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A Super-Material You Can Make In Your Kitchen (Starlite?)  RSS feed

 
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I wonder if this could be used as a liner for the riser in a rocket mass heater.

No information yet on whether this material erodes over time. I imagine it does. Interesting nonetheless.

 
gardener
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Mart ;     That was fascinating !   Not sure if it could be useful with rockets but really cool none the less !   Thanks for sharing
 
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Test it and let us know.    I was thinking a riser would make an interesting experiment with this say put this on the outside of standard bricks.
 
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Ah, Matt beat me to the post. I was wondering the same thing when I watched the video this morning before work.
If nothing else it would reduce wear on the feeder bricks, probably at the expense of aesthetics.
 
pollinator
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Wow,open air pyrolysis!
I can see this as a cast riser,just  flour water and baking soda.
The carbon might be too fragile anywhere else in the system.
Reminds me of the white bread carbon material experiments.
 
Matt Coston
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So, I just watched a livestream by Cody'sLab.

He briefly mentioned this NightHawkInLight video and commented that it really is not that impressive because the material is definitely an "ablative" (i.e. it erodes with use), and ablative heat shields are actually not that difficult to make.
 
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The question is what is the lifetime of this material given various conditions.

This would be a fascinating use case for building glass or acrylic (aquarium) masses to shield them in order to make a more compact arrangement. This really needs some experimentation and the cost (even if it has to be replaced eventually) is very attractive.
 
garden master
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Boric acid is well known as an inorganic compound that complexes to carbohydrates and keeps them from burning, they just char.  When you treat wood with it it looks much the same...the wood chars with a torch and doesn't burn.  It will glow red and then cool "instantly" when you turn off the torch.  May be worth blending some boric acid into the mix or else perhaps use boric acid treated wood?  Boric acid treated wood is commercially available as a preserved wood since it resists insects and fungi.  

Alternatively it might be interesting to add a silane or colloidal silica so as to create a glass protectant during the charring phase.  That could also lead to a more resistant surface as well.

Do you think the PVA glue is used to better capture the CO2 produced so that it blows the PVA polymer into a foam?  I would think if the corn starch was fully dissolved that it could do the same so I'm guessing the PVA is there more just for making it putty like.

Fun stuff!  Thanks for sharing!
 
Greg Martin
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As I keep thinking about this I'm thinking we could make a paint that works like this.  Or better yet, a primer that you can then just paint over with normal paint.  It's silly that houses are not flame resistant.  Granted, the pyrolysis gases will kill you, but if the whole thing doesn't get burning then there won't be a lot of pyrolysis gases.  Chemistry like this is nice because it will still break down in the environment.  (I want to check on the PVA part really saying that, but it could be switched out with something that definitely will if not).
 
Gerald Smith
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Greg Martin wrote:As I keep thinking about this I'm thinking we could make a paint that works like this.  Or better yet, a primer that you can then just paint over with normal paint.  It's silly that houses are not flame resistant.  Granted, the pyrolysis gases will kill you, but if the whole thing doesn't get burning then there won't be a lot of pyrolysis gases.  Chemistry like this is nice because it will still break down in the environment.  (I want to check on the PVA part really saying that, but it could be switched out with something that definitely will if not).



I think you definitely have some solid thoughts here. We need to pursue these ideas...
 
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This Starlite has a very interesting history. All the big boys, NASA, Brit MOD, Boeing, ... looked at it.

Mystery of the 'blast-proof' material - BBC REEL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzIjkvRI7To

How does Starlite work? - BBC REEL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EjbxTCJGJ0

Other videos will pop up.
 
Terry Byrne
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Greg Martin wrote:As I keep thinking about this I'm thinking we could make a paint that works like this. .



The inventor/discoverer of Starlite had a test done on a BBC science show where the material was painted on an egg, which then had a blow torch put to it for 5 minutes. The reporter shut off the torch, took the egg and turned it over putting the charred side into his hand, saying it was just warm. He then cracked the egg and it was runny as a regular egg. That is in one of the videos I posted prior to this one.
 
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