A SUPER -MATERIAL you can make

ok, this is my very first thread. been mostly lurking for a very long time, too much of a backlog of ignorance to work off to be able to contribute much to the knowledge base…

but just found this tonight, and knowing how important heat-resistant materials are in gasifiers and retorts, this was an amazing video that i think will be of interest to many here:


made from corn starch, baking soda, and white glue.

hmm, hard to choose a topic category…


Interesting. :grin: Thanks Robin.


Glad to read the good report on your situation on the other thread, Jeff.

I had a thought about this insulation material after I posted.
If it is so amazingly effective against heat, why wouldn’t it be an awesome replacement for the expensive Fiberglas insulation or plastic foam panels we now use to keep heat IN our homes up north? Sounds like a million dollar idea right there…

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I actualy concidered puting the stuff in my new gasifier as the insulation around the hearth but l decided not to. Here is why. As l understand the actual insulative/refractive component is carbon foam. Charcoal gasifier folks know how insulative charcoal is but allso that its britle. As a one time fire protection l see great potential in this. But for everyday use my guess is its far too britle.

Try burning a spoon of sugar in an wery hot oven you will get the same kind of charcoal foam. Wery light and insulative but it crumbles to dust just looking at it.

Allso, this material will not work unless heated above charing temperature! At lower temperature its about as insulative as a dry pancake (wich it sort of is :smile:)


I took notes on the video and noted two things:

First, that it would take up to 10,000 degrees Celsius,
And that you could use sugar but he seems to recommend corn starch instead.
As to brittleness, I was wondering if the various compounds that have been tried to toughen up the surface of the ceramic blanket insulation ( what was it, some kind of silica?) might not improve the longevity of the material, and he mentioned something about adding a chemical found in finger nail polish remover that could be added to aid in attaching the substance to a substrate, if I didn’t misunderstand him.


Well that 10 000c thing is a bit far feched. Carbon, being the most refractory element in the periodic table, having boiling point of around 5000c l think. Yes for a short period of time l guess it is possible but not in a long run.

On toughening, as l understand, with cheramic wool (aluminium silicate) you add aluminium hidroxide and sodium silicate between the fibres and when they heat up form aluminium silicate between the fibres, glueing them together with the same material.

But you made me think, what if cheramic fibres were mixed with this diy starlite? My guess is as the carbon foam starts to form it shuld capture fibres in the structure making it stronger?


I like that Idea Kristijan, it should be tried out.

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We had already discussed this in some detail, @madflower69 had posted a link to a very informative but sceptical site. There seems to be a lot of hype, but little verifiable about the starlite. I would allow that the original inventor might have accidentally discovered some amazing combination that gave effects beyond normal materials, but his formulation isn’t known.

As to heat resistance, I think other information Sean had posted on kiln washes might be more helpful. It mentioned that certain compounds are highly reflective of infra red at high temperatures, zirconia being one, I believe. I do think kiln operators probably know as much about high temperature performance as anyone.


Strange but just recently i have been bussy with this kind of stuff. This one made from rice starch residue from the waste water plant… otherwise it goes into animal food…


That is pretty strange Koen!
after you had carbonized the surface of the material, does it feel crumbly, or might it be rigid enough to surive in a gasifier firetube?


My guess was a one time safety use material. However, it might be possible to heat cure then protect with ridgidizer or kiln wash. So easy to make, even for me.


And pretty cheap. :slight_smile:


Product , as shown in my video, is 100 Gr of rice flower, 20 gr baking soda and about 50 gr white latex glue

It is not suited to act as insulation but works well as fire protective layer in case needed any.

The carbon will withstand up to 4000ºC as then it will sublimate ( any carbon ) or glow into ashes
The baking soda will make “layers” or bubbles that will create a kind of barrier before the real heat can reach next layer.

I love playing around with things and this was most certainly one of them…


Thanks for the reply. I am intrigued that you didn’t think it suitable for insulation. I was thinking that if it was insulation against intense heat, that it would also be very effective in insulating against the loss of heat (as in building insulation).
I imagine that the reason it would use not be suitable as insulation is due to fragility- easily crumbled?

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Hi Robin,

This material start as dry paper mache like

It reacts to fire in the way as you see on the video

However i did not test it further as a sole insulation material due to it properties.


Thanks Koen. Seems like it might warrant further research.


Thats not bad at all!


Hmmm, I’m thinking of all kinds of ways we can use that in metal casting. I wonder if flour will work. I’m going to try it.

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Insulated risers.



The version i made did get too hot to hold after a while , but maybe that was just me , unless you can get some air bubbles into the mix and create air pockets and then it would make pretty good insulation

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