High-density carbon foam is what was used to cover the exterior of the space shuttle, and it turns out you can make it from wonder bread. This ultra-sugary white bread is known to be incredibly soft, and unfortunately very sugary. When it is super heated, it can be turned into a heat-resistant and electrically impervious strong resistive material. Making the material uses a similar process to making charcoal briquettes. If you place a loaf in a sealed oxygen free container and super heat it, you are left with heat resistant carbon foam. Check out how its done below.
The man behind this project estimates that the wonder bread carbon foam can withstand up to 6,600˚C. When the foam does get subjected to temperatures above its threshold, it simply sublimates and turns directly into a gas, instead of melting. Who knew that burning dinner could create a strong super material? Well, as long as your oven is an oxygen free airtight container.
This video was actually based off of research looking into the strengths of bread based carbon foam, published here. Part of what makes the foam so useful is its incredibly light-weight and insulative properties. When these qualities are combined, it makes for a near perfect material for use in aerospace technologies.
[Image Source: AvE]
We are not going to recommend that you try making wonder bread carbon foam at home, even if it is possible. Creating carbon foam isn't just limited to wonder bread either, in theory, you could create carbon foam out of any porous carbon based food material. Say hello to the NASA space shuttle insulated with burnt white bread.
Written by Trevor English