Materials Engineering Puzzle




Don’t bow to me, as I do not do anything that is any more important than any other creative person here. In fact, the creativity here is a constant source of inspiration. I thank you for your kind thoughts and for the civility that most share on this forum.


To send this shooting off onto a tangent, has anyone else heard of the summer explosives camp at the University of Missouri - Rolla? They let high school age children detonate explosives and make their own fireworks. Apparently they offer the only undergrad in demolition/explosives (think mining and quarry work.) The only thing that would tempt me into being a teenager again.


And you’re humble, too…seriously bravo.

I mostly design excel templates for a living, you’re looking at interstellar travel. Sure, we have an equal impact on the world, lol…:grin:


Yes, hate to point out the obvious check my reply a few posts above.:grin:


Without the tools you create (which I use) and the tools and things that millions of others create, none of the concepts I explore would be remotely possible.


Teach me to skim. Knowing you’re from Missouri I was considering asking you in my post, but you know, in a hurry.


One of the dumb, but fun things I did as a teenage kid was to take the shot, wadding, and powder out of shotgun shells and marvel at the six foot column of flame created by just the primer. This led to me, as a chemist, seeking to make more of the mercury fulminate that is in the primer. I reasoned that if one crystal could produce that result in a primer, then imagine what a giant fun snap (snap n pop) I could make with 50 grams of the stuff. It worked in epic proportions; neighbors in panic, police called, etc. My explosive exploits are over. Glad to be alive!


I haven’t dug into the idea far enough to know what chemical would be best to use, but the surface pattern would be amazing to behold - just knowing how it was created!


Looking at things is easy, making them reality is another matter.


just make sure you post it! Cant wait to see it!


This story just goes to prove the old adage that there really is such thing as too much of a good thing. :smile:


I would recommend melting it off. The aluminum will melt much lower than the Iron, and if you pay attention you can probably get it off without oxidizing the iron much either.

Or if you have friends in high places, there are ovens with inert gasses that can hit those temps. But i recommend a good bonfire. :wink:


True, about 700°F difference in melting points. Who doesn’t love a good bonfire?
The sample is small, 1 1/2"x 1 1/4", my oxy/acetylene would do that easily.

Thanks for the idea!


I know that ferric chloride will etch copper, but not sure if it will also etch steel…


Oh ya! bust the torch out. im stoked for the pictures of the results. (no pressure :wink: )

ps im jealous of your torch, i dont have one.


Everyone should have an oxy/acetylene torch. I’ve got multiple torches for mine so I can do everything from soldering silver (no oxygen for this) to cutting steel.


I’m just going to skip ahead to a plasma cutter. (Boy, do I wish . . .)


Dang, slow to this topic. Soon as I saw it I thought “thats fused with explosives, i think I saw that on mythbusters.” So many smart people here, loving it.


I broke down and bought these cute little “Y” valves, two for each regulator (for &*$%# $40 each!) so I didn’t have to swap between the two jeweler’s units and my melting torch.
Downside is I have this 3 pound manifold hanging off each reg. :thinking:

I did use oxy in soldering, just with a healthy reducing flame. the excess fuel eagerly sucks up any oxygen from the torch and atmosphere.
That characteristic (silver’s affinity for oxygen) makes gold so much easier to work with… besides, everything I ever made somehow looks better in gold!