The Science of S’mores

Ah, Memorial Day weekend. If you have a pool, it’s now open, and the chemical equilibrium dance begins. If you’re fashion-conscious, white pants are now in season…until Labor Day, anyway, which is the same weekend that most pool owners get their chlorine balance just right.  What I’m getting at is, if there are four seasons where you live, this past weekend was the Official Start Of Summer™. Which makes it a great time for picnics, nature hikes, landscaping projects, and parades.

Yes; parades. Lest we forget (and, looking at all the flags and yellow ribbons around my neighborhood, few if any do), Memorial Day is a time for solemn remembrance of true patriots who gave it all, so we could have it all. And remember we did: Friday, our local elementary school had their annual Memorial Day Parade, and my Cub Scout Den had the privilege of helping introduce all the veterans in attendance. They worked in pairs: one Scout passed the microphone; the other shook the veterans’ hands and thanked them for their service. On Monday, we participated in the Vietnam Veterans of America Post 649’s Memorial Day Vigil, commemorating our area’s fallen heroes. As their names were read, we placed flags on white wooden crosses that, coincidentally, my oldest son’s Boy Scout Troop helped place in the field on Saturday morning.

At my home, we wrapped up the nice, long weekend with a grill-out and a fire. As fate (inasmuch as fate put them on the shopping list) would have it, we had a bag of marshmallows, some Hershey bars, and a box of graham crackers. You might know that these are the basic ingredients for that paramount outdoor treat known as a S’more. If not, here’s an instructional video:

Now, I’m a perfectionist when it comes to the “roasting of the mallow” – when it’s golden brown, and starts to sag on the stick, it’s done. If it catches fire, that’s a failure to launch, and we’re back to step one.

In my midst of my quest for the perfect roasted marshmallow last night, I started to think about the physics of heat transfer, and how I might be able to quantify a method that would produce consistent and superior results. I know; “YOU’RE KILLING ME, BOWMAN!”  I hate to admit that some things are just more art than science; more finesse than formula; more madness than method…but here we are.

It can be the same with compressed air applications sometimes. I’m not talking about the quantifiable ones, like specifying a Cabinet Cooler System, or replacing open-pipe blow-offs with engineered products. I’m talking about how many Super Air Knives and/or Nozzles and/or Air Amplifiers it takes to blow the water off parts of a dozen different shapes, exiting a degreasing spray booth. Or how long will it take a Vortex Tube to cool machine welded parts, passing on a conveyor? And what size/how many Vortex Tubes will it take to do it in half the time?

If you have questions like these about your use of compressed air, we want to help find the answers. Our 30-Day Unconditional Guarantee is the safety net if our initial offering doesn’t perform as you expected. When it works as good as it looked on paper, we’re always keenly interested in Case Studies. And if you help us out with some data, we’ll share bragging rights, and, maybe just maybe, something from the co-op’s desk. No promises, but I’ll try my level best.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax

One thought on “The Science of S’mores

  1. Sounds like an excellent way to honor Memorial Day. Happy to hear people focusing on the reason, not just the time off. Oh, and I’m partial to mine with just a little black on them :)

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