Match igniting

Match igniting

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Credit: LAWRENCE LAWRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Match igniting. Fingers holding a match as it ignites. The chemical end of the match (head) has been rubbed (struck) against the abrasive strip (brown) on the matchbox. The frictional heat caused by rubbing the match head against the abrasive strip ignites a layer of the chemical phosphorous trisulphide, which burns at low temperatures. This in turn ignites the rest of the match head, usually made from paraffin and combustible chemicals. Safety matches, such as this, have the phosphorous trisulphide on the abrasive strip, which prevents the matches igniting by accident.

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Keywords: abrasive, alight, box, burning, chemical, chemistry, combustion, energy, fire, flame, hand, head, heat, holding, hot, ignite, lighting, lit, match, matchbox, matchstick, phosphorus trisulphide, stricking, strip, wood

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