#1 By: Cory Doctorow, December 11th, 2013 22:16
#2 By: mtdna, December 11th, 2013 22:22
See how it feels, fire ants?
#3 By: Ryan Bennitt, December 11th, 2013 22:36
I wonder if aliens will ever visit earth, pour molten metal alloys into our homes then sell the results on xbay.
#4 By: jake0748, December 11th, 2013 22:49
No ants were harmed during the... oh, nevermind.
#5 By: Thecorrectline, December 11th, 2013 22:53
I was interested to see the actual creation process. This vid is from the ebay sellers.
And another from a different source, not for sale apparently.
#6 By: mtdna, December 11th, 2013 22:58
Actually, fire ants are an invasive species from South America. So the question may be, I wonder if we ever invade an alien planet, will they pour molten metal alloys into our unwanted colonies? It would be hard to hold it against them...
#7 By: Tim Quinn, December 11th, 2013 22:59
#8 By: robulus, December 11th, 2013 23:03
He lies awake at night, his ears ringing with tiny, tiny screams.
#9 By: Boundegar, December 11th, 2013 23:26
I wonder why aluminum? I recall from high school chemistry it's a very difficult metal to work with, and tends to burst into flame.
#10 By: technogeek, December 11th, 2013 23:34
Aluminum's not that hard to work with. Websearch will find many folks doing aluminum casts, with descriptions/videos of the process. It's cheap (especially if you're recycling empties), it has a fairly low melting temperature, it's light weight, and it doesn't particularly "tend to burst into flame" under normal circumstances, though there are ways to burn it.
#11 By: Thecorrectline, December 11th, 2013 23:40
Perhaps you we're thinking of Ti or something? Aluminum is pretty safe to work with (no molten metal is all that safe, but lots are worse). The only thing I can think of is if you manage to spill water into molten aluminum, you're going to have a bad time as it produces hydrogen, and molten aluminum is hot enough to ignite hydrogen.
#12 By: teapot, December 11th, 2013 23:42
It also ends up with a pretty nice finish that is much more slowly oxidised than iron or copper.
PS I bet you this was the thing that kicked off the idea:
The do the same thing with a concrete and an entire anthill.
#13 By: technogeek, December 11th, 2013 23:48
As I understand it, exposed aluminum generally oxidizes immediately -- but aluminum oxide is (a) transparent, (b) nonporous, and (c) doesn't flake off, so effectively it coats itself in a protective layer of corundum and stops oxidizing almost as fast as it started.
#14 By: Dimitrios_Papagiannis, December 12th, 2013 00:30
I don't know if 1800 bucks is that cheap. But its all relative
#15 By: teapot, December 12th, 2013 00:31
Come to think of it I believe you're right.. Anyone know what the hell is happening when aluminium is exposed to the elements for a long period of time? I've noticed that it tends to get cloudy and sometimes gets white deposits of something on the surface.
#16 By: Charlie, December 12th, 2013 00:39
The oxididized rind is silvery white (or "aluminium colored") not transparent, but other than that, yes.
Don't inhale the fumes...
#17 By: Flugfrei_Jones, December 12th, 2013 00:54
aluminum has a low melting point and is super easy to cast. i'm not sure why you were taught that it tends to burst into flame, it doesn't..
#18 By: Jason's Robot, December 12th, 2013 00:57
A better question might start out; if aliens ever accidentally transport us to their alien planet, will they pour molten metal.....
#19 By: Ant Dude, December 12th, 2013 01:05
#20 By: cashblack, December 12th, 2013 01:46
Now I am become death, the caster of colonies.
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