SCIENCE! The Story of Starlite (OT)

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Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 8, 2019 - 08:21am PT
The "Starlite" story is fascinating, if a little sad. Here is the multi-part BBC documentary:

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Here is a video showing how to make a similar product. It responds the same way as the material in the documentary, from what I can see. Amazingly simple to make, and the description of how it works is cool too:

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Be interested to get some thoughts from the scientists in our community.
WBraun

climber
Feb 8, 2019 - 08:41am PT
Pretty cool Eric.

I can say a lot about this but then all these modern puffed up so-called scientists here will just get butthurt ..... :-)

i-b-goB

Social climber
Nutty
Feb 8, 2019 - 08:43am PT
Brilliant!
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 8, 2019 - 09:13am PT
That is really, really fascinating.
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2019 - 09:32am PT
We were wondering the same thing about if the properties change by applying various types of paint, varnish or other coatings. Also, if there is UV break-down, moisture issues, etc.

We have a kiln for firing cloisonne and glass - Maidy is picking up some baking soda and corn starch as I type (got lots of glue).

We're gonna do some experimenting...

Edit: Interestingly, Skip said the firing boards for the kiln are starch-based...
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 8, 2019 - 09:38am PT
Such simple stuff...amazing that this science hasn't been applied more broadly to our world.

Makes you wonder what other kinds of simple materials can perform extremely useful functions in our lives.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 8, 2019 - 09:55am PT
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intumescent
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2019 - 10:05am PT
http://www.starlitethermashield.com/

Edit: Laser blasting

[Click to View YouTube Video]

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 8, 2019 - 10:28am PT
the AWE test was with lasers, not nuclear radiation.

There is no way that the material (or others like it) can withstand nuclear radiations at high energy and intensity.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 8, 2019 - 10:39am PT
other simple materials?
e.g. Aerogels

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerogel
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Feb 8, 2019 - 10:43am PT
https://www.metabunk.org/how-to-make-starlite-the-miracle-insulating-material-of-maurice-ward.t10228/

Parlor trick

white glue is amazing, can also be used to clean LPs

[Click to View YouTube Video]
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Feb 8, 2019 - 10:49am PT
that might take some time to clean a moderately sized LP collection!
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 8, 2019 - 11:05am PT
There's not a chance I would do that with my vinyl collection. No matter how many YouTube videos are out there!

Edit:
Last winter/spring, I took on the project of digitizing my entire vinyl collection...a relatively modest collection of 300 albums. Here’s the process I used:


A German-made discwasher ('disco anti-stat'), using a French-made vinyl cleaning solution (L'Art du Son)...spin wash each one, then air dry...then digitize/modify each one. Took me 4-5 months of diligent work. No wood glue involved!
Lorenzo

Trad climber
Portland Oregon
Feb 8, 2019 - 11:43am PT
Cats out of the bag.

NASA will apparently be replacing the $20 million heat shield with corn starch.

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2018/cutting-edge-heat-shield-installed-on-nasa-s-parker-solar-probe
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2019 - 01:08pm PT
the AWE test was with lasers, not nuclear radiation.

I stand corrected, Ed. Also, it's the firing plates that are starch-based...

Gonna do some 'sperimenting!

WBraun

climber
Feb 8, 2019 - 01:27pm PT
LOL !!!
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Feb 8, 2019 - 01:31pm PT
Strong werk, Apogee! But I’m not digitizing sh!t, I’m gonna get a better turntable,
just not the $15,000 one for sale down the street!
Is that the Knosti or the SpinClean disc washer?
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 8, 2019 - 01:47pm PT
After doing some digging around amongst audiophiles, this is the cleaning system I settled on:


I'm not a total audiophile techy purist, but I did want to do a reasonably good job- the 'disco anti-stat' is a little difficult to find, but seemed to be the most efficient & effective way to do it without getting too deep in the process....esp. if you are going to do dozens and dozens of albums!

I used an Audio-Technica USB turntable...not a super high end machine, but worked out quite acceptably. After recording it, I used Audacity software to correct, label, and export each album. That was especially time consuming.

Edit
The cleaning solution that normally comes with it can't be shipped into the US, so you can only get the cleaning mechanism itself. Which was ok...'L'Art du Son' is supposed to be a very good solution that also reduces static.
WBraun

climber
Feb 8, 2019 - 01:51pm PT
Can your hearing tell the difference between analog recordings and digital recording materials?
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 8, 2019 - 01:56pm PT
Not really, but again, I'm not a hardcore purist. I'm sure true audiophiles could pick it out- getting the correction process where you want it with Audacity takes some trial and error, unless you've got some sound mixing experience (I thought of KSolem more than a few times while doing it).

I mostly listen to my music on my home stereo while working around the house, on my car stereo while driving to wherever, or on my IPhone while bopping around the mountains. For those purposes, the process worked just fine for me.
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Feb 8, 2019 - 03:36pm PT
Apogee, do you carve your recordings into separate tracks? That is the time consuming work. I gave up trying to digitize my collection of 7000 titles. When I want it in digital form I just go to mp3va.com, 15 cents a song or a buck and change for the whole album.

MP3 compresses by using an algorithm that removes the information (frequencies) that the average ear can not hear with other frequencies. Most people can not tell the difference. If you use uncompressed files then it should pretty close to analog. Neil Young was pushing this system a few years ago.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 8, 2019 - 03:49pm PT
Yeah, labelling the individual songs was pretty labor intensive...when you record the album, it’s one long file..after a while I got better at recognizing where a song starts and ends, and how much ‘buffer’ to add. The harder songs were those that kinda run into each other, or live albums. Husker Du’s ‘Land Speed Record’ was especially challenging...super fast, not much gap from one song to another.

I had naively thought there would be some kind of Gracenote process I could apply to each album to label them for me...uh, no. It was all manual, one at a time...the perfect task for a single, anal retentive guy like me.

Edit: Sorry for the thread-drift, Aeriq!
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2019 - 03:58pm PT
No worries.

I can say a lot about this but then all these modern puffed up so-called scientists here will just get butthurt ..... :-)

A wiser man than myself kept his trap shut!

LOL!
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 9, 2019 - 08:52pm PT
Cold-ass locked-down Saturday SCIENCE! experiment night.

Fired the kiln up to 1400+ degrees


Mixed up a batch of Starlite... paying ummmm....not enough attention to proportions of course... then rolled it out.


Burrito'ed the egg




Balm test... taquito'ed a chapstick.



Delivery to kiln.


Sacrificial offering ^^^

So... we gave it 4 minutes at around 1400 degrees... and at 3:30 we had smoke...and FIRE! Oh shit! Opened it up to flames - that extinguished rapidly.


Fortunately... we have a good fan in Skip's studio. Cherry chapstick + burning carbon filled the room.


Warm not hot to the touch... not exactly as portrayed in the video... LOL... then again -

we are Starlite noobs.


Final egg-


Well, it's a hell of a difficult way to poach an egg.


Sequel- fate of the chapstick later ;)









Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Feb 9, 2019 - 09:28pm PT
If you are going though that much trouble with melting sh#t and all- may I suggest you consider hash oil? Much more profitable assuming you don't torch the abode.
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 9, 2019 - 09:39pm PT
You have no idea of our hash-oil ordeal.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Feb 9, 2019 - 09:44pm PT
The Hash oil ordeal... not so profitable for anyone involved BTW...

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/3028352/Neat-Freak-Potheads-Please-Advise-OT
zBrown

Ice climber
Feb 10, 2019 - 06:55pm PT
There is a Starlight Bowl in
Balboa Park

Undergoing renovation


What does it have to do with this?

I don't know

I do not get it

Jim Clipper

climber
Feb 10, 2019 - 07:02pm PT
F'ing awesome!!! If you head down towards the Monument, Locker may be able you teach you a little about cooking things. Seriously, looks like good fun.
Ricky D

Trad climber
Sierra Westside
Feb 10, 2019 - 08:09pm PT
If you put Starlight on the 395 - would the gumbies from LA be able to get back home tonight?
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2019 - 10:23pm PT
Thanks Jim and Tad!

Proud effort,
ya done or still in research mode? :)

Still in research mode. We think the egg poached out because the weight displaced the bottom still-moist starlite in the kiln, making contact with the firing dish.

Gonna let it dry and re-fire next time, and put it on a tripod or something...

I forgot to take a picture, but the lip balm container was fine - just the wax melted out.
apogee

climber
Technically expert, safe belayer, can lead if easy
Feb 10, 2019 - 11:04pm PT
I wonder if the difference has anything to do with direction of the heat source? A propane torch directs heat from one direction, whereas a kiln's heat is from all directions.
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2019 - 11:13pm PT
For sure, ap!

That was why we wanted to try the kiln experiment, it's multi-directional and contained.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Feb 10, 2019 - 11:19pm PT
Carcinogenic?
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2019 - 11:24pm PT
No. I had a panic moment during the firing about that while I was outside having a puff.

The carbon burn-off seemed to have no lingering or bad effects. Neither did the puff (except for the panic moment)...
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
Feb 11, 2019 - 01:20am PT
COOL STUFF `N STUFF
FRUMY

Trad climber
Bishop,CA
Feb 11, 2019 - 07:53am PT
If you want after LJ is done making his HD roof rack you may use my welding set to try and see if you get any different results. With a rosebud tip you should be able to get well over 2000f.
Aeriq

Sport climber
100-year Visitor
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 11, 2019 - 08:40am PT
Thanks, Mark - we would like to try the direct flame!
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Feb 11, 2019 - 08:59am PT
The moat of flaming wax likely skewed the results. Starlight did completely shield the plastic chapstick container though.

Winemaker

Sport climber
Yakima, WA
Feb 11, 2019 - 08:38pm PT
I watched the BBC series about Maurice Ward and his 'starlite' and was struck by the similarity of the inventor refusing to revealing any details to others and a gentleman I once worked with. I was working at a marine engineering company in Seattle designing off shore oil drilling and mooring equipment; a co-worker was a gentleman who had emigrated here years ago from Poland and was a very good engineer and designer.

When I first joined the company he and I were working on redesigning fish processing equipment for canning salmon. He told me he had been working on a machine for producing woven rugs and had had a break though that would revolutionize the industry. When pressed for details he absolutely refused to speak about it. He later developed lung cancer and lived for about a year, but steadfastly wouldn't discuss his invention, although we were friends and he knew I had no intention of ripping him off. I didn't and don't understand his motivations, as I don't understand the motivations of Maurice Ward.
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Feb 12, 2019 - 07:59am PT
Cool! Never heard of this. Thanks.

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