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» Economics » Fire » Topics begins with M » Match

Page modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 15:41:27

A match or a match is a to the Anfachen of fire. By rubbing the ignition head against a rubbing surface it ignites and brings themselves with it the to burning.

The first practically applicable matches came at the beginning 19. Century on the market. In the initial phase they contained toxic materials like white phosphorus or lead connections. There are safety matches for approx. 1850.


Friction match

Friction or over all matches can be ignited from each rauen surface. They contain phosphorus and potassium chlorate, which react with one another when rubbing and which inflame match. Since they catch fire also inadvertently, for example by against each other presses of the match heads in the matchbox, nowadays nearly only safety matches are available.


can be ignited only from special A self igniting is almost impossible thereby.

The ignition head contains sulfur (sulfur wood) or antimony tri sulfide as reducing agent and potassium chlorate as oxidizing agent, as well as additives such as glue, paraffin or coloring material. The rubbing surface consists of a glued mixture made of glass powder and red phosphorus. The usually Espenholz, is soaked with paraffin, in order to improve combustibilities. The impregnation with water-soluble phosphate salts like e.g. ammonium hydraulic gene phosphate (S.A. fire-ex. powder) prevents a

By painting the ignition head at the traces of the phosphorus remain sticking to the ignition head. The mixture from red phosphorus and chlorate is already with light pressure highly explosive (Armstrong mixture), leads however in these traces only to the safe inflammation of the inflammable materials and finally the

Storm match

This form of the match is used gladly with the Campen or Trekking. In the trade available storm matches are often additionally water resistantly finished.

Beside usually the ignition heads coated with only little sulfur or antimony sulphide there are further variants, how for example long furnace matches (up to 30cm length) or so-called the "Bengali match" or also "safety storm match", which possesses the length of of a usual furnace match, but to the half with redoxierendem material (sulfur or antimony (III) - sulfide) is coated.


With sulfur soaked probably however already gave it in China at the latest around 950, in 6. Jh. this enzndeten themselves during smallest contact and were in 13. Jh. at least in Hangzhou usually. In the Middle Ages similar sulfur woods were at the same time far common in Europe, which with glowing scale sponge, which inflamed was ignited by spark impact. The conditions for the development of the matches were the discovery of the white phosphorus by processing of urine 1669 by that Hamburg Alchimisten H. fire and potassium chlorate 1786 by the Frenchman Berthollet. Beginning 19. Century appeared the on the market, which made the first safe chemical ignition possible. In the ignition head of these were potassium chlorate and sugars, which inflamed with a droplet sulfuric acid. Since they were dipped in practice simply into the corrosive acid, spraying were possible. The was replaced therefore gradually from the actual matches.

In the year 1827, four years after the development of the first lighter, the English pharmacist John Walker the first modern match invented. He discovered that itself a mixture from antimony (III) - sulfide, potassium chlorate, rubber and strength by friction at a rough surface ignite. These matches had several problems - the flame burned irregularly and the burning match caused an unpleasant smell.

The Frenchman Charles Sauria could repair these disadvantages 1831 by additive of phosphorus. Industrially phosphorus matches were then manufactured starting from 1832 by the German Friedrich Kammerer. Their easy self inflammability was problematic. Because of admixtures of white phosphorus the production of the matches was extremely health-endangering, until the Swedish chemists Gustav Eric Pasch and Karl Frantz 1844 replaced the white phosphorus completely by red phosphorus. The separation of the phosphorus from the ignition heads into the led 1850 to the development of the safety matches.

From 1930 to 1983 a national ignition goods monopoly existed in Germany.

See also



  • Alfons Bujard: Ignition goods. Survival press, Radolfzell 1910. (Repr. 2002). ISBN 3831139482

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