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Is steam visible?

Strictly speaking, steam is invisible. The term is properly applied to the transparent gas or vapor into which water is converted when heated to the boiling point. The visible mist commonly called steam, which consists of minute droplets of water in the air, is not formed until the water vapor has cooled and condensed.

Steam is very hot. If you have ever taken the lid off a pan when cooking and burned your hand with the steam that "races" from under the lid, you know this to be a fact. When building anything that contains steam such as a steam generator for power or pumping water, be very careful of the steam. Just running your hand over steam escaping from a pipe could blister your skin.

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