Mystery of Fizzing Gas Duster - Videos Included

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    Gas Mystery
In summary, the hissing sound is caused by gas bubbles that form under the convex base of the gas duster can.
  • #1
PuzzledMonkey
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TL;DR Summary
Why does a gas duster "fizz" when put down but stop when held?
While using an ordinary gas duster (difluoroethane) to clean some electronics, I noticed something weird (see linked videos):
  • After spraying the gas duster and placing it on a hard surface e.g. countertop, the can emits a fizzing noise.
  • Picking up the can causes the fizzing to stop.
  • The process is repeatable i.e. putting the can down starts the fizzing again. This occurs even if the can is placed down very gently.
  • The duster can feels cold to touch, but not painfully so. I'd estimate the can surface temperature as between 0 and 10 C.
  • Difluoroethane has a normal boiling point of -25 C, but the can is pressurized so it could be liquid inside.
  • The fizzing sounds similar to a soft drink, suggesting that the contents could be liquid with some gas bubbles inside.
This is counterintuitive. If the difluoroethane is normally a cold liquid, the heat of my hand or motion of lifting it could vaporize some and cause it to bubble. But what I observe is the exact opposite: removing the hand causes fizzing, while holding the can makes the fizzing stop.

What is going on here?

Gas duster video 1
Gas duster video 2
 
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  • #2
Is it possible that the hissing is not coming from the can per se, but from the condensation trapped under the convex base? Set the can down, trapped air escapes; lift the can up, no trapped air.
 
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  • #3
DaveC426913 said:
Is it possible that the hissing is not coming from the can per se, but from the condensation trapped under the convex base? Set the can down, trapped air escapes; lift the can up, no trapped air.

I tried placing the can on its side instead of vertically and sure enough, the noise went away! But this raises another question... while I have no doubt that water is condensing under the convex base, typically condensing water doesn't make the fizzing/bubbling noise that can be heard in the video. Here's a new video with the can on its side.
https://photos.app.goo.gl/ips3kutWC3hCKHFz7
 
  • #4
PuzzledMonkey said:
... typically condensing water doesn't make the fizzing/bubbling noise that can be heard in the video.
I was thinking in terms of it bubbling through the imperfect seal between the can and the table.
 
  • #5
This is likely due to the fact that the countertop has a much larger thermal mass and thermal conductivity to air. More heat equals more boiling. Does placing your hand on the bottom also cause the hissing sound?

BoB
 
  • #6
Obviously Satan is in that can!
 
  • #7
Here is another gas duster mystery: Where does the hissing sound comes from?



(Sorry, I really had another definition of a 'gas duster' when reading the title. It might not be ordinary, but it uses a lot of gas and a blower is involved! :smile:)
 
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  • #8
jack action said:
Here is another gas duster mystery: Where does the hissing sound comes from?
Sounds like the Gilmer belt (toothed belt) driving the blower. (or a bearing about to seize!)
 

Related to Mystery of Fizzing Gas Duster - Videos Included

1. What is the "Mystery of Fizzing Gas Duster"?

The "Mystery of Fizzing Gas Duster" refers to a phenomenon where gas dusters, commonly used for cleaning electronics, emit a loud fizzing noise when used. This has puzzled many users and sparked curiosity about the cause of this sound.

2. What causes the fizzing sound in gas dusters?

The fizzing sound in gas dusters is caused by the rapid expansion of compressed gas inside the can. When the trigger is pressed, the compressed gas is released, and as it expands, it creates vibrations that result in the fizzing noise.

3. Is the fizzing sound in gas dusters harmful?

No, the fizzing sound in gas dusters is not harmful. It is simply a byproduct of the compressed gas expanding and does not pose any health risks. However, it is important to use gas dusters in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling the gas.

4. Can the fizzing sound in gas dusters be prevented?

No, the fizzing sound in gas dusters cannot be prevented as it is a natural result of the gas expanding. However, some gas dusters may have a different nozzle design that can minimize the noise level.

5. Are there any other uses for gas dusters besides cleaning electronics?

Yes, gas dusters can also be used for removing dust and debris from hard-to-reach areas such as keyboards, vents, and camera lenses. They can also be used for removing lint from clothing and cleaning delicate objects such as collectibles.

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