YouTube Video: A Super-Material You Can Make In Your Kitchen (Starlite?)

Today a bit of chemistry and engineering that took my fancy. I have read about Starlite before, and I always wondered what it was made of. It would be swell if it could be made to actually work on big scale.

There are other materials that have similarly amazing insulating properties – aerogels – but they are brittle and a pain in the arse to make at home (i tried, and failed).

I am already thinking about how to use this in knifemaking.

Oh and sorry for being so quiet, but I was away for almost a week without internet and I am still catching my breath after getting back to work after.


  1. Jazzlet says

    Does it ever dry? I can see it being useful for masking purposes, but if it always remains putty-like that would limit it’s uses.

    Glad you’re back Charly :-)

  2. lorn says

    The PVA, polyvinyl acetate (commonly known as school glue but also used in some binders for porous materials in construction) dries by losing water and it will get stiff and leathery at first but ultimately harden up as a slightly malleable plastic material. The addition of the other materials likely tends to stiffen it all up a bit. The PVA on its own is like syrup but turns putty-like when the other ingredients are added. Fully dried I suspect the mix is quite durable with the particulates making the stuff harder and less likely to shatter when cold.

    I don’t know but it seems to me that his mix could be thinned out quite a bit and used as a thick paint. A couple of coats, say a millimeter thick, applied to exposed wood and you might have a much more fire resistant house when mister wildfire comes knocking. Wild speculation on my part.

  3. lorn says

    Wondering. Obviously PVA and, was it cornmeal, works but both are subject to moisture, mold, rot, and possible insect attack. Acrylic and/or latex might be more resistant to moisture, wear and tear. And I suppose the corn meal, he also mentioned flour, might be treated with borax to deter animal and insect attack.

    A backyard chemist could have a lot of fun fiddling with ingredients. Oh but for the time, place and resources to mess around with things like this.

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