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Can an object travelling really fast catch friction?

  1. Jan 6, 2008 #1
    let's say i kicked a soccer really strong(and lets say i have insanely super human strength) , is it possible for the soccer ball to catch fire , and if it is at what speed?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2008 #2
    Let me answer you with two questions:
    (1) How hard could you kick a soccer ball without bursting it?
    (2) What material is a soccer ball made of and what happens to that material as it warms?
  4. Jan 6, 2008 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Airplanes have to be traveling about mach 2 (1400 mph) before they start to worry about airframe heating.
  5. Jan 6, 2008 #4


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    Gold Member

    If you get the soccer ball moving fast enough, it will most certainly burst into flames.

    Roll down the window on the shuttle and hold your soccer ball out in the wind during reentry, and your soccerball will quickly look like a very large, neglected marshmallow in a campfire.

    You don't have to be going that fast though, the temperature at which the soccerball bursts into flame is simply the ignition point of whatever it is made of. Leather?

    Leather has an ignition temp of 212C. (lower than I thought!)

    Now all you need so is get someone to calculate the velocity that would create that temp on an object that size and shape.
  6. Jan 6, 2008 #5
    just think of a tracer round

    which is a actual example of something flying so fast it catches fire
  7. Jan 6, 2008 #6


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    Gold Member

    What??? :eek: They're made with magnesium or phosphorus! They're not burning due to friction!!!
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