low melting point

Today’s entry was written by Guest Professor Sectonia, a marine biologist with interests in most fields of science!


Kartana, also known as UB-04: Blade is one of the mysterious Ultra Beasts discovered when Alola was revealed. It’s known that Kartana can cut down entire steel buildings in one fell swoop, but how can a thing made from paper do such a thing? How can something be so sharp enough that a simple swoop from one of its blades allows it to cut steel? 

To start with, we need to understand how paper works, and what could go with paper to create Kartana. Paper is made with cellulose fiber, which are gotten from trees. Cellulose fiber is a glucose (simple sugar) monomer. That means it is simply a long string-like molecule that’s been created to be a part of something larger (usually a polymer). Cellulose fiber is super strong because when these monomers are close to each other, they form hydrogen bonds, which allows them to stick together and be stiff and strong enough for daily usage. The cellulose itself comes from the bark, wood or leaves of plants, making trees ideal sources of cellulose fiber. This is what paper looks like under a microscope:

Paper, by itself, isn’t too impressive, with the worst damage being paper cuts. However, when you cut it, the real danger begins to show. Cutting paper allows the cellulose fiber to stick out from the paper. This is largely unnoticed by us, since the cellulose fiber is sticking out on a microscopic level, but the fibers sticking out makes the paper more dangerous, since the fibers are now able to contribute to the cutting power and make the paper more dangerous. 

Instead of bonding to each other, the loose fibers are now free to wreak havoc. Kartana’s shape is likely cut like this, contributing to its power. If you don’t believe that paper can be dangerous, watch this video of paper being used to slice through wood: 

Now, an oddity of Kartana is that it has a secondary steel typing. Why? Shouldn’t Kartana be pure grass if it was made from paper, and paper is made from trees? Not exactly. Paper tends to have fillers in it to smooth out the paper and make it stronger. Fillers are tiny particles that are mixed into the cellulose fibers, usually minerals like clay, carbon, chalk, or metals. So, if Kartana’s paper was filled with tiny particles of metals and minerals, it would be stronger, sharper, and explain its steel typing.

The metal used to fill the paper has to meet specific criteria to be a part of Kartana, because we know Kartana has low special defense, and susceptivity to fire. The metal has to have a melting point low enough that regular fire melts it, but not so low that it melts upon touching human skin (like gallium). One possible metal that meets all of the qualifications is bismuth

Just like any metals, if you’re careful enough, bismuth can be sharpened enough to cut something. This is important because the smaller the area that is being applied to a surface, the more pressure the blade is able to exert on that surface to tear it. This property also tells us why Kartana is so small (only one foot tall!) when the other Ultra Beasts seems so big. Because Kartana is so small, Kartana is very sharp, making it a more dangerous blade.

Kartana is made of strong cellulose fibers filled with tiny particles of bismuth. Its metal fillings and small size enable it to cut down enemies with razor sharp precision.

anonymous asked:

Hey!! I'm pretty sure that 'soup' you just posted is bismuth!!! A metal with a super low melting point, and you can buy it and melt it at home and it creates incredible square crystalline structures!!! But definitely not for eating. Haha. Just a fun fact!!

Oh yeah, bismuth!! I knew it was the process of some kind of metal/crystal lol, I’ve seen a video of people melting it before! It’s really pretty when it crystallizes, but seeing it melted down is just as pretty, look at that shiny iridescent surface!!

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A bouncing ball of molten sodium metal during the reaction with triphenylphosphine in diglyme.

Diglyme is a high boiling point (162 °C (324 °F; 435 K)) etheral solvent what is often used in organic synthesis, since it has the ability to chelate small cations, leaving anions more active.

When adding sodium metal (shiny metal ball floating over there) to a solution of triphenylphopshine in diglyme, phenyl sodium and sodium diphenylphosphide will form (that orange colored thing at the surface of the sodium at the fourth gif). The reaction will only happen if the solvent does not contain any water, but when it starts, the whole solution will turn blood red in a few minutes (last gif).

Sodium has a low melting point (97.8 °C ​(​208 °F, 371 K)), so it’s easily melted in the hot diglyme solutions, since it does not react with it. Any protic solvent (any solvent that contains labile H+) would react with sodium, so the same trick could not be done e.g.: with water.

something about Bismuth really bothered me

and no, its not what 90% of tumblr is talking about right now.

Bismuth isn’t a gem. Its a metal, a very unique type of metal

Gems, both the Crystal gems and members of the Diamond Authority, are clearly gemstones, refined and cut.  Another major part of their existence is the ‘humanoid’ form they take which is described as ‘light passing through their gem’.  Cool.

But bismuth isn’t clear, its entirely opaque. Light cannot pass through, only reflect, it so how does she form her body? 

(the rest of this post may very well be irrelevant because its using what i know about the chemical properties of the periodic element, Bismuth and the show doesnt always incorporate science in their writing)

Natural bismuth is silver.  It turns that pretty rainbow color when oxidized (exposed to air).  Its also a very brittle metal, a small piece can break with just the force of your hands.  Its melting point is  271.5 °C, ​520.7 °F and we see her bathe in a shower of lava, which is about 700 to 1,200 °C/1,292 to 2,192 °F.  This would have turned her into a literal puddle.

Bismuth is also known for its funky shape.

Originally posted by hellokittyismyspiritanimal

(excerpt from the wiki)

“The spiral, stair-stepped structure of bismuth crystals is the result of a higher growth rate around the outside edges than on the inside edges. The variations in the thickness of the oxide layer that forms on the surface of the crystal causes different wavelengths of light to interfere upon reflection, thus displaying a rainbow of colors. …  Though virtually unseen in nature, high-purity bismuth can form distinctive, colorful hopper crystals. It is relatively nontoxic and has a low melting point just above 271 °C, so crystals may be grown using a household stove, although the resulting crystals will tend to be lower quality than lab-grown crystals.”

(lab grown bismuth ‘crystal’ beside a cube of natural, unoxidized bismuth metal)

It was my theory for a long time that the bubbled bismuth that rose locked away was some kind of synthetic soldier gem.  I’m rather disappointed that its not, seems like a missed opportunity IMO.  

anyhow, heres some pics of bismuth that i bought last year! the blue one is my fave

Morphing metal shapes future of soft robotics

Imagine an aircraft that could alter its wing shape in midflight and, like a pelican, dive into the water before morphing into a submarine. Cornell University engineering professor Rob Shepherd and his group might help make that futuristic-sounding vehicle a reality.

The key is a hybrid material featuring stiff metal and soft, porous rubber foam that combines the best properties of both – stiffness when it’s called for, and elasticity when a change of shape is required. The material also has the ability to self-heal following damage.

“It’s sort of like us – we have a skeleton, plus soft muscles and skin,” Shepherd said. “Unfortunately, that skeleton limits our ability to change shape – unlike an octopus, which does not have a skeleton.”

Keep reading

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I’m learning sigil magic and how to work with sigils and I discovered something really cool just now and I’m really proud and wanted to share.
I was charging a sigil (which was written in colored purple pencil on regular printed paper (b/c purple is nice and I like purple) using the heat of a (soy? I think) candle. Basically, this candle’s wax has a low melting point and can be used as lotion (which smells really nice) and I had the idea to rub some of the lotion/wax on the paper and continue heat treating it and discovered that the paper turned translucent which is cool for a few reasons:
1. Seeing the candle light going through the paper was really good for meditating on it
2. I could now place the paper much closer to the flame w/o it igniting
3. The paper is more durable now which is nice of you’re planning on keeping a sigil in your pocket or whatever
4. It looks really cool+ you can see the sigil from both sides
So in summary: soy candles + sigils =perhaps good???

In a Volcano

DM: There’s an island of gold sitting in a pool of lava.

Dwarf: It’s a trap. Gold melts in lava.

Human: What if the lava has a low melting point?

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Made some 2,2,2-trifluoroethyl-tosylate (or: 2,2,2-Trifluoroethyl p-toluenesulfonate). This compound has a low melting point (36-38 °C) what means it crystallizes usually after a few minutes it I work with it in liquid form.

The first picture is the actual picture from a flask with some TFE-tosylate crystallized in it, the other 3 is cropped from this picture, because it has so adorable details, enjoy!

The photo could be purchased as a high quality print over here: HERE

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Recently I prepared a larger amount of 2,3-methylenedioxy-anisole what’s a white crystalline compound when pure, has a quite pleasant odor and melts at 41 °C.

Because of it’s low melting point it’s easy to recrystallize it, as seen on the video/gifs and every time it forms adorable crystals. Watch the video on full screen on high resolution.  

Science!