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How does a cotton candy floss machine work?

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A look inside two different cotton candy floss machine heads.

Cotton candy, or candy floss as we say in the UK is made by spinning ordinary sugar in a drum with a source of heat. The sugar crystals cant escape from the spinning drum until they are in a molten state, and then the drops of molten sugar are thrown from the drum centrufugally, making long thin strands of sugar floss in the process.

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YouTube Capture Cotton candy Candy floss Fairground Machine Sugar Heat Motor Centrifugal Gas Electric

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50 Comments

    Popular Comments:

Jun Ang . 2019-06-16
You'd get the same shock from bare 'electric' oven top. Ingenious! you just need to put a sticker that says 'WARNING : ELECTRIC SHOCK INCLUDED'
121 2 . Reply
Austin Henning . 2019-05-28
Why, Brits? Why? You can't tell me cotton candy looks more like floss than cotton...
121 2 . Reply
Pumpkinsfunworld . 2019-05-11
I'm eating cotton candy irl while watching this xD
121 2 . Reply
just Gg . 2019-04-18
👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
121 2 . Reply
Jaxon Harris . 2019-02-13
very helpful
121 2 . Reply
NinjaBoy and the Old Man . 2019-02-09
I have one of the machines with the small black spinner head..it works great but you MUST always soak the spinner in hot water after EVERY use to get the unspun sugar out of it, or it will clog.

The owner of the racetrack across from me bought a set of China made ebay specials for the concessions..a snowcone machine (actually two, the first one never even powered up and the second just buzzed loudly then burst into flames); a cotton candy machine like the larger one in the video.. it ran ok for about three events (a total of about 3 hours running time) before the heater stopped working, accompanied by the smell of burning electronics (the heat control appeared to be a standard 600w rated light dimmer, not the beefy triac shown here); a popcorn machine (with the motorized kettle) that surprisingly is still working after 3 years; and finally one of those roller hot dog cookers. (I don't know if it still works.)

I was going to try to fix the cotton candy machine for her, but there was a falling out when they cut my pay without notice. (I announced the races.)
121 2 . Reply
mastertank63 . 2018-11-27
And I thought candy floss was handpicked cloud.
121 2 . Reply
W. Al-Rikabi . 2018-11-21
Hi, please could you reveal the secret behind this coffee maker?:.
https://youtu.be/frAoi6EHDcU
121 2 . Reply
Lucatsan . 2018-10-28
I've got the small one and this explains Everything, thank you!!
121 2 . Reply
boerboel313 . 2018-10-14
Like a sperm emitting donut!
121 2 . Reply
boerboel313 . 2018-10-14
It’s cotton candy.
121 2 . Reply
William Shreckengost . 2018-10-05
I wonder how fast you could spin such a machine before just spraying hot sucrose everywhere. I tried to look up the tensile strength of cotton candy, but it looks like whoever actually bothered to test that was really bad at SEO.
121 2 . Reply
Mark Olson . 2018-09-16
Thank You. Love learning new things!
121 2 . Reply
Elodea . 2018-05-15
This video appears to describe a machine very similar to the one you are disassembling. https://youtu.be/GtwZVJ3tYzA
121 2 . Reply
FL1PN0S1S . 2018-02-12
is floss popular in the UK?
121 2 . Reply
Culturedropout . 2018-01-07
Wasn't the drawing at 1:20 used in high-school sex-ed classes in the 1960's? "In order to prevent conception, the egg rotates at high speed inside the uterus, flinging off invading sperm via centrifugal force..." <.<
121 2 . Reply
Scott Jackson . 2018-01-05
Known as "Fairy Floss" in my corner of the planet.
121 2 . Reply
Gustavo Muñoz . 2017-12-21
Hello. Could you assist me? I bought this candy floss machine, but I'm having trouble getting a good puffy cotton candy. Thanks
121 2 . Reply
william dinero . 2017-11-17
Do you have an email address I can contact u though? My candy floss machine is not heating passed 100 and not making candy floss. I'd love to send u pictures of the type of machine I have
121 2 . Reply
PugMan3 . 2017-11-11
What’s a triac? And what’s a diac?
121 2 . Reply
highvoltagefeathers . 2017-10-30
+bigclivedotcom I'm building a "machine gun" that shoots a continuous stream of cotton candy, and I've been looking for an appropriately sized flossing head for parts. Do you have any information on the larger head you disassembled in the video, or what machine it was from?
121 2 . Reply
Rishabh Bhatia . 2017-08-30
very informative. thanks.
121 2 . Reply
Arlen Moulton . 2017-08-20
weird hearing my surname mentioned in a different context...
121 2 . Reply
Chuck Phillips . 2017-08-08
Correct Black=Live, White=Neutral, Green=Earth
121 2 . Reply
Geoff Lotton . 2017-06-30
The moment when you realised you wrote the name in the wrong spot. Priceless.
121 2 . Reply
crgaillee . 2017-06-29
are you willing to give me the name and year of the model so I can avoid it when I buy one of these machines? hopefully I can get on made in the U.S.
121 2 . Reply
Nikita Yadav . 2017-04-08
very nicely explained
121 2 . Reply
Chris Brown . 2017-03-29
I work on floss machines all the time and the ones we service don't have exposed elements touching the sugar. The heater heads run at +300F while they are running. If you leave them running a while after use the sugar will all fly out leaving a dry safe bowl ready for next use. The ones used in the UK are fused at 5 amp and the heater head uses around 900 watts. Also they must have a CE certificate to be imported and the one in this video doesn't look like it's designed for UK use? It would have the 240 volt voltmeter fitted.
121 2 . Reply
SuperAWaC . 2017-03-17
the gas ones are way more reliable and easier to clean
121 2 . Reply
Trond Børge Krokli . 2017-03-08
Thanks for putting a smile on my face and for giving me a laugh today. I had forgotten how easily "fifteen ohms" can sound like "fifty gnomes".
121 2 . Reply
Troy . 2017-02-20
I love your humor !
121 2 . Reply
Việt Đông Auto Đông . 2017-02-17
thank you post
121 2 . Reply
Génesis González . 2017-02-09
hola una preguntica se puede poner en vez del pequeño poner el grande
121 2 . Reply
awesomefacepalm . 2017-02-02
I guess cotton candy is made in the same way as glass fibre insulation, only the insulation is in a much higher temperature?
121 2 . Reply
David W . 2017-01-25
That stuff is really bad for kids, they will go hyper active from a sugar high.
121 2 . Reply
Kelci Johnson . 2016-12-31
pls help what if u put the wrong suger i put grape drink mix and when i turn it on it shoots out seeds and it smoked what do i do to fix pls help me pls
121 2 . Reply
RMJ1984 . 2016-12-28
The blurry background or whatever. It is very distracting to look at....
121 2 . Reply
MM0SDK . 2016-12-12
So all those intricate pieces are washed thoroughly on a daily basis at fairgrounds. Hmm, i wonder. Plenty of cracks and crevices for bacteria to form with the aid of heat.
121 2 . Reply
Be Motive . 2016-12-04
What if we pour melted sugar into it?
121 2 . Reply
Veraxis . 2016-09-26
Oh dear, "Chinese fairground equipment" is NOT a phrase that inspires confidence.
121 2 . Reply
Probably Not . 2016-09-04
Do you have any sort of PO box whereby we can send in any dodgy/interesting electronics for you to look at?
121 2 . Reply
norm lor . 2016-08-23
I just loved this presentation of yours, I just happened to fall onto a video of a cotton candy machine in progress and became totally fascinated. 50 videos later with reviews I bought a toy one online at Amazon as a joke for my room mate's birthday yesterday along with other more sensible gifts. I just tried it and you must have seen these toy ones which DON'T seem to have anything spinning unless it's underneath the yellow heater. in any event, it was fun and thinking I could buy a more professional one if this took off. thanks for this and I think I will buy a little sturdier one at Christmas. NL PS this toy one came with an LED wand which does all sorts of lighting tricks...neat
121 2 . Reply
Kevin Seyffert . 2016-08-21
I think your calculations are off. The heating element is in fact a coil so it is an inductive load and not a resistive load as you have calculated.
121 2 . Reply
Chris Richard . 2016-08-19
US wiring is black=hot, white=neutral, green or bare= ground(earth). That would be the single phase colors for 120volts. Red is also hot, usually used in 240V circuits or 3 phase systems, and often used in 3-way and 4-way switching arrangements. Three phase gets a little more fun:
Black, red, and blue = Hot 120/208V 3 phase wye,
yellow, orange, brown = Hot 277/480V 3 phase wye, but also I think delta.
240V delta three phase is extremely rare but may use the same colors as 120/208, I'm not sure. With delta, you also have what we call the bastard leg. On a 240V delta system, the only way to get 110 without an additional transformer, is to use the center tap of one of the pole transformers as a neutral. This gives you two legs that are 120 volts line to neutral, and the third "Bastard" leg is 208 V to neutral. Don't accidentally connect a single phase lighting or receptacle circuit to that leg unless you want things to go bang.
121 2 . Reply
Keegan Sherwood . 2016-08-14
+bigclivedotcom hello could you please tell me where I could get one of the kids toy cotton candy spinning head because mine is missing the top abd it looks exactly like the one you had
121 2 . Reply
youtubkeeper . 2016-08-03
"Fairy floss" in Australia. Maybe because it's traditionally sold at fairs?
121 2 . Reply
mohamed ahmaid . 2016-08-01
what is the required motor speed?
I mean , what RPM for good result?
121 2 . Reply
pmailkeey . 2016-07-25
I never wanted to know how a candy floss machine worked until you explained it here. You seem to be doing all manner of great explanations (In fact, I'll let you use that on your next website : "Great Explanations" LOL as it has a good ring to it) so I wonder if you do requests for things to be explained ? If so, perhaps you can do a strip-down and explanation of a sonic screwdriver ?
121 2 . Reply
Jasmine Grullon . 2016-06-20
What causes the machine to stop heating?
121 2 . Reply
GeorgeS . 2016-06-12
I had a machine that used the head with the black ring on it and it clogged up after 2 days
121 2 . Reply