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Glass
zero mostel, creepy, sesame street, hot
chancellor_dave wrote in polysophism
I had a very random discussion with my friend Gayle. It seemed the sort of thing that might start a fun discussion here. It spawned from me showing Gayle some pieces of Murano art glass. Some of it seemed the kind of thing you'd find in the bedroom of someone with a clown fetish. I thought this piece was very nice though:



It's the piece I was referring to in the following comment.

Dave: Well, the amazing part is that it's made of blown glass.
Gayle: impressive
Gayle: that's neat
Dave: I wonder if anyone has ever tried to make a car out of blown glass.
Dave: Or an airplane.
Gayle: lolol
Gayle: that's an interesting thought
Dave: Landing it might be dangerous.
Gayle: probably!
Gayle: that's a lot of molten glass to handle too
Dave: Well, it could be made in pieces.
Gayle: good point
Dave: See, the funny thing here is that you thought I was just being ridiculous. I was actually speculating about whether or not it would be possible to build a functional vehicle out of glass. And if so, how much of it would have to be metal? :P
Dave: I think an internal combustion engine would be difficult though.
Gayle: I think one problem is that glass is brittle
Gayle: metal allows for crumple zones
Dave: Of course. I'm not saying it would be a PRACTICAL vehicle.
Dave: I'm just saying, could it be made to function without self-destructing?
Gayle: haha
Gayle: it probably could
Gayle: although
Dave: I mean, could you drive a glass car 3 miles?
Gayle: I wonder how hot of a temperature it can withstand
Gayle: we had a glass explosion in our kitchen last semester
Dave: Granted, like, the tires couldn't withstand it, unless they were really thick glass.
Dave: Hmm, but you could have glass rims with rubber tires.
Gayle: haha nice
Gayle: glass rims would be the epitome of icy
Gayle: or crystal!!
Dave: I suppose the engine could be made of metal-laden Pyrex.
Dave: Pyrex may still be brittle, but you can get it super-hot.
Dave: Plus, it ceases to be so brittle at higher temps.
Gayle: yeah that's true
Dave: Crystal would actually be a good choice for the engine.
Dave: But, like, Pyrex-based crystal.
Dave: Crystal has a high heavy metal content, which makes it thermally conductive. Plus, you can machine it.
Dave: A boat!
Dave: You could make a glass boat.
Dave: All glass.
Dave: If it had a working glass internal combustion engine, that would fulfill the requirement.
Dave: No need for tires.
Gayle: lol sweet!
Gayle: why get a glass-bottom boat when you can get a glass boat
Dave: Running it aground might be a bad idea.
Dave: Stay away from coral reefs.
Gayle: yeah that'd be a disaster
Dave: (Which is a shame, since that'd be a sweet place to take it.)
Gayle: haha true
Gayle: maybe if it were some kind of thick reinforced glass
Dave: Like fiberglass!
Dave: Wait, no, that's cheating.
Gayle: hmm
Dave: I wonder if anyone has ever tried making glass-fiber-reinforced glass?
Dave: It would be super-strong.
Gayle: hmm
Dave: See, the idea here being that you mix clear spun fibers of a glass that has a decent tensile strength into a durable soft glass with a much lower melting point.
Gayle: would it be transparent?
Dave: It could be.
Dave: Looking through it might be a really odd experience if the two types of glass had differing optical properties though.
Dave: Speaking of that, it might be possible through similar methods to create transparent fiberglass.
Dave: Oh, that has apparently already been invented.
Dave: It's being used in cockpit windows.
Gayle: oh, interesting
Dave: I'm not sure why they wouldn't just use polycarbonate, except I guess that stuff is heavier.
Gayle: that surprises me
Dave: Not like you need to worry about bird strikes in a cockpit or anything. Pfft.
Dave: That polycarbonate is stronger?
Gayle: that it's heavier
Dave: Well, it's not terribly heavy. But it's heavier than fiberglass.

I'm honestly not sure if I'm correct about the difference between transparent fiberglass and polycarbonate. It seems to make the most sense though. Maybe polycarbonate can't protect you either when the bird is moving at a relative speed of several hundred miles per hour?

This conversation was really a blast though.

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