This Is Why Compressed Air Cans Get so Cold

Ever wondered what makes compressed air cans become so freezing? Minutephysics is here to explain.
Loukia Papadopoulos

Anyone who has ever used a compressed air can, can testify to how cold they get. After all, the cans come with frostbite warnings.

You may think that this happens because when the gas comes out of the can it expands and thus cools off. However, that is not the case.

Minutephysics is here to explain what actually goes on with compressed air cans. It actually depends on how the gas expands.

The secret lies in the "do not shake" warning. It is in the liquid that is in the can. More specifically, it is a gas in the shape of a liquid.