Chemical hand warmer

Chemical hand warmer

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Credit: MARTYN F. CHILLMAID/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Chemical hand warmer. This product consists of a pad containing a supersaturated sodium acetate solution. Supersaturation is where a chemical is present in a solution in high concentrations, normally sufficient to crystallise out of solution. However, this chemical can remain supersaturated at room temperature until it is activated by pressing the small metal disk (lower right). This prompts nucleation and crystallisation, releasing heat. Unlike other types of heating pad, this one can be heated and reused, as the process is reversible.

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Keywords: adult, caucasian, chemical hand warmer, chemistry, close-up, crystallisation, detail, exothermic, hand, hands, heat, human, male, man, materials science, nucleation, palm, people, person, re-usable, school science, sodium acetate, warming, white

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