[AMPS] Re: carbon tracks

George T. Daughters gdaught6@leland.Stanford.EDU
Tue, 5 May 1998 08:52:56 +0008

hi all,

jon wrote,

> EVERY and I mean EVERY arc that I have ever seen leaves plenty of 
> carbonization around the area where the arc occured. 

i've only seen a couple of these, but a question occurred to me:  
where does the carbon come from? 

are the black tracks made by rapid decomposition of atmospheric CO2?  
i doubt it, but i don't know!

is it really carbon?  most *metals* appear black when they are finely 
enough divided.  i suspect that silver and copper (i.e. switch 
materials) get "sputtered" by the arc, and in their very small 
particulate form are black, rather than their "normal" colors.

go polish some silver... the rag gets black
go polish some gold...  the rag gets black

just some mental meanderings re a question which i never considered 

any thoughts out there?  and finally... does it matter?


George T. Daughters, K6GT

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