applied to provide combustion. I think this video is faked.

 

I think this would lead to a major recall of the product if it were true. Have you tried this yourself?

 

The smoke from the superglue is dangerous, so no way I'm trying this. Well it's on wikipedia and many other site, so as surprising as it may seem, it is legit.

is another video if you are interested.

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There's definitely an exothermic reaction taking place. I'm just skeptical that the first video didn't use something besides glue and cotton to initiate the combustion.

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There's definitely an exothermic reaction taking place. I'm just skeptical that the first video didn't use something besides glue and cotton to initiate the combustion.

 

I agree. I found it hard to believe at first as well. So, what kind of exothermic reaction due you think it is ? I cannot find any answers online.

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I agree. I found it hard to believe at first as well. So, what kind of exothermic reaction due you think it is ? I cannot find any answers online.

 

Here's an interview with the Mythbusters that covers cyanoacrylates. It could be that the first video used baking soda as an accelerator to make the cotton burn.

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Here's an interview with the Mythbusters that covers cyanoacrylates. It could be that the first video used baking soda as an accelerator to make the cotton burn.

Possibly, apart from the fact that bicarbonate of soda is quite good as a fire extinguisher.

Why is anyone here having problems with the idea that super-glue on cotton wool acts this way (at least sometimes)?

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Why is anyone here having problems with the idea that super-glue on cotton wool acts this way (at least sometimes)?

 

I didn't contest that it can happen. I just don't think the first video showed combustion legitimately. Way too many opportunities for editing, and the final shot was so tight they could have had an open flame near the cotton to start the fire.

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Superglue is a monomer.

It's fairly pure ethyl cyanoacrylate.

It reacts with itself.

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The adhesive action of super-glue releases heat when it forms bonds to the material, causing smoke. Don't know what exactly happens on a chemical level. I was wiping up super-glue that I'd spilt on my desk, using toilet paper, it got so hot that I burnt my hand, dropped it, then it started to smoke.

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Is it possible that the cotton is not part of the initial reaction but just increases the speed of the reaction due to the large surface area, and then catches fire from the heat.

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Is it possible that the cotton is not part of the initial reaction but just increases the speed of the reaction due to the large surface area, and then catches fire from the heat.

 

Yeah I'd say that's probably right. The large surface area definitely plays a big part in the energy build up and lots of heat release. The cotton probably doesn't react at all, the super-glue merely adheres to it, as it does to anything else, which is an exothermic process.

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[...] it's on wikipedia and many other site, so [...] it is legit.

Wiki sometimes contains plain rubbish, which spreads to the Web widely and quickly.

 

I consider the anaerobic detonation of cyclopropane to be such a rubbish from Wiki: the explanations and mitigation methods are not believable, no single independent source (MSDS...) tells of brutal decomposition, and cyclopropane has been used for decades in fridges. Though, the article has been translated as is and copied everywhere.

 

Which does not change my admiration and thankfulness for Wiki.

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