Project HELIOS - Invocation Begins 10.01.10

jamsomito

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
Messages
3,203
I decided to trade in the project log for a big bang at the end. ... Tune in soon for final pics, the fabrication story, technical specifics, hardware selection and some pretty badass motion graphics.

It's been a couple months now since we've heard anything. This project is so awesome! Sounds like you've got some ambitious goals, I mean those beyond the actual assembly of the case. Can't wait!
 

Wylee

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2011
Messages
130
This is damned cool. Great work man. Your craftsmanship seems impressive.
 

Langer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2008
Messages
327
SO it turns out making large aerogel monoliths is an incredible challenge in engineering, patience, and chemistry.

I can make little beads and small pieces all day long... I'd even go so far as to say I have the 'gel' making process down to an art. BUT, Manufacturing the large chunks I envision is proving somewhat unobtainable... but I'm getting through it.

The process of making Aerogel with any level of precision or clarity requires a pressure vessel (called a supercritical dryer) which can handle about 75bar, or about 1000psi. And if you know anything about pressure tanks, a 1000psi is one hell-of-a feat.

This has not phased me however... I've been endeavorering to acquire the necessary materials to build my own "supercritical dryer". My design features an internal area large enough to allow the creation of parts 26"x10"x2". Bare with me on that front as it needs extreme care and caution - else it will become a very impressive bomb.

Also, I've gone through about a grand worth of chemicals now, and I'm awaiting another delivery of the base elements which go-into creating this magnificent material.

i'll quote a section from my recipe so you can get a better idea of the process:
Aerogel Recipe said:
9) Once gel has set, soak under ethanol for 24hrs.

10) Replace ethanol and allow to soak for 5-7days, changing ethanol every 36hrs

11) Supercritically dry the gel.
a) Transfer gel into the super critical dryer (at your own risk).
b) Replace the atmosphere with CO2 (at your own risk, lol).
c) Begin to heat the atmosphere in the dryer. (you're not reading this are you?)
d) Heat the CO2 past its critical point (31.1°C and 72.9 bars) to ~45°C . (goodluck)
e) Maintaining a pressure of ~100 bars. (???)
f) Depressurize at ~7 bar h-1. (profit)

12) If you're still alive, remove gel from the supercritical dryer and machine to spec.



As a poit of reference the tiny dryer I have now with a chamber just 0.8"x0.8"x1" (made from a high-pressure pipe X joint) ran about $800 with all the valves, fittings, gauges, and such.

The dryer I'm currently using is based off this reference:
helios-supercritical-dryer-ref.jpg

***THESE ARE NOT HOME DEPOT FITTINGS!
THEY ARE SPECIALIZED HIGH PRESSURE FITTINGS!
DO NOT TRY TO BUILD A SUPER CRITICAL DRYER WITHOUT EXTREME CAUTION!***


The big dryer I'm working on is seeing some extreme manufacturing, redundancy, composites, and fittings... I wont be blowing it - I'n fact I plan to start selling Aerogel monoliths (nomenclature for big pieces of this stuff) to offset the incredible project costs.



Since the Aerogel is taking longer than expected...
I'll let you in on the next step
...LEDs are so 2010.

I decree that 2011 be the year of radioactive isotope case lighting!
helios-tritium-inserts-01.jpg


Various pieces of custom formed Tritium as well as off the shelf tritium inserts will be the illumination feature for Helios.

Tritium requires no "charging" and glows entirely passively without the need for power or electricity of any kind.

Gun buffs may have seen this stuff before in high-end tactical sights.
helios-tritium-inserts-02.png


Read more on the stuff here: http://www.mbmicrotec.com
 

formula409

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 7, 2005
Messages
311
Man..good to see you back on Langer....pretty intense stuff for this project. The Tritium inserts is an awesome idea.
 

Jesse B

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
1,631
Wow, you sure came back with a bang :D

Also, your idea for lighting is just... just fantastic.
 

TwistedAegis

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
Messages
8,958
Not only is it potentially explosive, but now comes complete with radioactive fallout! ;)

Good thing you have all this documented on the [H] for when Homeland Security comes knocking.
 

fluke420

Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
920
Tritium. Not just for watches and gun sights anymore. Excellent idea.

See if you can get the T100's as they are much brighter then the normal run of the mill T25's.
 

Langer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2008
Messages
327
@formula409 - Thank you sir ;) - Been busy learning, good to be back posting.

@Jesse B - Lets hope there will be no-more bangs. Haha. Thanks a lot.

@mannyman - Actually I openly give away the plans for this case to anyone who has requested it. I ask only to see credit where it's due. I would love to more Helios design cases constructed from various materials.

@jamsomito - Haha - cheers.

@TwistedAegis - Good thing I'm on their side ;)

@zer0gravity - Thanks mate, I appreciate it.

@Wylee - All hail hypnotoad!

@fluke420 - Once I get the large dryer operational and I have this all figured out, I'm going to try and make tritriated aerogel. Tritiated aerogel is one of the most luminous forms of tritium, and should have a nice healthy electricity-free glow for the next 75years or so. Much brighter than the glow you'd expect from something like an insert. I'll be using 'quantum dots' to shift the color with quantum containment bandgap effects. Moving more specifically the aerogel composition will be a "tritiated superconducting silica nanoparticle quantum-dot aerogel" (muahahaha?).

@bamaland - What comes next? lol
 

bamaland

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 27, 2011
Messages
270
hmm the heart of iron man? super ever lasting mini powersupply able to power the most power consuming pc in the world?
/back to reality
that would be awesome though
 

fluke420

Gawd
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Messages
920
@fluke420 - Once I get the large dryer operational and I have this all figured out, I'm going to try and make tritriated aerogel. Tritiated aerogel is one of the most luminous forms of tritium, and should have a nice healthy electricity-free glow for the next 75years or so. Much brighter than the glow you'd expect from something like an insert. I'll be using 'quantum dots' to shift the color with quantum containment bandgap effects. Moving more specifically the aerogel composition will be a "tritiated superconducting silica nanoparticle quantum-dot aerogel" (muahahaha?).

All that is a little over my head but I though the NRC kept a tight control of Tritium within the US.
 

wra18th

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
8,291
He's not in the US. I guess Canadians are free to play with glow in the dark stuff.
 

EdZ

Gawd
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
773
Phosphor-coated Tritium! Aerogels! Quantum dots!
Mix them all together, and you have Metal Chalcogenide Aerogels!
Tritiated aerogels are cool, it's shame you need to keep them in a T2O atmosphere in order for them to glow (at least according to the 1990s DoE/SNL paper I read), so you can't have a freely handleable lump of brightly glowing nearly-weightless smoke.

If you're willing to risk it as a one-shot, you could use a large SCUBA tank for your supercritical dryer. They stand up to 200+ bar easy, but you'd have to do your gelling blind inside it, and cut it open once dried to get the aerogel out. A used tank would be a LOT cheaper than a bespoke pressure vessel though, so if you already have the heating an pressurisation equipment it could be worth it as a one-shot test.
There are also Nanotube and Cellulose aerogels, which can be created by the somewhat simpler process of freeze-drying in place of supercritical-drying, but they generally have the property of being more flexible/spongy than normally rigid Silica aerogels.
 

wra18th

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
8,291
My condolences to his family and friends. He still lives in his creations. R.I.P
 
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