Spontaneous Combustion Explained: Don't Wear Wool Shirts With Nylon Jackets

from the just-saying... dept

Really not quite sure what to make of this story, which seems to have all the elements normally associated with an urban legend. GMSV points us to a Reuters piece describing a man in Australia who made the fashion faux pas of the century. He didn't just clash... he clashed electrically speaking. According to the story, the combination of his wool shirt and synthetic nylon jacket worked up enough static electricity to scorch the world behind him, even setting his office carpet on fire. The guy didn't realize it was his fault until after the firemen evacuated the building in search of the cause of the carpet fire, he noticed that stuff in his car was scorched as well. The firefighters claim that the combination of the shirt and jacket were tested, showing a current of 40,000 volts, "one step shy of spontaneous combustion." Now, if only he could learn to use those powers for good, instead of evil...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Howard, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 1:23pm

    current

    Current is measured in amps, not volts. Turn in you nerd badge when you leave.

     

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    Chris, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 1:35pm

    No Subject Given

    Wheres snopes.com when you need it :)

     

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    identicon
    AnyMouse, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 2:06pm

    Fashion Nerd vs. Tech Nerd


    If you can get 40kv from rubbing wool and polyester together, why do you need a backpack?

    MjM

     

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    identicon
    Venuko, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 2:26pm

    No Subject Given

    I guess the energy crisis is no longer an issue!

     

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      identicon
      DJ-Panic, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 2:45pm

      Static electricity

      That's a BS story, a balloon on your arm hair can produce 100KV, so his 40KV could in no way set the place on fire.

      check this link out for all the yummy details
      http://amasci.com/emotor/voltmeas.html

       

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        identicon
        William Whitney, Sep 17th, 2005 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Static electricity

        40kV IS enough to light something on fire, as is 12kV. the voltage DOESN'T MATTER, only the AMPERAGE does, as far as ignition is concerned.

         

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          identicon
          Speaking of amperage.., Sep 17th, 2005 @ 4:59pm

          It's all about the current.

          Short out a 1.5V AA NiCd battery with a paperclip sometime, the paperclip will glow red hot within seconds, and the battery will get pretty hot too. That's just 1.5V but NiCd batteries can deliver an assload of current. (Warning; this is quite dangerous. Batteries can explode when abused like this. You might want to wear safety glasses and heavy gloves.)

          You know that big bright arc you get when welding? There's only about 10V between the work and the electrode, but typically 50 to 150Amps of current.

          When you walk over carpet on a hot, dry day you'll regularly build up 40KV of static charge. Touch a doorknob and it hurts, but nothing is likely to catch fire.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 16th, 2005 @ 11:04pm

    come on now

    Techdirt has been "passing" lately on a lot of interesting stories. I even submit them now and then and never see them get posted. Then crap like this shows up, which is almost certainly not true - but even if it were, WHO CARES?
    let's go back to being above-board and relevant here...

     

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    identicon
    Jeremy, Jun 17th, 2009 @ 12:44am

    Batteries can explode when abused like this.
    translation service

     

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