Sulfur hexafluoride: what is it?
Recently, interest in such a chemical substance as sulfur hexafluoride has increased. This was facilitated by entertainment programs on television, among which the best known are "Good Jokes" and "Destroyers of Myths." Particularly interested in many is the fact that with the help of this substance you can change the timbre of the voice - it becomes very low. People decided that it was a great idea for parties, contests and other leisure activities. If there is a demand, there will be proposals: on the Internet it is not difficult to find announcements about the sale of sulfur hexafluoride. But, before rushing to buy this substance, it will be superfluous to understand what it is and how safe it is for a person.
Sulfur hexafluoride, it is SF6, it is also hexafluoride sulfur, it is also SF6, an inorganic chemical compound. It is known for more than 100 years and approximately the same number is successfully used by man for his own purposes. Chemical properties: inert, non-toxic, heavy gas (5 times heavier than air). The substance is absolutely colorless, has high electrical strength and high breakdown voltage. There are two possible ways of its formation - from simple substances and the decomposition of complex sulfur fluorides. Due to its physical and chemical properties, it is used as a dielectric in the electrical industry, as a technological medium - in the electronics industry, and also as an inert medium for obtaining alloys - in metallurgy. Recently, SF6 gas (short for "electric gas") is used to extinguish fires as a fire extinguishing agent. These are the main applications of sulfur hexafluoride.
But entertainment television expanded the scope of this substance and popularized it. The reason for this was his ability to change the human voice: if you inhale sulfur hexafluoride, the voice will become monstrous,unnaturally low. I wonder why this happens? It is often possible to find the opinion that SF6 acts on the vocal cords, causes their short-term edema and thus "lowers" the voice. It's not like that at all. The fact is that the vocal cords themselves do not form a loud sound. Human speech apparatus, in addition to ligaments, also includes resonators. One of these resonators is a pharynx. First of all, the environment of this resonator influences the timbre of the voice. If this environment is air, then we hear an ordinary, familiar voice. But we need to change the environment, and we will hear another, completely foreign voice. This is explained by the following principle: the lighter the gas and the faster the movement of its molecules, the higher the voice will be. And vice versa: the heavier the gas, the slower the movement of molecules, the lower the timbre. Helium is lighter than air, so when breathing in this gas, the voice becomes squeaky, very thin. Sulfur hexafluoride, as already mentioned, is 5 times heavier, and if it is inhaled, the voice will become rough and low. That's all: such an amusing effect of SF6 gas is explained by a short-term change in the medium of the resonator. The inhalation of this substance is not capable of harming the body if it does not contain foreign impurities.
If you want to buy sulfur hexafluoride, the price should not be decisive for you. Nobody argues that this is important, but health is more expensive. Therefore, buying SF6 gas, ask the seller if it is pure hexafluoride, whether it contains any other additives. This will protect you and your guests, whom you are going to entertain with SF6 gas, from unexpected and unpleasant surprises.