Comparisons between radioactive and non-radioactive gas lantern mantles. Comparisons between radioactive and non-radioactive gas lantern mantles.

Lantern mantels radioactive dating, supplemental content

The mantle aids the combustion process by keeping the flame small and contained inside itself at higher fuel flow rates than in a simple lamp. The mantle shrinks after all the fabric material has burned away and becomes very fragile after its first use. All of these issues have led to the use of alternatives in some countries, usually yttrium or sometimes zirconiumalthough these are usually una alocada obsesion online dating more expensive or less efficient.

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Some nuclear safety agencies make recommendations about their use. Ignaz Kreidl worked with him on his early experiments to create the Welsbach mantle.

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This byproduct can be inhaled if the mantle is being used indoors, and is an internal alpha-emitter radio-toxicity concern. The lamp made around burned vaporised paraffin ; the vaporiser was heated by a methylated spirit burner to light.

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The mantle was converted to working form when the cotton burned away on first use. Early mantles were sold in the unheated cotton mesh condition, since the oxide structure was too fragile to transport easily. Also of concern is the release of thorium-bearing dust if the mantle shatters due to mechanical impact.

This in turn pressurised the paraffin container to force the fuel to the lamp.

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The mantle is a roughly pear -shaped fabric bag, made from silk, ramie -based artificial silk, or rayon. The fibers are impregnated with rare-earth metallic salts; when the mantle is heated in a flame, the fibers burn away, and the metallic salts convert to solid oxides, forming a brittle ceramic shell in the shape of the original fabric.

The gas mantle remained an important part of street lighting until the widespread introduction of electric lighting in the early s. Many early attempts used platinum - iridium gauze soaked in metal nitratesbut these were not successful because of the high cost of these materials and their poor reliability.

The rare-earth oxides cerium and actinide thorium in the mantle have a low emissivity in the infrared in comparison with an ideal black body but have high emissivity in the visible spectrum.

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When lit, some of the vaporised fuel was diverted to a Bunsen burner to keep the vaporiser warm and the fuel in vapour form.

The lowest visible mantle has partially broken, reducing its light output. This device was made from a cleverly produced matrix of magnesium oxidewhich did not need to be supported by a platinum wire cage, and was exhibited in the Crystal Palace exhibition of A mantle glows brightly in the visible spectrum while emitting little infrared radiation.

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Gas mantle in a street lamp cold Hot gas mantles. The "white sock" is the mantle on which the vapour burned, as yet unused. There is also some evidence that the emission is enhanced by candoluminescencethe emission of light from the combustion products before they reach thermal equilibrium.

History[ edit ] For centuries, artificial light has been generated using open flames. Mantles have a binding thread to tie them to the lamp fitting. Limelight was invented in the s, but the temperature required to produce visible light through black-body radiation alone was too high to be practical for small lights.

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The fuel was forced up to the lamp by air; the keepers had to pump the air container up every hour or so. The first effective mantle was the Clamond basket innamed after its inventor.

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After introducing this new mantle commercially init quickly spread throughout Europe. Colemanwhich initially agreed to place warning labels on the mantles for this concern, and subsequently switched to using yttrium. The modern gas mantle was one of the many inventions of Carl Auer von Welsbacha chemist who studied rare-earth elements in the s and who had been Robert Bunsen 's student.

Thorium[ edit ] Thorium is radioactive and produces the radioactive gas radon as one of its decay products. Later mantles were made from guncotton nitrocellulose or collodion rather than ordinary cotton, since extremely fine threads of this material could be produced, but it had to be converted back to cellulose by immersion in ammonium sulfide before first use, since guncotton is highly flammable and can be explosive.


These particles may also be inhaled and remain in the lungs or liver, causing long-term exposure. Despite its very short half-life, radium quickly replenishes from its radio-parent thoriumand every new heating of the mantle to incandescence releases a fresh flush of radium into the air.

Secondary decay products of thorium include radium and actinium. In the late 19th century several inventors tried to develop an effective alternative based on heating a material to a lower temperature but using the emission of discrete spectral lines to simulate white light. Unused mantles could not be stored for very long, since the cotton quickly rotted due to the corrosive nature of the acidic metal nitrates, a problem that was later addressed by soaking the mantle in an ammonia solution to neutralize the excess acid.

Safety concerns were the subject of a federal suit against the Coleman Company Wagner v. These original mantles gave off a green-tinted light and were not very successful.

Carl Auer von Welsbach's first company established a factory in Atzgersdorf inbut it failed in Later, it was discovered that a cotton mantle could be strengthened sufficiently by dipping it in a solution of collodionwhich coated it with a thin layer, which would be burned off when the mantle was first used.