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Iron ( Fe ) does not burn on heating however Iron filings burn vigourously when sprinkled in the flame of the burner. Why ?

Iron ( Fe ) does not burn on heating however Iron filings burn vigourously when sprinkled in the flame of the burner. Why ? 

Grade:10

3 Answers

Sumit Majumdar IIT Delhi
askIITians Faculty 137 Points
7 years ago
Dear student,
Iron wont burn in a flame as it would become glowing red hot, it forms an oxide coating, but it won't burn as it conducts heat quickly away toward the part that's not in the flame. Unlike this, in case of Iron Filings, there is even the possibility of vaporizing the metal long enough for it to support a flame. This is similar to the case when a log won't burn with a match or lighter held under it, but sawdust and wood shavings will burn easily.
Regards
Sumit
Aditya Ranjan
39 Points
7 years ago
If you stick a nail in a flame and get it glowing red hot, it will form an oxide coating, but it won't burn, because it conducts heat quickly away toward the part that's not in the flame. Particles aren't able to do that, so there is even the possibility of vaporizing the metal long enough for it to support a flame. Just like a log won't burn with a match or lighter held under it, but sawdust and wood shavings will burn easily.
Lachi
13 Points
2 years ago
Iron fillings have much more surface area as compare to iron block ....hence it will burn vigorously..another reason for this is as the iron filings are smaller they gain there ignition temperature and starts burning but the block have stronger force of attraction .hence it does not get to its ignition temperature

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