In an incident reported recently, a Grade 10 class was heating magnesium powder on a tin lid which was sitting on wire gauze supported by a ring clamp. The teacher, who was newly qualified, gave a group some more magnesium from the stock bottle, putting it onto an already hot lid. The powder sparked back into the stock bottle and the teacher took it immediately to the front bench. He tried to scoop the burning powder into the sink. When this did not work, he put the bottle into the sink and used water. This also failed, so he then tried a dry powder extinguisher (Class ABC). Probably the force of the jet blew some magnesium powder into the air, where even more ignited, flaring up, burning the teacher’s hand, and setting fire to paper in a waste container.
Learning by Accident – The Magnesium Powder Accident
Categories: General Interest