Walls

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Mark
Posts: 10783
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 10:14 pm

Walls

Post by Mark » Mon Oct 13, 2003 1:17 pm

After Al's topic about the silicate/steel high-temperature compound, my sister mentioned some kind of new home construction material that is somewhat see-through and used to make walls for houses. I have no idea what it is made from, but it started me wondering, if a water-glass/fiberglass based material could be fashioned into some sort of high temperature vessel such as a jam jar or exotic combustion toy?
In ancient times I read that gypsum was sometimes used for windows in houses.
I made an intersting gel the other day out of guar gum and borax. Researching guar, one of the myriad of uses it has is to thicken foods and as such it was sold as a diet aid because it gave a sense of fullness. Well, this guar gum will thicken water without heat and it is quite amazing, one individual drank a solution of it and it gelled in his esophagus even more on the way down and he died. The FDA took the diet aid off the market. The gum is also used to bind explosives and to make a kind of silk and a ton of other things. My guar gum powder says to keep it away from children! I was hoping to make a gel of some sort that would run a jam jar, a Sterno of sorts. The guar gum and borax make a polymer and with a few drops of green dye, some nice green slime can be made that is interesting to play with, the word thixotropic was mentioned in one article.

cudabean
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Oct 14, 2003 4:30 pm

Post by cudabean » Tue Oct 14, 2003 4:49 pm

I've had sugar-free immitation mango fruit beverage from mexico recently that used guar gum. I wouldn't call it pleasant--soon after mixing it became thick and slimy.

Thixotropic, in case you didn't know, is the interesting property of a material that liquefies under shock. If you take clay and slowly mold it in your hands it might feel fairly dry to the touch, but if you slap it a few times it becomes wet on the surface and softer throughout. This action is what caused much of the destruction of Anchorage during the Alaska earthquake in 1964. Homes and businesses were built upon clay-bearing ground, which was stable when the land was stationary, but when the shock of the quake hit, the thixotropic action liquefied the clay and the structures were swallowed up in many cases or severly damaged in others.

Mark
Posts: 10783
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2003 10:14 pm

The black bar and a personal aside

Post by Mark » Wed Oct 15, 2003 12:57 am

cudabean wrote:I've had sugar-free immitation mango fruit beverage from mexico recently that used guar gum. I wouldn't call it pleasant--soon after mixing it became thick and slimy.

Thixotropic, in case you didn't know, is the interesting property of a material that liquefies under shock. If you take clay and slowly mold it in your hands it might feel fairly dry to the touch, but if you slap it a few times it becomes wet on the surface and softer throughout. This action is what caused much of the destruction of Anchorage during the Alaska earthquake in 1964. Homes and businesses were built upon clay-bearing ground, which was stable when the land was stationary, but when the shock of the quake hit, the thixotropic action liquefied the clay and the structures were swallowed up in many cases or severly damaged in others.
Way back when in junior high school in Homestead, Florida, (my gunpowder and potassium nitrate phase), (I bought 150 pounds of potassium nitrate for $9.00, 3 fifty pound bags from a fertilizer company), I witnessed a black rod that was stood on end and smacked with a hammer on film in my science class. I remember seeing a solid black rod perhaps a foot long and over an inch diameter being struck and suddenly transmogrified into a pool of black tar in a shallow pan. Yet oddly, even several chemists I have spoken to have not seen this demonstration or know of this particular thixotropic behavior. I have read of clay in an earthquake changing state into a liquid under pressure, in geology. Imagine I hand you a solid black rod and then whack the foot long rod on end and it results in a pool of black tar, that is kind of neat, if you like things like that that don't fit the mold.
Another interesting thing that occured at this humble school of whites, blacks, and Cubans, I got beat up a few times by minorities who failed several grades, was that Hawk missiles were brought out one day for show and tell at this school, and they protected Turkey Point, a nuclear power plant that fed Miami, perhaps they were on guard from Cuba, I used to fish near the power plant, anyway, these missiles were on this launching vehicle, a triad of them, that was interesting. They let us, (simple minded kids), toy with it, the control podium, before class and the triad of missiles could be activated for an automatic search mode, like some bird dog looking up and down and then side to side, and then too you could guide them to track a car driving by, which I remember one driver looking somewhat concerned. What fun for some junior high students, then we saw a film about the hawk missiles, you could barely even see them streak across the screen, and strike their target. They were called hawk missiles because they flew up and dived down upon the incoming targets. You could be a football field away and the shock wave of them taking off could knock you to the ground -- a peppy rocket to be sure. And all this indoctrination in junior high, or just some neat stuff for a school on the ball.
Just now I was reading that the US sold hawk missiles to Iran in the 80's and there was a lot of trouble over that. I suppose they are outdated by now.
So anyway, guar gum in minute quantities can thicken and gel water suddenly and if you witness how fast and how little it takes to do this, it is stunning. The guar plant lives in a very arid environment. Pakistan and India are the largest producers, the gum must attract and hold water for the plant.
Imagine the poor soul who died from drinking a solution of guar and water, probably not even mango flavored, and dying in a gasping, choking, death.
Mark

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