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What happened to my penny?! Answered

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When I used my newly made wind shield/stand for my alcohol fuel penny stove, the penny was deformed. I was using denatured alcohol for fuel and it was burning well. After it completed my test (boiled a cup of water before it ran out of fuel and without blowing out in the wind) and I was taking it apart to see how well it stood up to the new conditions I noticed that the once shiny penny had been completely deformed. I was wondering if anyone knew how or why this happened.

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gmoon (author)2009-09-30

If it's hot enough to melt zinc, you should use a different metal as a spacer. "Galvanized fume poisoning" is a nasty side effect of breathing zinc fumes...

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lemonie (author)2009-09-27

I believe those pennies are mostly zinc, which melts at 420oC and boils at 900oC.

L

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flamethrower1010 (author)lemonie2009-09-29

but do you believe it got up to 420 in that little thing?

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lemonie (author)flamethrower10102009-09-29

Maybe, or perhaps it slowly evaporated, I notice the paint on the can has browned.

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Goodhart (author)2009-09-28

The USA penny: 97.5% Zinc and 2.5% Copper (20% lighter)

see This chart here if you know the date

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Kiteman (author)2009-09-27

UK pennies are not copper all the way through (they have a core of steel, because pure copper pennies cost more than a penny to make). Possibly you have burned off the copper, or possibly there has been an electro-chemical reaction between the copper and the aluminium of the can?

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flamethrower1010 (author)Kiteman2009-09-28

now that you mention it there was a greenish flame at one point i thought it was just something on the can could that have been it?

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