Video: How bubble wrap is made


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Too bad that electronics are going to put Louis out of a job…

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I’m trying to understand why they need a forklift?


Because Reed Richards quit to join the Fantastic Four and Elastigirl didn’t like the childcare package.


What do you expect them to do, strain their backs?

Can’t they just kick it to the loading dock?

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What about giving them rebreathers, and partially filling the area with sulfur hexafluoride or some other heavy gas? The rolls would FLOAT!

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Great. Now I want a roll of hydrogen-filled bubble wrap. And a lighter. :boom:


That’s doable. Just enclose the whole machine into hydrogen atmosphere. Borrow tech from power plants, they use hydrogen for cooling the generators; if you keep the concentration above the higher explosive limit you’re safe. Just flush it with nitrogen and then with hydrogen before you start operation, and flush with nitrogen before letting air back in. (I had to write most of this as a note after researching why the Chernobyl plant staff had so much hydrogen in the turbine hall.)

This leads me to a thought. What about not a bubblewrap but a thin-walled foam filled with hydrogen? E.g. make a liquid polymer precursor, bubble it up to large-cell foam with hydrogen, then cure the bubbles with e.g. UV lamp? A nice, somewhat structural material, lighter than air, possible to cut to blocks and use to fill a blimp/balloon. Would have to be made from something with low diffusivity of hydrogen even at very low thickness, which is not trivial, though, but may be improved with outside coating of the blocks, or sealing the blocks to thin aluminized barrier foil, for a weight penalty. A good choice of material with low flammability and high heat resistance (polyimide, perhaps?) would then provide a degree of fire resistance in case of smaller leaks and fires. Leaks, and the associated danger, would be generally limited to a volume of one to few bubbles.


Pop pop.


Kind of a skinned metal H2-saturated aerogel? Lighter than air, strong enough to support things, rigid enough to be a construction material.

Dammit, I need my castles in the sky. Get on with it, science!

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A good beginning.

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I thought that said Teflon sheet, and was a cruel joke. :slight_smile:

I wonder how they get around the air shrinking in volume as it (and the surrounding plastic) cools from 400 degrees.

Fan in ambient-temperature air, then shut and weld the bubble fast enough so it cannot escape? (perhaps?) Note that the bubbles aren’t fully inflated, there’s usually some slack in them as this process is not perfect. (May in turn help separating the bubble from the mould as the air shrinks a bit.)

What I need is this machine feeding the sheet it’s just made into another machine that pops the bubbles.


The popping roller should play a tune…

edit missing word…


At some exhibition of office tech, some 20 years ago, I saw a vendor showing off and boasting about a machine that can print letters and envelopes and fold the letters and stuff them into envelopes.

I proposed a machine to cut the envelope open, remove and unfold the letter, crumple it into a ball and throw it into a waste paper basket.

The vendor was not amused. :smiley: