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Old 22nd March 2010, 07:53 PM   #1
Cassiel is offline Cassiel  Libya
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Default Capacitor explosion.

Big one.

YouTube - Capacitor explosion, up close and personal.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 07:58 PM   #2
rknize is offline rknize  United States
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His face was right there. He is lucky to still have one.

Something to be said for vented caps.

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Old 22nd March 2010, 08:10 PM   #3
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We had one go off at my local radio club...it went off like a rocket! All the insides spooled off like toilet paper, and luckily no one was injured. Those electrolytics can be scary!

Especially for old ones, reforming caps (and carefully watching the current) is a good idea. Don't let it get past a few milliamps!

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Old 22nd March 2010, 08:20 PM   #4
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Wow, wouldnt like to clean up that mess.
I wonder what the exact reason was why it blew up in such a spectacular way.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 08:25 PM   #5
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I rarely use safety glasses when I'm working at the bench, but when circuit energy gets higher on unproven circuits I throw them on every time.

This is a good reminder that's it's a great idea for older malfunctioning power circuits too.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 08:28 PM   #6
rknize is offline rknize  United States
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I didn't see a variac in the video.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 08:29 PM   #7
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"I wonder what the exact reason was why it blew up in such a spectacular way. "

Some of those old caps have no vents and have gone so long without power that what used to be a capacitor with oxide film on the plates become more of a set of plates in an electrolyte which soon becomes partially vaporized from the part functioning mainly as a resistor.

They used to make hot water heaters without pressure release valves too. That was abandoned as well.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 08:38 PM   #8
Loren42 is offline Loren42  United States
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Ounce per ounce they have the same explosive power as dynamite.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 08:40 PM   #9
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I've had a number of close calls with low power circuits and little reverse biased off-brand caps too. They are supposed to have vents but the stamping on the top of the can is critical and if they get some improperly adjusted dies the section that is supposed to rip doesn't and the whole can will jet right off the rubber plug. I've had them go past my face and stick right into the drop ceiling. You can always check for heat or unexpected current. It might take a few minutes for launch.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 08:47 PM   #10
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Quote:
They used to make hot water heaters without pressure release valves too. That was abandoned as well.
I remember the Mythbusters episode where they purposely blew one of these up...very impressive/scary
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