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Pykrete: What Could Be Done With It  RSS feed

 
Travis Johnson
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I have had an out of control fetish for Pykrete for a long time. For those that do not know what Pykrete is, it is a mixture of sawdust and ice and its properties combined are just so unique. Bullet proof, cold, slow to melt, easy to form, all natural, amazing ability to float...

I have messed around with it some, but never really found a great use for it. (I tried building a handplane with it, but could not get the embedded nut to hold the frog down enough to keep the plane blade from chattering). Being a visionary I thought perhaps this might be the answer to the problem of uniting the North American Continent with Europe by going over the North Pole with a Pykrete Bridge instead of building one across the North Atlantic with conventional building materials. I mean the building material is partly on site, it is easily repairable, strong, resilient...but lets face it, do will really want a bridge there?

I have wondered if Pykrete would be the ideal building material for off-grid houses needing food refrigeration and/or food freezing. It would be the opposite of a greenhouse, close it up in the summer, and open it wide open in the winter. It has insulating properties, is slow to melt, is indestructible, all natural...

It has been said to never be the smartest person; because when you are, you limit yourself to the potential around you. So I open this up to everyone; what could Pykrete be used for? Surely it has a better use then being made into an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic! Anyway Pykrete has always intrigued me...

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Pykrete is a frozen composite material made of approximately 14 percent sawdust or some other form of wood pulp (such as paper) and 86 percent ice by weight (6 to 1 by weight). During World War II, Geoffrey Pyke proposed it as a candidate material for a huge, unsinkable aircraft carrier for the British Royal Navy. Pykrete has some interesting properties including its relatively slow melting rate (because of low thermal conductivity) and its vastly improved strength and toughness over ice; it is closer in form to concrete.

Pykrete is slightly more difficult to form than concrete, as it expands during the freezing process. However, it can be repaired and maintained using seawater. The mixture can be molded into any shape and frozen, and it will be extremely tough and durable, as long as it is kept at or below freezing.
 
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