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Old 02-05-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
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Ever have an exploding water?

I was heating water in a mug in the microwave and suddenly water exploded out of the mug in the microwave. the mug didn't have metal on it, but I found out that water can do that if the mug is too hot or water is too hot , I forget which. Anyway , from then on, I heat water in a tea kettle.

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Old 02-05-2008, 04:54 PM   #2
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Believe it is generally the problem of the vessel.

You heat the water to boiling and bubbles of vapor will form in the knicks and crannies in the wall of the mug.

Lots of knicks and crannies, lots of small bubbles. But a mug or vessel with a real smooth surface will not let many bubbles form and the water will become superheated - heated above the boiling point.

Then for whatever reason suddenly a bubble is initiated and all of that superheated water tosses steam into it and bingo the volcano effect.

You can use a lower power on the nuker and it will help prevent that.
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Old 02-05-2008, 05:57 PM   #3
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I couldn'f figure out why either so I'm careful to keep the time short.
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Old 02-05-2008, 06:06 PM   #4
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I've heard that placing something in the cup of water while nuking...a plastic spoon, stir stix, etc...will prevent it from exploding.
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ask-A-Butcher View Post
I've heard that placing something in the cup of water while nuking...a plastic spoon, stir stix, etc...will prevent it from exploding.
Yes that is correct. A toothpick is a good thing to use too. Basically you just want something where the bubbles can form.

The phenomena of water exploding in the microwave is called Super Heated Water.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:37 PM   #6
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boom

never had that happen. but was frying chicken livers last night, and they do pop. flew onto my glasses. got if off right away. noticed this morning that we the lens darkened for outdorrs. had streaks of clear where it should have been dark. will check it again and see if it still happens. good thing i need good glasses anyway.

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Old 02-06-2008, 04:04 AM   #8
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using a MW, you`ll make pockets of Super heated water (water that is above 100c) left undisturbed this pocket will eventually dispate it`s heat to the surrounding water, but if you add Any sort of nucleation site, Bubbles of steam will form and you`ll get a cascade reaction.

Think Coke and Mentos, it`s the same thing, only in this case the dissolved gas is CO2.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YT2095 View Post
using a MW, you`ll make pockets of Super heated water (water that is above 100c) left undisturbed this pocket will eventually dispate it`s heat to the surrounding water, but if you add Any sort of nucleation site, Bubbles of steam will form and you`ll get a cascade reaction.
And the nucleation site does not need to be a 'solid'.

On several occasions I super heated water in a large glass mug. Upon removing the mug from the microwave I would tilt the mug away from me slightly and give it a light 'rap' on the counter .... Voosh! .... Tap it again and smaller Voosh. Seemed to come from the center or middling areas of the water, I wasn't getting down there to look, I'm ugly enough.

I read a while back there was a theory that liquid water behaves as a solid until an external force moves it. I believe the theory was van der Waals forces formed blocks or masses in a liquid at rest. When water is disturbed the relatively weak forces are overcome and water acts like a liquid again. And that's called liquefaction or, as I like to call it, the ketchup effect.

I'm guessing the van der Waal forces need overcome for water to become self nucleating.

Sounds like a Google search.
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:09 PM   #10
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Forgot to say, I worked at a Power House/ steam plant for a while.

Gave me a new respect for boiling water and steam, especially boiling water under pressure.

I can never look at a pressure cooker the same way again.
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