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Peter Nguyen 2I
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am


Postby Peter Nguyen 2I » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:18 pm

Can someone explain why steam causes more severe burns than water? I'm still a bit confused on that

Sydney Tay 2B
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:20 am

Re: Steam

Postby Sydney Tay 2B » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:26 pm

According to the heating curve for water, the graph indicates that steam occurs when water reaches a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or higher. This means that it contains a greater amount of heat as compared to boiling water which maxes out at 100 degrees Celsius. The more heat energy something has, the more severe burn it will leave.

Faith Fredlund 1H
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

Re: Steam

Postby Faith Fredlund 1H » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:31 pm

Steam causes more severe burns than water because for liquid water to become steam, it has to undergo a phase change during which there is a large absorption of energy (the phase change is an endothermic reaction). When water burns skin, it simply releases the amount of heat/ energy contained in the liquid into the skin until the temperature of the skin and the water have equalized. For steam to do this, it must undergo a phase change back to liquid water before it can reduce the temperature of the liquid. This means, all the the energy and heat required to turn liquid water into steam is absorbed into the skin from the reverse reaction being exothermic, and on top of that, the excess heat in the liquid droplets must also be absorbed into the skin, as in the case where it was just a liquid water burn.

Mhun-Jeong Isaac Lee 1B
Posts: 54
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:17 am

Re: Steam

Postby Mhun-Jeong Isaac Lee 1B » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:41 pm

It helps to take a look at the phase change graphically. You would see that there is a lot more energy involved as the steam condenses to liquid. This heat energy, which is significantly greater than the energy liquid water holds, is being absorbed by the skin causing severe burns.

Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:15 am

Re: Steam

Postby isarose0 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:56 pm

When steam touches your skin it releases around eight times as much kJ of energy than if boiling water were to touch your skin based on waters phase change graph.

Sheridan Slaterbeck 1J
Posts: 62
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:27 am

Re: Steam

Postby Sheridan Slaterbeck 1J » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:12 pm

Also think about how fast steam phase changes back to liquid on your skin, because the process happens so fast it releases a very large amount of heat energy in a very short amount of time. If it was released over a longer period of time, it wouldn't be nearly as harmful.

Posts: 63
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:18 am

Re: Steam

Postby chrisavalos-2L » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:26 pm

Steam causing more of a burn than water because in the vapor phase the water must release more energy quickly in de-vaporizing and then still has to transfer the energy to the skin which is sufficiently more than that of boiling water

Aiden Atoori 1C
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:24 am

Re: Steam

Postby Aiden Atoori 1C » Sun Jan 27, 2019 8:25 pm

Steam will produce more severe burns than boiling water because steam has more heat energy than water due to its latent heat of vaporisation.

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