PLEASE HELP! I'm doing a physics demonstration, and in part of it I'm trying to explain why steel wool burns and normal steel doesn't. I know it's something to do with the smaller surface area and/or mass but I don't know WHY it burns because of this. Can anyone help me? I'm desperate!

A sheet of steel conducts the heat away from the localized area where the flame is so that the "spot" never gets above the combustion temperature. With steel wool, the surface area is much larger; however, the much smaller size of the wire means heat is conducted away much less (resistance is greater) and the iron does have a chance to become hotter than that necessary to start combustion.

OMG thank you SOOOOOOO much :D

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