Match head rockets are fun to make.
For safety we use no more than four match heads.
We have lift off
There are many videos on You Tube describing how to make these rockets.
Here’s how we do it:
About 15 x 10 cm
But trial and error is involved
This is the rocket body
Making way for the fuel
No more than four
Don’t worry if the solid crumbles off
Experiment with a mixture of crumbles and whole match heads
Don’t let the stick fall out whilst loading
Use a second stick as a ram rod
This tail is probably a little too short
The pin forms part of the launch pad
Wrap tightly to form an exhaust tube
You can twist the foil too
Make sure the pin moves in and out smoothly
This is going to roll up
Like a party toy or tube of toothpaste
Squash the end as tightly as you can
Pliers do work
But so does biting down with your teeth
All systems go
You can vary the angle easily by pushing the end of the pin into Plasticene
The launch – Wear eye protection and stand well back
This one seemed to have too many whole match heads which shot out of the rocket quite spectacularly
Here are three more animations of another successful launch.
Students were not allowed to hold the Bunsen burner as shown.
Teachers do so at their own risk, but they must wear gloves and a full face mask if they do.
Crumbled up match head solid fuel seems to burn more smoothly
They can sometimes fly several metres
MUST WEAR GLOVES (unlike here)
The squashed and rolled up aluminium foil unwinds on launch and is puffed out
Launch pad failure
Launch pad failures are quite common and seem to occur particularly when the nose is not flattened tightly enough during manufacture or when a hole is made in the foil.
Answers to two chemical reactions last time
Equations for the reactions are:
iron + sulfur –> iron sulfide
Fe + S –> FeS
copper (II) oxide + carbon –> copper + carbon dioxide
2 CuO + C –> 2 Cu + CO2
Both reactions give out a lot of heat and this can be seen by the intense glow which continues even when the external heat source is taken away. Reactions which give out heat like this are called exothermic reactions.
Here are some pictures of the products. First the iron sulfide:
We had to smash the test-tube to get the product out of this one
Unfortunately, it was still attracted to a magnet, typically due to unreacted iron filings
The fused lump of product probably consists of iron sulfide plus unreacted iron filings and some sulfur
Here is the product of the thermal reduction of copper (II) oxide with carbon:
Brown coloured copper metal is produced