The safety match was invented in 1844 by the Swede Gustaf Erik Pasch. Its combustible ingredients are divided between the match head, which is composed of sulfide and potassium chlorate, and the striking surface, consisting of powdered glass and red phosphorus. The act of striking produces enough heat to turn small amounts of the red phosphorus into white which immediately catches fire in air. A chemical reaction produces oxygen gas which, together with the heat, causes the match head to burst into flame.
The match was weighed before striking and after it burnt down on an EL204 balance. The weight difference of 0.0653 g corresponds to the part of the match that went up in flames.
METTLER TOLEDO Education Line – balances designed to discover science.