After people learned about phosphorus, they used the principle that phosphorus can rub against and ignite, and invented a very unsafe match, and later invented a safety match that is still in use today. So how to use matches to ignite safely? What are the advantages of safety matches? Below we will give you answers one by one.
When humans invented matchsticks, the main raw material for making matchsticks was yellow phosphorus. The ignition point of yellow phosphorus is extremely low, and it is too sensitive to ignite. It will catch fire as soon as it is rubbed, and it is easy to cause fire. Some people call it friction matches. At the same time, yellow phosphorus itself is toxic. Ingestion can endanger life. When it burns, it will produce toxic gas and endanger human health. Therefore, some people call yellow phosphorus friction matches as unsafe matches.
The match head of the safety matches is composed of red phosphorus and antimony trisulfide, while the side of the match box contains glass powder and potassium chlorate. This design is to separate the strong oxidizer from the strong reducing agent to achieve safety.
When the matchstick is struck, the glass powder increases friction and generates a certain temperature locally. The potassium chlorate decomposes to liberate oxygen. With the help of oxygen, the antimony trisulfide starts to burn, releasing more heat and transforming red phosphorus into white phosphorus and burn. Light the match. The peculiar smell that you smell when you strike a matchstick is sulfur dioxide produced by the combustion of antimony trisulfide.