Why does steam cause severe burns?

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veneziaramirez 3I
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:07 am

Why does steam cause severe burns?

Postby veneziaramirez 3I » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:57 pm

I know he covered this in class, but I still quite don’t understand. Could someone explain please?

Alvin Tran 2E
Posts: 39
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Re: Why does steam cause severe burns?

Postby Alvin Tran 2E » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:04 pm

Water and steam can both exist at 100 degrees F. However steam also contains more heat/energy than water because of the enthalpy of vaporization needed to turn water into steam. When steam comes into contact with the skin, it is exothermic and releases heat. This also releases the heat that was necessary for the phase change.

Manvir2K
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:05 am

Re: Why does steam cause severe burns?

Postby Manvir2K » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:10 pm

Since there is more heat supplied when trying to convert water into vapor than water into liquid, steam causes more severe burns because the enthalpy of condensation/sublimation is a large value.

Merzia Subhan 1L
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:00 am

Re: Why does steam cause severe burns?

Postby Merzia Subhan 1L » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:13 pm

I also have a question about this. Why do both water and steam exist at 100 F? Doesn’t water evaporate at 100 F so wouldn’t it always turn into steam at 100F?

Kennedy Moore 1D
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:06 am

Re: Why does steam cause severe burns?

Postby Kennedy Moore 1D » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:29 pm

100 degrees is the defining number that separates steam and water. At that point, it can increase to steam or decrease to become liquid water depending on the circumstances.


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