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Forum posts for boredom

2 Things
Posted by mike on Mar 31, 2005
Regarding new building materials, there are two interesting things that are supposed to be in the works.

1.) Crackless Glass. Apparently glass is actually somewhere around 10 times stronger than steel (not sure if that is tension, compression, torsion, or what, and also the 10x is off the top of my head and might be wrong). The problem is that glass is full of miniscule cracks which compromise its strength. As we are all well aware current glass cannot even be compared to steel, and I am sure a few people got confused when I said glass is stronger than steel. What I actually meant was that if you could remove the tiny cracks that form in glass, it would be much stronger than steel. They have been working on it since the 60's and they are getting better, they just aren't there yet. For some reason I have never heard this mentioned on Discovery.

2.) The 4th form of carbon. This came to mind when you mentioned turning pollution into building materials. Pollution comes in many forms, the ones that first come to mind for me are Carbon Monoxide, and Carbon Dioxide (lots of garbage contains lots of carbon). We have all likely seen the 3 forms of carbon we know of: coal, graphite, and diamond, but apparently there is some sort of theoretical form of carbon that is stronger than diamond. I don't remember what it is called, but I saw it on Discovery. I don't think they know how to make it, but they are trying to find out or something.

Posted by sarah on Mar 31, 2005
and before wood there was mudbricks!

some day thousands of years down the road archaeologist are going to study the millions of piles of garbage and learn alot about our society. garbage middens are (as disugsting as it may seem) good things for archaeologists.

reminds me of a quote ffrom fast food nation when the author was talking about the Cheyenne Mountain Opertations Center
"should Armageddon come, should a foreign emeny somedady shower the United States with nuclear warheads, laying waste to the whole coneninet, entombed within Cheyenne Mountain, along with the high-tech marvels, the plae blue jumpsuits, comic books, and Bibles, future archaeologists may find other clues to the nature of our civilization - Big King wrappers, hardened crusts of Cheesy Bread, Barbeque Wings and the red, white and blue of a Domino's pizza box"

i need sleep.

Posted by alltogethernow on Mar 31, 2005
The CN Tower's glass floor is a good example of crazy-strong glass. It is only 2 1/4 inches thick.. but can withstand the weight of .......

14 HIPPOS!!!

I swear to god that is the stat they have on their website...

For more specifics on this glass floor, which is five times stronger than the required weight bearing standard for commercial floors....

go here:

my question
Posted by Katie on Mar 31, 2005
why can't they make some kind of material to build roads out of, that doesn't heave and crack and create gigantic, car wrecking potholes every spring?

Anyone who drives along the Gardiner and 427 must feel my pain.

There is a ton of plastic being recycled....can they not try to product some kind of durable, flexible (enough to withstand seasonal temperature changes) and lasting material to pave our roads????

Excellent question.
Posted by mike on Mar 31, 2005
The cause of most potholes is not as simple as it may appear. There are multiple ways that they are formed. One possibility is shitty material, but more often than not is is a problem with the underlying material, and not the asphalt itself.

Frost heave and ice lenses are the main causes of potholes and uneven road surfaces. Spring just happens to be the worst time of year for potholes to develop because the temperature is fluctuating above and below freezing on a daily basis. The funniest thing to me is how potholes etc. are essentially self-propagating. As soon as you get one crack in the asphalt it allows more water into the underlying material which compounds the problem and makes the crack get bigger, this bigger crack allows more water in... and on, and on.

They are trying numerous things involving asphalt. They are putting glass into it, chunks of rubber, more bitumen, less bitumen, more aggregate, less aggregate, it's a pretty big industry. One of the most interesting things to me is when they recycle asphalt in place. This is a good idea... I think... but I doubt that the road lasts as long.

I am somewhat surprised that the 427 is getting shitty. It is actually a concrete highway and should be much less succeptable to potholes etc. Although it is getting old, and we all know how much money goes into fixing infrastructure... as little as possible. If it ain't broke don't fix it, if it is broke wait till someone gets injured by it and then think about fixing it.

It's the same old story where roads are concerned, you could build a concrete roadway, or an asphalt roadway. A concrete roadway has a horrendously expensive startup cost, but usually requires less maintenance and lasts for a long time. An asphalt roadway has a relatively cheap startup cost, requires quite a bit of maintenance, and doesn't last anywhere near as long as concrete. In a way it is kind of like buying something outright, or putting it on payments. Concrete costs a shit load up front, where asphalt is like an installment plan... you end up paying more in the long run, but you pay a little bit at a time. The problems occur when you stop making the required payments (ripping up and re-paving the roadway)... you lose the use of the road.

Posted by krys on Mar 31, 2005
isn't it the 407 that is concrete? i believe so. Isn't that why it's the toll highway??

but maybe the 427 is concrete also.. i don't *know* that it is..

a sidenote...
Posted by Hatful on Apr 02, 2005
Here's a nice sidenote.. A little hopeful something or other...
There's this robotics company based out of Guelph of Kitchener or somewhere that has, or is in the process of developping solar panels that are flexible!
Imagine, they can be molded to any surface.

flexible solar pannels
Posted by fanoom on Apr 03, 2005
Now that you mention it I remember hearing something about that a few years ago with the US military. they had solar bundles, a plyable solar mat that could be rolled up and unrolled, if I recall correctly they were designed to run a laptop or a moble command centre.. Anyways I recall trying to find one and it ended up being like 500 bucks. But yes a plyable solar pannel would be a great idea, expecially in car manufacturing and pretty much anything that has to do with the outdoors. Hell they already have solar shingles out. The whole problem is economics. Damn supply and demand.