Red Hot Nickel Ball on Floral Foam

YouTube member carsandwater has another mission for his beloved nickel ball. He had a request to see what a red-hot ball of nickel will do to that foam that florists use to hold flower arrangements. Now, we are used to seeing the nickel ball tear through materials as the heat melts them, but this is different. Weirdly different.  

(YouTube link)

It doesn’t so much melt the foam as it …”affects” it. Now I wonder what kind of weird chemistry went into creating that magical material. -via Boing Boing

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I think most floral foams are a foam of phenolic resin. Phenolic, especially when containing glass or cotton cloth, is commonly used as an insulating structural material in a lot of custom high voltage or high power electrical equipment because it can be machined, and it can take a lot of heat to damage it without burning. However, it can outgas a bunch of formaldehyde when decomposing from heat, so you don't usually want to be around when that happens.
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