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Author: Subject: Carbon Foam Refractory Made From Bread
j_sum1
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[*] posted on 3-11-2016 at 18:38


woot! I wil look that up when I get a chance. But it does sound more complex than burnt toast.



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[*] posted on 3-11-2016 at 18:40


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Let me throw out another possibility for this process. Suppose you pre-soaked your bread in a solution of Pt salts. Might you then get a catalytic product with a really high surface area? It could be rather useful.

(Now, it would be nice if this brought the Ostwald process within the range of home chemists but with the oxidising conditions the supertoast™ won't survive.)

[/random ramblings]


If you could platinize and char a slice of bread, how amusing it might be to lower the whole piece into a vessel filled with methanol vapor to behold catalytic glowing toast.
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[*] posted on 3-11-2016 at 21:11


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Let me throw out another possibility for this process. Suppose you pre-soaked your bread in a solution of Pt salts. Might you then get a catalytic product with a really high surface area? It could be rather useful.

(Now, it would be nice if this brought the Ostwald process within the range of home chemists but with the oxidising conditions the supertoast™ won't survive.)

[/random ramblings]
Maybe not for the Ostwald process, but that could possibly be a good, easy way to generate palladium or platinum on carbon catalyst for hydrogenations!



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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 00:11


I took the 'bread char' out of the cooled wood stove.
The 'bread char' is very fragile. It breaks easily apart.


IMG_1578s.JPG - 134kB
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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 01:43


Action ! Woohoo !

I guess the next step will be to make bread with Other ingredients added and see if we can :-

a) get some kind of regular shape

b) make it into something useful

Electrodes and/or catalysts sounds promising.




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Morgan
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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 08:41


Seems like a very fine grain bread would make a stronger carbon foam, a dense bread with smaller pores. You see platinum on alumina and platinum on carbon, but does it have any benefit to make a carbon/alumina combination? Or maybe add alumina or aluminum hydroxide to the bread mix hopefully as a binding agent to strengthen the friable carbon foam.
Yesterday I came across this noodle matrix technique and wondered if a fine noodly lattice could be baked into a carbon fiber cross-linked morass of some sort.
2,4,8,16,32,64,128, 256 I've seen a baker get to 1024.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCWfAhuUaU8#t=23
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L54-cInHrg0

A sugar approach
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euaEvOdk2Sg
A good presentation with countdown
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odL8JdQpMs4

Maybe baking bread under pressure in a hydrothermal synthesis vessel would be of some benefit or a useful pretreatment method.

[Edited on 4-11-2016 by Morgan]
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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 11:02


Morgan's thoughts on pore size make a lot of sense from a structural point of view.

But there is the question of whether gluten development affects the final product as well.

The more a dough is worked, the more the gluten is 'developed', leading to cross links which make a more resilient bread. Sort of like denaturing egg whites when you cook them.

I have no idea if these cross links would change the nature of the final product after the oven treatment, but it seems possible that this could lead to greater bonding strength because although these cross links are wiped out in the carbonization, they may hold the molecules in more intimate contact long enough to encourage other cross linking to form as the product carbonizes.

It's difficult to judge baked goods from photos, but it appears that aga's sample may be a fairly robust material with well developed gluten to give it substance in spite of it's large pores. This contrasts sharply with the common sliced breads with a softer texture (for readers from the US, think Wonder Bread, or Kilpatrick's white sandwich bread, in Mexico, Bimbo's sliced sandwich bread is similar)

This difference may have some influence on the strength of the final product.

It might be helpful if those reporting results included what information they can about the texture, pore size, chewiness; and of course for mass produced breads, the brand.

Maybe all breads work well, but if variable results are reported this may be part of the answer.


Of course the nature of the conditions of carbonization is no doubt more important. getting that right is obviously critical.


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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 11:16


What about adding small metallic (copper for easyness and cheapyness, platinum for goodness) particles to try to increase conductivity, and then if the copper doped bread char is conductive enough, attempt to electroplate it with metal?
Could that work?
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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 11:36


'Bimbo' must be a Hispanic bread brand, 'cos i can get that here and will do so tomorrow.

Quote:
like denaturing egg whites when you cook them

Meringue !

That's also full of bubbles (adds eggs and caster sugar to shopping list)

Lo ! I forsee Fire. Lots of Fire, with bits in it, carbonising.




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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 12:03


My attempt last night failed, burn through. Impatients placed it too close to the really hot area. Also bread on hand was seedy. So today gonna hit the stores up and get more prefered materials. I want to do sourdough because of large pores. Should be better for depositing Ni with out closing out as much interior surface. Thinking dollar store for a thicker Al pie pan/turkey tray or the like to enclose around standard foil wrapped bread. Charcoal also instead of the wood stove should provide more controll, maybe a meal to boot. Check back in when something works out.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 12:08


If at first you don't succeed ...

We now have two photos of an experiment with a result at the end, so it can definitely be done.

I got lucky by trying two types of bread at the same time.

If i'd just used the brown bread, there'd be nothing much to see.

White Wonder Bread seems to be the #1 choice.




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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 12:29


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
If at first you don't succeed ...

We now have two photos of an experiment with a result at the end, so it can definitely be done.

I got lucky by trying two types of bread at the same time.

If i'd just used the brown bread, there'd be nothing much to see.

White Wonder Bread seems to be the #1 choice.


AvE used the white wonder bread too, worked very well for him too.
It even resisted a oxy-acetylene torch, with a temperature probe behind a 2 cm slab of bread, it only reached 80C.
This stuff has potential.

I am finishing my 1000C kiln soon, I will try to put a large piece of bread in it too see how it performs as a brick.
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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 12:35


Bimbo is indeed a Mexican brand, but they're actually present in the Americas and also Europe (and they own the brand that makes Twinkies too).
Sounds like a decent option to standardize tests from members.




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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 12:48


Quote: Originally posted by Maroboduus  
Morgan's thoughts on pore size make a lot of sense from a structural point of view.

But there is the question of whether gluten development affects the final product as well.

The more a dough is worked, the more the gluten is 'developed', leading to cross links which make a more resilient bread. Sort of like denaturing egg whites when you cook them.

I have no idea if these cross links would change the nature of the final product after the oven treatment, but it seems possible that this could lead to greater bonding strength because although these cross links are wiped out in the carbonization, they may hold the molecules in more intimate contact long enough to encourage other cross linking to form as the product carbonizes.



Gluten development is essential for establishing the pore structure of yeast-risen bread. You cannot use baker's yeast to leaven rye bread that has low gluten. The physical structure of the bread prior to pyrolyzing must affect the final structure.




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[*] posted on 4-11-2016 at 23:33


Got it to work. Took more care and a few bucks, $4.50. But a plastic insert stainles steel coffee cup from the thrift store was stripped to just the stainless shell. Safeway bakery -european french bread, cut to size, wrapped in dollar store Al foil and ends twisted, put in ss cup shell, Al foil over top, aluminum cat food can( free) covering top but fits just inside the ss shell, then the top covered in a couple pieces of foil. Put in wood stove used for heating a home. 1/2 hr leaning on few coals- rotated on 15 min, another 1/2 hr in warmer parts, repeat for a total of 2.5hr with final half hour cup glowing red on one side in a the hottest part of coals.

IMAG8107.jpg - 1.2MB IMAG8109.jpg - 997kB

IMAG8133.jpg - 1.3MB IMAG8136.jpg - 1.1MB

IMAG8138.jpg - 1.1MB

It now clinks when jarred and feels sturdy. Tomorrow I'll cut it up a bit to hopefully make some test squares. Try some soak in and reheat additives to increase conductivity or something. Hate to set up Ni bath and clean it up if there isnt enough conductivity to strike something on. Well, there ya go, did some toast burning. No scale to calculate loss on charring.


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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 00:32


Superb !

I think that is the largest single chunk anyone has made so far.




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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 06:56


Tidbits and free associations

Maybe the structural strength could be improved by adding some chopped carbon fiber sans resin to a bread mix.

Another approach might be to try building up the strength of a carbon foam shape by dipping it in a liquid bread dough and do consecutive baking, adding layer upon layer, if perchance that was adventitious.

I'd like to see a carbon foam that would be airtight and lightweight in the form of a tube able to handle HIGH temperatures and most of all low cost. It wouldn't have to be very strong, but just enough to build parts for a myriad of toys and MAKE projects. Lots and lots of science projects would then be available, from toy boats to model airplanes, or structures that are uniquely offered by these qualities. Delicate toast heat engines would be fun to design, a toast to the materials science of toast.

Offhand what might be the coefficient of thermal expansion of "Wonder Bread" foam?

This stuff is heavy and costly and only good for non-combustion projects.
"These high temperature sheets maintain most of their rigidity up to 500 F, and can withstand short durations at much higher temperatures."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1Rt2dhlJB4
https://dragonplate.com/ecart/categories.asp?cID=189
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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 07:16


Quote:
I'd like to see a carbon foam that would be airtight <snip>


I think this is a contradiction -- unless you can somehow force a closed-cell foam. This probably excludes a bread structure.




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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 07:18


Interesting topic.
It reminds me of my failed attempt to make a sponge from aluminium phosphate.
I dissolved AlPO4 in citric acid solution and soaked a cellulose sponge in it then let it dry and finally tried to burn off everything but the AlPO4.
I was hoping to get a thermal and electrical insulator but what I got was black which I took to mean that it was full of carbon. It wasn't a good enough electrical insulator for my purposes and I couldn't get the carbon to burn off properly.

Just a quick question for those who have spent some time pyrolysing bread to carbon foam:
What happens if you microwave the foam?
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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 08:01


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
What happens if you microwave the foam?

Er, dunno, not tried that - yet.

1 sec.

Edit:

Woot woot !

It gets all jiggy like an electric arc furnace and really annoys the wife !

carbon.JPG - 84kB

It also makes a bzzzzt-bzzzzt noise, exactly like an electric arc.

I noticed some bits of Al foil still stuck to it, so broke off a smaller piece with no foil, and tried again.

It did the same thing.

[Edited on 5-11-2016 by aga]




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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 08:03


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Interesting topic.
It reminds me of my failed attempt to make a sponge from aluminium phosphate.
I dissolved AlPO4 in citric acid solution and soaked a cellulose sponge in it then let it dry and finally tried to burn off everything but the AlPO4.
I was hoping to get a thermal and electrical insulator but what I got was black which I took to mean that it was full of carbon. It wasn't a good enough electrical insulator for my purposes and I couldn't get the carbon to burn off properly.

Just a quick question for those who have spent some time pyrolysing bread to carbon foam:
What happens if you microwave the foam?


How much AlPO4 does citric acid disssolve?

Wiki says AlPO4 melts at 1800C so a solution of it may make a great refectory binder or a flux.

I would like to know what happens to microwaved carbonised toast too. I suspect it will heat up and burn.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 08:22


Wait a sec.

If it's absorbing the microwaves, generating eddy currents in the carbon, and then arcing, it'd be like a super-susceptor.

The only susceptor i know of (magnetite) transforms the microwave to heat by basically getting hot.

This stuff bangs electric arc plasma next to what you're heating !




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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 08:46


Quote: Originally posted by j_sum1  
Quote:
I'd like to see a carbon foam that would be airtight <snip>


I think this is a contradiction -- unless you can somehow force a closed-cell foam. This probably excludes a bread structure.


I wouldn't have any objection to coating the carbon toast foam with some sort of refractory sealant if that would work.

Here's some comments from this video clip. I don't see why you necessarily have to use bread to make a carbon foam though. Do traces of protein in the bread help at all and if so maybe something as ridiculous as hagfish slime could be used in the dough.
http://www.iflscience.com/plants-and-animals/hagfish-slime-b...
Cotton fabrics are crisscrossed just as that dough clip I posted where they lay the strands atop each other perpendicular to ones below. Or maybe carbonized worms could be used to build tube structures. I was thinking a carbonized wasp nest or honeycomb beehive would be interesting maybe again coated with a high temperature glaze to shore up the fragile nature of the carbonized structure if possible.
http://oddstuffmagazine.com/mildly-interesting-things-this-o...


"Essentially that's what it was, they would cut 1 inch squares of cotton fabric like as if you cut up a white tshirt into perfect square pieces, took a handful and soaked in epoxy resin of some kind or phenolic resin and then let it cure under tremendous pressure into this plastic molded shape of resin impregnated cotton squares , they would then bake and burn off that resin leaving behind what they named carbon carbon which is the forerunner to heat abatement tiles like on the space shuttle or at least that's how he described the process in layman's terms to me. hell of a interesting engineer this guy, it was a pleasure to pick his brain"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wex_yKfrTo4

In the above clip it's curious why the foam doesn't conduct electricity.

"The creation of stiff yet multifunctional three-dimensional porous carbon architecture at very low cost is still challenging. In this work, lightweight and stiff carbon foam (CF) with adjustable pore structure was prepared by using flour as the basic element via a simple fermentation and carbonization process."
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsami.6b03985?journalCo...

[Edited on 5-11-2016 by Morgan]
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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 08:48


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
Wait a sec.

If it's absorbing the microwaves, generating eddy currents in the carbon, and then arcing, it'd be like a super-susceptor.

The only susceptor i know of (magnetite) transforms the microwave to heat by basically getting hot.

This stuff bangs electric arc plasma next to what you're heating !

Dunno about that but what you described looked like when I microwaved a pencil. It arc-ed, made bzzzb bzzz sounds
It also really annoyed my female room mate, the male one seemed to enjoy it tho. Maybe it has some female-annoying properties.
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[*] posted on 5-11-2016 at 09:37


Interesting. I microwaved my carbon foam the other day without anything happening at all, even after trying to preheat it with a flame. I have done experiments with carbonized bamboo skewers in close proximity, which arc in interesting ways when preheated. My guess is that my carbon foam was not "cooked" enough, and that there is a large amount of charcoal in it compared to the lesser amount of conductive forms of carbon like graphite. I shall try and see...

I did torch the carbon toast from earlier, for about a minute. The piece itself stayed intact, but I observed some cracks on the surface when exposed directly to the flame.

Currently I am making my own dough, in an attempt to "cast" this carbon foam refractory in the shape of a crucible. I will update on this shortly.




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