Banana Hammer – the science behind

News Hour:

You’ve heard of a banana lounge, but the banana hammer? Our friends at UNSW Science explore the science behind the fruit tool you won’t find at Bunnings.

Materials:
  • 2 Bananas
  • balsa wood board
  • a nail
  • Liquid Nitrogen
  • cryo gloves
  • crucible tongs
Key points:
  • A banana is mostly made of water. Water is a liquid.
  • The room temperature banana is too soft and mushy to hammer in a nail. Imagine trying to hammer in a nail with a water balloon.
  • Freezing the water in the banana is one way to make it a better hammer.
  • The water molecules in the banana start to slow down when you make them cold.
  • They start holding onto each other more tightly, like the volunteers in the earlier demo.
  • When the molecules get cold enough, the water in the banana becomes a solid (ice).
  • With a frozen banana, the nail can easily be hammered because the solid water is much more rigid and tough than the liquid.
Warnings:
  • DO NOT reach into the LN2 with the cryo gloves. The LN2 soaks into the gloves right away and traps it near your hand.
  • Use the crucible tongs to fish the banana out of the LN2 (it sinks to the bottom).
  • Always use the cryo gloves when handling the frozen banana (or pieces of it, if it breaks up)
  • The banana may break when hammering in the nail if it was left in the LN2 too long. About 30 seconds to a minute is a good amount of time.
  • Make sure the kids don’t grab pieces of banana. It stays cold for a long time, and will hurt their hands.

 

Rafiuzzaman Sifat

Md. Rafiuzzaman Sifat, a CSE graduate turned into journalist, works at News Hour as a staff reporter. He has many years of experience in featured writing in different Bangladeshi newspapers. He is an active blogger, story writer and social network activist. He published a book named 'Se Amar Gopon' inEkushe boi mela Dhaka 2016. Sifat got a BSc. from Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh. He also works as an Engineer at Bangla Trac Communications Ltd. As an avid traveler and a gourmet food aficionado, he is active in publishing restaurant reviews and cutting-edge articles about culinary culture.
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