You know the drill by now: Guy with the funny accent and the hydraulic press puts something under an oppressive amount of PSI, thing smooshes, we enjoy. The latest upload to Hydraulic Press Channel is no different, except that we’re guessing you didn’t know that metal could straight up explode.
The channel isn’t specific as to what the ball bearing was made of, but we’re willing to guess based on the shower of sparks it created. Some metals like iron, aluminum, and titanium are pyrophoric; they ignite when exposed to air. But you’ll notice that aluminum sheets aren’t just exploding all around you. Pyrophoric metals only ignite when they are powdered, thinly sliced, or otherwise have their surfaces area(s) radically and rapidly increased. You’ve probably seen it happen before — ever seen a muffler scrape against the road as an old junker rattled along? Remember the sparks? Those where pieces of metal, effectively powered by the contact with the road, spontaneously igniting in air. Pyrophoricity is the same reason a flint works.
So, under enough pressure, the ball bearing in the video above shatters, and creates tiny pieces of metal that ignite in a shower of sparks. It’s a lot of science packed into just a few milliseconds of destruction.
What should Hydraulic Press Channel smoosh next? I’m not sure it gets any better than a horrific hemorrhaging water melon inside of a motor cycle helmet, but maybe you’ll think of something better in the comments below.
Images: Hydraulic Press Channel