Nagpur is hot and this year, it is hotter than ever. All Nagpurians are used to scorching summer heat. This heat can melt plastic sheets and even cook food. Recently, the cement road network has added to the concrete jungle and rising temperatures.
Can you imagine, however, that this heat could burst car window glasses?
A car was parked in a hospital parking lot last week in Nagpur. Around 1.30 PM, a pressurized can that was in the car exploded, the magnitude of the explosion causing the front and rear window glasses of the car to shatter.
Thankfully, the car was parked with no passengers in or around it, so nobody was injured. It was a truly miraculous escape because the family that owned the car had, only a day ago, travelled to Shegaon where the temperature had been 46 degrees Celsius.
What is the science behind this?
Pressurised aerosol cans do burst when heated, hence they carry a cautionary note to not throw them in an open flame. When aerosol cans are exposed to direct sunlight, temperature increases, which agitates the particles in the can. The gas particles start moving faster and faster, thus building up the pressure. Therefore, one should never throw an aerosol can onto a fire or leave it in direct sunlight – even if it is empty. This is because the pressure will build up so much that the can will explode.
What can we do?
Apart from taking care to dispose of aerosol cans properly, we should take care that if your car has any such cans, park it in the shade. Also, lower the windows a couple of inches, so that the pressure does not build up inside the car.
We often ignore incidents like these, thinking of them as isolated events. But it can happen to anyone, and sharing this knowledge is the best way to avert any untoward accidents of this kind.
Title image: DNA