Wilkey I could use your opinion on this...

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
I remember you posting in Brewmeister's thread about splitting wrappers that it happens to you a lot when smoking in your garage in winter. Well last night I had a cigar I was really looking forward to practically explode in my hands :( And wanted to see if you think what happened to me is the same thing. And add a speculation of my own to why it happened.

The cigar was a present from our Finland brother Ekans and had close to 2 months humidor time at a steady 65% in my humidor.

A beautiful Arturo Fuente Chateau Fuente



Prelight the cigar showed no signs of having been over humidified, no swollen foot or cracked wrapper and had a slight springy feeling to it.

I was smoking in a room that was heated to 10°c by a standing electro-heater and was extremely dry (no humidifier or pot of water on the heater) due to the fact its a smoking room in the making and is awaiting new panelling and flooring to be installed (We are starting to put up the panelling on Saturday)

I lit up the cigar and every thing was fine but about one inch in Double D and I both heard it at the same time, a (relatively) loud ripping sound and the cigar wrapper ripped from the ash all the way up to the band. The cigar's innards were totally exposed and swollen and soft to the touch.

Double D's cigar and the R&J Havana I had smoked about 2 hours prior to the Chateau Fuente (and was stored in the same humidor RIGHT NEXT to the cigar that exploded) were not at all affected.

Now looking at the cigars we smoked that night that had no problems and comparing them to the Chateau Fuente we noticed only one big difference.

Both of Double D's and my R&J had thicker wrappers, the Chateau Fuente's wrapper was thinner than single-ply tissue paper.

So I'm thinking that the extremely dry air in the room sucked so much moisture out of the cigar so fast that the extremely thin wrapper Fuente uses on the Chateau Fuente couldn't handle it. And as I think back to all the cigars I have smoked that split in very much the same way as this one did, they all had extremely thin Connecticut - Shade wrappers. I've hardly ever had a splitting problem with a Sungrown or Maduro wrapper.

So my thinking is this, I should save all my Connecticut - Shade cigars for warm rooms with a bit of humidity in winter or for summer smoking.

To have a smoke I really was looking forward to trying for the first time turn to trash in my hand was a crappy ending to an otherwise pleasant evening.
 

Bill Clinton

Part of the Ron Jeremy Generation
Yup, you are right. That's why your cigar exploded. The wrapper was too thin. I had that happen to me with cheap bundled cigars that had the Conn. shade wrapper on them too while basking in the sun during the summertime.
 

Ginseng

Banned
Shawn,

I think your explanation is essentially correct. Here are the salient points as I see it based on your account. I would also like to hear what other folks have experienced as far as the thickness of the wrapper of cigars that have unravelled or cracked.

1. Moistened tobacco is more elastic than dry tobacco. More precisely, moisture in the wrapper will shift the yield/fracture point on the stress-strain curve. Mechanical engineers, please chime in. The effect can be illustrated by the following example: A dry piece of uncooked lasagna noodle is quite brittle, especially in tension (meaning pulling the noodle from its two ends). However, soak it overnight (you don't even need to cook it) and it will swell with water and become much more flexible. You will be able to grab the ends and stretch it slightly whereas doing so with the dry noodle would cause it to fracture well before the same degree of stretching is achieved. This is the key and leads to the second point...

2. A dry room will quickly drop the equilibrium moisture level in tobacco. It's commonly quoted that "wet" cigars contain about 14% humidity. This level is pretty low already and as the wrapper is so thin and light, very little needs to be driven from the leaf, (probably on the order of mere milligrams) to push it into the range where it will become brittle. Especially problematic is the fact that you were using a radiant heater. If the heater was directed toward the smokers, then the infrared radiation will directly warm and more rapidly dry off the wrapper, and unless you roll you cigar as you smoke it, one side will be preferentially affected. This effect spells the beginning of trouble and part two of the one-two punch is as follows...

3. Warm tobacco expands. More to the point, warm tobacco will also absorb more moisture as it expands. As is the case with most any material, making tobacco warmer will cause it to expand. However, in a cigar, the situation is slightly more complex with this complexity potentially resulting in a greater risk of splitting. The reason is this: Not only will tobacco expand slightly in thickness and across the flat dimension, the tobacco is stacked. The net result of this stacking is to add up stresses which result from expanding leaves that are physically in contact with each other. Try to visualize it this way:

You have a stack of 100 sheets of paper. Now, let's pretend that pushing the top sheet 1mm to the right hand side simulates the expansion of that piece of leaf. Ok, 1mm is not a lot. Now, push the second sheet 1mm. Then the third and so on. After 25 sheets have been pushed, the top sheet will be 1 full inch out from the stack. Of course, in the real case the additive effect is not always in the same direction nor are all filler leaves aligned and in perfect and intimate contact with each other. If this were true, the majority of all cigars would split under any condition.

Now, as for how your cigar split.

3. When hollow pipes fail, they split lengthwise. Hollow cylinders that are pressurized experience hoop stress. That is, because of the nature of stresses on a hollow shell, the greatest stress is in the circumferential direction. That's why when tanks and such fail, they will always appear to split from top to bottom. Rarely, if ever, do they split into a top half and a bottom half. Hoop stress failure is also the operative mechanism in the unfortunate medical condition, aortic dissection (such as in Marfan Syndrome).

So, the bottom line is as follows:
1. Taking a cigar from a humid atmosphere to a dry one will immediately begin the drying out process.
2. Drying out is exacerbated by forced air or radiant heating in the direction of the smoker.
3. Thin wrappers will lose humidity relatively more rapidly than thicker wrappers and thus lapse into brittleness.
4. When the wrapper fails, it will either crack and unravel, or in cases where the stresses have substantially built up, split the length of the cigar.

I hope that sort of paints the picture for you. I left out a few more engineering considerations but I think this covers the main effects.

Wilkey
 

Marito

New Member
Damn brother...this needs to be posted on a physics site, not just a cigar site. Great reply from which I learned alot.
 

cigardawg

Active Member
Marito said:
Damn brother...this needs to be posted on a physics site, not just a cigar site. Great reply from which I learned alot.
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I'm an engineer (chemical). I have spent a great deal of my career doing materials engineering, dealing with similar principles. That said, I am speachless in so many ways. :laugh: Wilkey, that was a great explanation. Too $#%&ing complicated, but great none-the-less. Thank God you left out the "other" engineering considerations (several occured to me as well).

In simpler terms, the moist cigar (from the humidor) dried out too quickly and expanding tobacco in the binder and filler (caused by heat) caused it to split (a situation exacerbated by the thin Conn. wrapper).

Seriously, Wilkey, I freakin' loved that explanation. Good stuff. :thumbs:
 

Ginseng

Banned
cigardawg said:
Marito said:
Damn brother...this needs to be posted on a physics site, not just a cigar site. Great reply from which I learned alot.
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I'm an engineer (chemical). I have spent a great deal of my career doing materials engineering, dealing with similar principles.

In simpler terms, the moist cigar (from the humidor) dried out too quickly and expanding tobacco in the binder and filler (caused by heat) caused it to split (a situation exacerbated by the thin Conn. wrapper).
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Really,

What industry did you work in? I was in plastics, then coatings and adhesives. I have fond memories of my times in the big Monsanto ABS plants in Ohio and Iowa.

And hell, why didn't I just say it like you did there? Maybe I'm a windbag :p

Wilkey
 

cigardawg

Active Member
Wilkey.

I actually work in the environmental arena as a consultant/contractor for the DoD. Much of my work, however, has been materials engineering thinly veiled as environmental (for funding purposes). I've worked with just about every industrial process that the DoD does on a regular basis (and some that they do only on an irregular basis). I've worked in both organic and inorganic coatings (both the coatings themselves and the application equipment), cleaning, composites, coating removal (primarily organic coatings), fire suppressants, etc.

I have a lot of practice taking the technical and making it into the short, 2-3 line blurbs like I wrote. I write a lot of reports for the Government. :p
 

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
More than I hoped for, but I'm very glad I asked.

Love to learn new things everyday :thumbs:
 

Ginseng

Banned
cigardawg said:
Wilkey.

I actually work in the environmental arena as a consultant/contractor for the DoD. Much of my work, however, has been materials engineering thinly veiled as environmental (for funding purposes). I've worked with just about every industrial process that the DoD does on a regular basis (and some that they do only on an irregular basis). I've worked in both organic and inorganic coatings (both the coatings themselves and the application equipment), cleaning, composites, coating removal (primarily organic coatings), fire suppressants, etc.

I have a lot of practice taking the technical and making it into the short, 2-3 line blurbs like I wrote. I write a lot of reports for the Government. :p
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Too cool!

Now that I'm in academia, I'm having to learn to write longer pieces. Fun, fun, fun.

BTW, sounds like aircraft coatings from the description you gave.
 

Ginseng

Banned
Wurm said:
More than I hoped for, but I'm very glad I asked.

Love to learn new things everyday :thumbs:
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Right on.

As I've learned form my time in engineering and the sciences, the seemingly mundane modern world is filled with technology in the products and the making of the products. The functional modern world is enormously complex and well beyond our faintest idea.
 

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
Ginseng said:
Wurm said:
More than I hoped for, but I'm very glad I asked.

Love to learn new things everyday :thumbs:
[snapback]274405[/snapback]​
Right on.

As I've learned form my time in engineering and the sciences, the seemingly mundane modern world is filled with technology in the products and the making of the products. The functional modern world is enormously complex and well beyond our faintest idea.
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I'm no academical slouch but lets say life has taken me in other directions. And not many Americans can say they have a German Business Degree and finished second in class to boot. lol I'm just glad I understood what you wrote bro. :laugh:
 

Mrepp

To boldly troll where no Troll has trolled before
Very nice discription wilkey, wonder if this one should be pinned even?
 

Double D

alphabetically challenged
so dry cigar equals bang and split heater bad got it. if i cant shoot it or hook it then eatit. i get confused thankyou for an education Wilkey.
 
Nice answer Wilkey, I smoke in a similar environment as Shawn and I've had the same problem, mostly with NC ones.
 

wshell

New Member
had this happen to me the other night with a fuente 8-5-8, tried smoking anyway but to no avail

hated to throw it away for a reason like that
 

Rod

Administrator
Staff member
I just witnessed this for the first time the other night. My girlfriend and I were in a new cigar lounge. All of a sudden, her cigar cracked right down the side and bulged out. She had smoked more than half of it when this happened. Her hands were cold, so clearly "exploding cigars" are related to cold environments. The cigar was well humidified as well. First time I've ever seen this. Quite strange.
 
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