Blowing Up Capacitors
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We got the chance to play around with a Phantom high speed camera and decided filming electrolytic capacitors blowing up would be a great subject. So we setup a table, power supply, and some lights and started the explosions. We used some old 330uf electrolytic capacitors, which were unvented and reversed biased them. After a few seconds the electrolyte boils and builds up enough steam pressure to blow off the can. Estimated speeds from watching the film puts the can at around 300mph after they explode.
Don’t blow up capacitors on purpose, steam, metal, and (depending on the capacitor, paper in our case) will go flying everywhere. We took all the usual safety precautions, filming from a distance behind a shield, goggles, fire extinguishers, etc.