Starlite, the nuclear blast-defying plastic that could change the world – Telegraph

I’d like to hear Roamy’s take on this super-material.

It feels and looks like nothing much, but holding this nondescript piece of plastic would be, to the world’s defence and scientific community, somewhat of a privilege. Starlite, invented by the white-bearded, suited Ward, has been described as astonishing; impossible; miraculous. It has changed assumptions about thermodynamics and physics. It can resist temperatures that would melt diamonds, threefold. ‘If it is what it seems,’ says Toby Greenbury, a partner at law firm Mischon de Reya and Ward’s lawyer for 20 years, ‘it will be of enormous benefit to mankind. It’s very difficult to think of another invention that is bigger in its implications.’ As a fire-retardant, thermal barrier or heat-resistant coating, Starlite could change the world. Except that it hasn’t, and that’s as much of a mystery as the secret, unheard of properties of the material Ward invented 23 years ago

via Starlite, the nuclear blast-defying plastic that could change the world – Telegraph.

6 thoughts on “Starlite, the nuclear blast-defying plastic that could change the world – Telegraph”

  1. HMS Dreadnought, Chobham armor, and Starlite: Who said the British never did anything?

  2. Once can imagine Walter Brooke telling Dustin Hoffman

    “I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening?”


    “Exactly what do you mean?”

  3. Problem is, he’s a nutter who thinks the world is trying to rip him off. If he’d just work with the industry he could be successful.

  4. The article is useless. They keep quoting meaningless temperatures when they should quote heat fluxes. They make illiterate comparisons of heat absorption in Starlite and shuttle tiles (Hint: the tiles absorb very little energy. By design.). Heat absorption is only useful in short-time transient and ablating situations, neither of which apply to the tiles.

    And whenever anybody says that experimental results seem to defy physics & thermodynamics, I’m very skeptical.

  5. In addition to what Geoff says, I’d like to know what it costs to produce, and how hard is it to produce.

    What Geoff says should be taken to heart as well. In the popular press you occasionally come across news of some new wonder material and the reporter breathlessly tells us “it’s as strong as steel.” Horse feathers.

    Steel has several different ways of expressing strength. Yield stress is was structural Engineers used to concern themselves with most (now it’s the ultimate rupture stress). But toughness is another way to look at it. That’s the energy that can be absorbed without permanent .deformation. Composite materials are good things, but they have limitations.

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