F-Zero Match Factory
F-Zero Match Factory

The Ignition Point of Safety Matches

Matches were invented in the second half of the eighteenth century. At that time, yellow phosphorus was mainly used as the pyrophoric agent. Because it is poisonous, it was gradually replaced by phosphorus sulfide matches. Although the latter is not poisonous, it may spontaneously ignite at any time and is quite dangerous. In 1833, the world's first match factory was formally established in Berga, Sweden. It was not until 1855 that safety matches were successfully developed and gradually adopted by countries all over the world. Matches are based on the principle of friction and heat generation of objects, using the chemical activity of strong oxidants and reducing agents to create a fire tool that can be friction and ignite.

Safety matches must be rubbed on the matchbox to ignite, even if the head of the match is hit with a hammer, it will not ignite. In the past, matches were "swipe and burn". Friction with any rough surface can start a fire, even if a mouse bites the match head, it will burn. What is the ignition point of a safety match?

The body of the matchstick is dipped in paraffin, and its head is coated with a mixture of potassium chlorate, sulfur, and coloring agent. Both sides of the box are coated with a mixture of red phosphorus and antimony sulfide. After rubbing a match head on the phosphorous surface of the box side, it ignites and burns. The ingredients in safety matches are: the match head is mainly composed of oxidizer (KClO3), combustibles (such as sulfur, etc.) and adhesives. The side of the matchbox is mainly composed of red phosphorus, antimony trisulfide and adhesive. When a match is struck, the match head and the side of the match box rub against and generate heat. The heat released decomposes KClO3, generates a small amount of oxygen, and ignites the red phosphorus, which causes the combustibles (such as sulfur) on the match head to burn, so that the match is ignited. The ignition point of a safety match should be the lowest ignition point of the substance in it-the ignition point of phosphorus (white phosphorus 40℃).

Associated Blogs
  • The History of the Matchstick
    Apr 2020
    In ancient times, people used a fire knife and flint to hit each other, and the sparks ignited the fire. This ignition method is more troublesome, especially in cold and humid weather, it is not easy ...
  • Why are Matches So Popular?
    Nov 2020
    The invention of fire brought human society into a new era. Lighters and matches came into being, which brought us a lot of convenience. Many people may have doubts, since the lighter has been invente...