View Full Version here: : Starlite Plastic
25-06-2011, 11:25 AM
I just read an article (link below) about a plastic that some man invented that can withstand 10,000+ degrees C temperatures. This was also invented some 20 years ago and has huge implications on a wide range on plastic applications. However if you read the article, the man doesnt just want to sell his invention and let a manufacturer use it as they see fit, he still wants a controlling share of whatever deal is made with his product. A little sad that such an amazing product isnt released into the wild simply because of money. Hell, if i invented it and some company offered me 10% profit share and control of the product i'd be like...mmm...10% of a trillion dollars (which i feel this product would be worth over 10 years) i would definatly jump straight in a sign the deal....and change the world. I'd probably give it away alot cheaper though.
Possible applications could be from thermal barriers for space craft to fire doors in buildings. This stuff can literally take a nuclear blast...pretty impressed.
25-06-2011, 11:52 AM
This will change a lot of things....what an invention!!!!.
25-06-2011, 02:16 PM
I have seen the videos and demos. Still sounds like an utter con to me!
I have seen pornos where the simulated sex was more real!
25-06-2011, 03:08 PM
Tut Tut you DOM.
25-06-2011, 04:47 PM
What if it isn't. There's only one way to find out.
26-06-2011, 12:44 AM
Just thinking of an application pertaining to space exploration...they could use Starlite as the body of a probe they could launch directly to the surface of the Sun. So long as they can shield the innards from the powerful magnetic fields and radiation, the probe would survive. Just think of how this would revolutionise our understanding of the Sun.
26-06-2011, 08:11 AM
I must say Bert's comment about this sounds more realistic than some others..
The probability of amateur scientist to come up with something like it was implied in the video is VERY low.
First, new materials research in general is very expensive, multidisciplinary sport... and today it is done by large teams of scientists. (and the same was the case 20 years ago).
If this material sample production was within the capability of single amateur guy, it is interesting why it wasn't formulated much earlier by one or several of those teams (and I am sure many were and are trying to do the same or better).
While the possibilities of application of such material could blow one's mind.... this still doesn't mean this is really real.
I might be wrong, though.... We shall see.... (or not).
26-06-2011, 09:42 AM
The thing is this...quite a few revolutionary inventions were stumbled upon by people that had no training at all in the areas they were dabbling in. You could say most of the important inventions mankind has produced were found in exactly this manor....the light bulb, airplane, AC and DC motors, electricity etc etc.
Actually, having extensive training can make it more difficult to produce something simply because you're bound by the conventions and theories within your area of study/research. You don't see beyond the box. What you produce doesn't come about by accident and that is the crux of the matter. Most of these inventions happen by pure accident simply because those that invent them don't know any better.
26-06-2011, 09:50 AM
I agree, may i point you in the direction of vulcanised rubber, pure acciendent by an amateur.
26-06-2011, 09:53 AM
Ahhh .. the dark, mysterious world of materials science, eh ?
There is often a lot more to applying a new material to solve a problem, than the creation of a test sample. The physical properties of materials goes way beyond a particular strength in one area .. say heat resistance.
What if it is difficult to bond to metals ?
What if it breaks down rapidly if exposed to a particular spectrum of light ?
What if it decays to highly toxic waste (or doesn't decay easily) ?
What if it reacts corrosively in the presence of common atmospheric gases ?
What if it is not (relatively) ductile or malleable ?
What if it is not abrasion resistant ?
What if the materials needed to manufacture it are rare ?
… the list goes on and on and on ...
All of this impacts the ultimate value of the material for industrial applications. Unless Mr Ward presents the world with a thorough analysis of all known properties of this material, how would anyone know its applicability to any one particular application (eg: aircraft design) ?
Who will pay for its properties to be accurately identified and what will it cost ? What is the tolerance of this material to different manufacturing (or operational) environments ?
There's a big leap between producing a sample of material and its commercialisation.
More scientifically, unless there is an accompanying theoretical explanation for its apparent heat-resistance, how could one ever position it for a particular application ? (And people poo-hoo scientific theory, eh) ? Without a scientific explanation, it will go nowhere. There's the value of the scientific process in everyday life, right there !!
By analogy, graphene is under intense investigation presently, and is slated as the next replacement for silicon as a substrate in semi-conductor manufacture. It has taken years to develop this material. It is difficult to manufacture and they're only just working out how to do it cost effectively.
Even if Mr Ward dreams he's in line for a Nobel prize, or even to become a billionaire, he's smokin' it, regardless of the truth, or otherwise, behind 'Starlite' ! ...
26-06-2011, 10:13 AM
You could say this .. but it doesn't hold much value. For example, you could also say that when these things were discovered, an education in the sciences was a rarity available to the privileged few. The relationship between the discovery and training at the time of discovery of these items is a 'non sequitur' argument.
.. the counter argument to the value scientific theory adds to the invention. We live in a structured, ordered society. If you don't play the game by its rules, you don't get anywhere, nor can you garner the recognition/rewards for its discovery.
26-06-2011, 10:28 AM
Yes, I can say this and despite the fact that an education is science was, at one stage, a privilege, the fact that quite a few inventions have come from people with no formal training in science is as true today as it was back then.
Yes it is the counter argument, but that hardly invalidates the theory, not does it invalidate the work of scientists. All it means is that sometimes the truly revolutionary inventions don't come from formally trained scientists simply because they're taught to think in certain ways. They have the scientific method to guide them and their knowledge in their specific field to inform them. That can be both a help and an hindrance at the same time.
Being in a structured and ordered society has nothing to do with it. In his case, being in a society that would ripoff an inventor in order for the elite within it to profit from the inventor's ideas, is. Despite his seeming selfishness in wanting "too much" for what he came up with, he has every right to want what he did. After all, it was his idea in the first place. Plus, why should this big corporations and governmental organisation unfairly profit from something they had no idea about in the first place. wanting to tie things up in non disclosure agreements and such, especially where the government is concerned, usually means they're up to no good. Ward wants everyone to benefit from this, not just a few.
26-06-2011, 10:39 AM
The AWE, NASA, Boeing, the US Government and others wouldn't have initially been interested in Starlite if they hadn't have run all the tests and concluded whether it was good or not. They did, they wanted it, but Ward wouldn't play by their rules so they promptly dropped him by the wayside. They wanted to be the ones who made all the profit from this (and that's what it was about....profit, and access to the material) and to just cut him out, for the most part, like they do with all inventors. If he had done what they wanted to with their agreements, especially those with non disclosure clauses, he'd have been shafted and he wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
26-06-2011, 10:47 AM
Craig, if we had to wait to have everything "scientifically proven" before we invented something or put it to use, we'd still be living in caves. What did the Wright Brothers know about the physics of flight??? Nothing at all I'd venture. Yet they and others like them (Bleriot, Fokker etc) invented powered flight. The science came later. That's just one example.
26-06-2011, 11:00 AM
The whole story looks like a great hoax to me but I will wait till it is shown to be real before I get enthused.
I agree that a great many of our common solutions to problems have been discovered by amateurs by accident. Particularly by-products of war and space research.
26-06-2011, 11:05 AM
Whether it is a hoax or not, only time and a bit of investigation will tell.
26-06-2011, 11:20 AM
So what of ceramic tiles for the space shuttle, graphene, doped silicon, computer screen materials, heat shields for space probes, jet turbine blades etc … the point requires balance … and there's plenty of evidence to balance it up !
My point is that inventions require lots of effort to make them a society-benefitting success. Education assists the inventor to participate in the realisation of that benefit and thereby justifies them in claiming the benefits which stems from their expending that effort.
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch thesedays.
To think there is .. is a delusion.
Not a hinderance ... a burden … and that burden is still there even for the uneducated inventor .. just as Mr Ward is finding out.
Are you saying that Ward isn't attempting to 'tie things up in non-disclosure agreements' ???
He has that right, too … and he knows it ..
The issue is a debate over the value of what he's discovered.
And until its commercialised by having endured the burden of proof, it has little value.
26-06-2011, 11:34 AM
The physics of flight was tantamount to being unknown at the time.
Since the development of knowledge of the physics of flight, there has been a huge acceleration in the numbers of inventions to support it.
Once again .. the value of theory is evidenced by the enormous numbers of inventions, technologies occurring is shorter timeframes … across vast numbers of other minds.
26-06-2011, 11:39 AM
Making a profit is no easy task.
It deserves recognition and reward … more profit for the organisations who undertake the burden of commercialisation !
If you don't play the game … you're on your own … you are able to shaft yourself … I would argue for that right ! :lol: :P
26-06-2011, 11:41 AM
And how do you know this is true???
26-06-2011, 11:51 AM
The only thing that makes an invention a society benefitting success is the commercialisation of the product and marketing. You can test an retest and scientifically prove an invention all you like. If it's not mass produced and marketed properly, it goes nowhere.
Never has been a free lunch at any stage.
Ward knows what he used to make the material. He may not know why his material does what it does, but a lot of inventors have been in that situation. And it seems from the testing that the scientists don't even know why this material performs as it does...therefore, so much for the benefits of scientific proof, in this case. Science is not the paragon of all knowledge, nor do scientists know everything about anything. It wouldn't be the first time something totally out of the box has appeared on the scene.
Ward doesn't want to tie things up in any non disclosure agreements, but he doesn't want someone to test his material and then reverse engineer it without his knowledge or permission and patent it as their own. That's theft of intellectual property, but with the way the law is now, he'd have no leg to stand on. He has no patents, therefore no proof that the material is actually his, in the eyes of the law. That's why he's applying for patent, now. To tie them up with a legally binding document giving him his rightful intellectual property over the material. He doesn't mind who he sells it to or who uses it, but he doesn't want anyone in particular to tie its use up or have advantage over anyone else. That's why the US companies and government backed off. They wanted it all for themselves. All Ward ever wanted was 51% of the profit. If the corporations and governments got their way, he'd get a handshake at best and told to go on his merry way. The only thing that Ward can be accused of, initially, is of being naive about the way big business and intellectual property works.
As I said before, the people that did test it know what it can do and they want it. They'll do all the commercialisation and such, but they want to get their grubby hands onto it and keep it exclusively. All this is about is money and what comes from it. Ward has every right to ask for the amount he wants, it's his invention. But the big corporations and the government want not only the money, but also the full rights to the material and Ward won't let them have it. That's why nothing has come of it and why they backed off. As if they won't make huge profits from it anyway, they want it all.
26-06-2011, 06:21 PM
I can totally see Ward's point in wanting to keep his invention his and I hope he does. The flip side is that it'll be one company/govt. organisation that'll hopefully get exclusive rights to this product and market it and get it out there. Money aside, if this is a real product, it needs to see the light of day.
To add a bit of science to this, would a plastic that can withstand extreme temperatures also have a decent tensile strength or would it be brittle. I have worked with ceramics that they line the inside of coal shoots with do prevent the metal wearing away. This ceramic is extremely hard and can withstand really high temps, but hit it with a hammer and it shatters. Could this be the same as this plastic. This would then limit what the plastic could be used for. Still an overwhelming amount of heat protective uses, but limited on structural uses.
26-06-2011, 07:13 PM
Apparently, Starlite is very malleable and ductile, and can be bent into all sorts of shapes without breaking. So, whatever ceramic has been added to the plastic polymer is chemically reacting with it and bonding to the polymer molecules to create a ceramic-polymer hybrid. If Starlite is for real, then the thermochemistry and physics of this product is unique and very much different than the norm. Anything that could easily withstand the conditions it was apparently tested under would be utterly amazing. A thin coating (mm's thick) of the stuff could completely protect a craft like the Space Shuttle. It wouldn't even glow at reentry temps, let alone any hotter. What's even more amazing is after getting blasted at those temps, you can touch the stuff.
Like I said earlier, if it's for real, can you imagine the uses it could be put to for space exploration!!. So long as you could effectively shield the innards of a probe from the high energy radiation and powerful magnetic fields and induced currents, you could build the body of the probe out of the stuff and literally fly it to the Sun's surface...especially if temps of 10000 degrees won't even hardly touch it. You wouldn't even have to do that....just orbit the craft a few hundred miles above the surface would do. Being able to do that would eventually revolutionise our understanding of the Sun.
26-06-2011, 07:22 PM
There are heaps of other physical properties which could make it not viable for the purpose of venturing close to the Sun.
What about how it bonds to other materials ?
How does it stand up to extremes of cold ?
How does it react with the EM spectrum ?
Does it come in pink ?
PS: Carl your comment: "And it seems from the testing that the scientists don't even know why this material performs as it does...therefore, so much for the benefits of scientific proof, in this case" .. is not particularly balanced. The way a compound material is created, (particularly polymer hybrids), determines a large part of its eventual properties. Ward refuses to disclose this .. so the scientific description of this material is deficient. This in no way, highlights any flaws in the scientific testing process. Ward is merely exercising his right to shaft himself in this instance.
26-06-2011, 08:05 PM
They would've tested for it's bonding and other capabilities. However, if it doesn't come in pink, then that really does it. It'll be useless:):P
Of course, you're right. However, Ward would've supplied the materials to the people to test it. It wouldn't be beyond them to actually sample some of it to see what it was made up of. So, if they did know what was in it and yet didn't know why it did what it did, then their testing was either deficient or they were lacking with any theoretical basis for a description of its properties.
Mind you, I think Ward has shafted himself. Someone will probably stumble upon a similar ceramic-polymer hybrid one day and even though he's within his rights to want what he wants, even 10% of the billions this sort of material would make commercially would be enough....would be for me. Mind you, I'd have patented it myself.
26-06-2011, 08:46 PM
.. or they didn't have the opportunity to conduct a full set of tests … ie: they weren't permitted (by Ward) to conduct other than the thermal resistance tests, so they never knew what was in it (and still don't) …
Why are we assuming there is a flaw in the scientific process or the educational experience of AWE, NASA, Boeing, the US Government, in this instance?
…. the burden of proof is with Ward as long as he's retaining information.
This is the logical fallacy 'Argumentum ad Ignorantium' ..
* Ward has been successful in inventing a material, because he does not possess 'extensive training', and he did not follow a scientific process;
* Ward does not possess 'extensive training', and he did not follow a scientific process, therefore the scientific process, (and education), is flawed.
Fallacious argument !
Two examples …
1) Glad Wrap was invented by a scientist by accident (whilst he was scientifically experimenting and trying to develop something completely unrelated).
2) Teflon was invented the same way ... by a chemist trying to make a new CFC refrigerant.
27-06-2011, 12:10 AM
They may not have had the opportunity...the article was never specific as to what they were or weren't allowed to do. But given the tests they did perform, all the parties were interested.
However, if there were full and extensive tests carried out and they were stumped, then what does that say....they didn't know as much as they would've liked to have thought. Something new had come up and now they had to figure out how it worked. The material had defied their present understanding of the science and now they had to invent a new understanding, based on extrapolating the present knowledge or maybe even inventing new knowledge to account for it. Something that happens every now and again in science:)
They're your words, not mine, so your argument itself is flawed:). All I said was that Ward had stumbled upon this material quite by accident and that this happens quite a bit with inventors. I also said the scientists can be hampered by their training and experience because it can tie them into a paradigm of thought and action which mightn't point them in the directions that an amateur might take. You seem to think that because a person trained in science has some great advantage of having gone through all that learning and such that they have a monopoly over anyone else in coming up with great new ideas. You have no idea. Most of the great ideas of the last 500 years were not invented by what we would call trained scientists. Except for a few, most never held position in any higher institute of learning and most were going against the prevailing world wisdom of the times they lived in. Orthodoxy never sees itself as being orthodox, it always nearly thinks of itself as being progressive and cutting edge. In fact, it's not. Most inventors do not work within accepted bounds of conventional wisdom. Though most of the time, they go nowhere with their ideas, sometimes something comes up which really gets a kick along. Most aren't even trained much past high school. They get to where they are because they exhibit the same curiosity and wonder most scientists have but they're not bound by the conventions of science, and are more likely to do something that most scientists wouldn't necessarily think of doing. Not because the scientist isn't capable of thinking like that, but because of their training the scientists have defined limits as to what is permissible within the scientific method and their philosophy. And like all people, scientists are creatures of habit. They stick to what they know best. The inventors do what they do because they know no better. They may use the scientific method themselves without realising it, but they're not encumbered by any prevailing theory or idea as to how to go about doing anything or seeing anything as being possible or impossible. If it don't work, too bad. If it does, then great.
Your two examples have no consequence to the argument....just like an "amateur" inventor, all they'd done was stumbled upon something by mistake. Fortuitous occurrences that they were switched on enough to see had other possibilities. In many cases, the results of those experiments would've been tossed out into the garbage, and labelled as failures.
It's not even worth debating.
"Put up or shut up".
27-06-2011, 05:27 PM
Inspired genius :thumbsup: or deranged lunatic :rofl:
Why not just test a piece!
These guys seem to think that its a hoax http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=39881
27-06-2011, 05:48 PM
I agree with them.
27-06-2011, 06:19 PM
Hardly worth reading...3 replies and no explanations.
Even if it is a hoax, those guys didn't do the topic justice.
28-06-2011, 07:18 AM
Neither did we here.
The argument of type "He didn't know it was impossible to do it, so he did it" simply doesn't sell.
Not to sensible and rational people, but suckers, dreamers and wannabes just eat it up.
28-06-2011, 07:47 AM
When Ben Lexen designed the Winged Keel he was told the laws of physics say it doesn't work his answer was nobody told me that
28-06-2011, 11:54 AM
Which only goes to show that the Laws of Physics bear little resemblance to what people tell you. (Thank goodness !)
28-06-2011, 12:13 PM
Yes, but how often does this happen...quite a lot, despite anyone's protests to the contrary.
28-06-2011, 12:17 PM
Who are they??:):P
28-06-2011, 01:26 PM
Not often at all ... and it will be even more rare in the future...
Romantic times of Tesla, Edison et al are long gone...
The money needed for basic research and testing (like this one should have been) nowadays is enormous. Totally out of reach of most individuals and small(er) companies and teams.
29-06-2011, 11:00 AM
The 'factoid' that made me wince was 'the simulated nuclear explosion' with a description of that old bit of footage showing the houses and trees destroyed. There has been no above ground tests since this material was 'invented'.
This material seems to have all the properties of diamond without the thermal conductivity. Diamond has the highest thermal conductivity of any known material and a melting or boiling point second only to graphite.
There is something very fishy here.
01-07-2011, 03:07 PM
Starlite at 10 000 Celcius? I don't think so! All known elements are ionized gases at that temperature, plasmas in other words, whose bonding electrons are stripped away and neither solids or liquids can form. Remember, tungsten is the most refractory element and it turns to gas below 6 000 Celcius.
01-07-2011, 03:40 PM
Quite so :thumbsup:
However, it is also an issue of how long the material is exposed to this temperature.
If the thermal transient lasts, for example, only 1us or less (produced by powerful laser pulse, for example), the energy density absorbed may be quite low and the chances are only a thin layer of material will be stripped off. But then again, many materials are capable of enduring this kind of stress once or twice (for example, tiles used on Space Shuttle ... how many M$ was the cost of developing this I wonder..... and how long it took, how many people were involved, directly or indirectly... ??).
Having said that, whole this thing with "Starlite" is 100% dodgy.
01-07-2011, 03:46 PM
… and I don't care if they believe !!
02-07-2011, 10:10 PM
A wise man?
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