Sunday, 13 December 2009


Do you often ask yourself, “why can’t ice be more like concrete?”

If so, you are in esteemed company. During World War II a British inventor, Geoffrey Pyke discovered that by adding saw dust to the formation of ice, it becomes incredibly strong. Allegedly, as little as 4% wood pulp would render the ice as strong as concrete of same weight (14% seems to be ideal). Shooting a normal block of ice, as experience has likely taught you, results in it shattering – the same does not apply to Pykrete (as the below video demonstrates). So the British had developed a substance that was relatively cheap and easy to produce, extremely durable and could float. The application was obvious; a two-million ton aircraft carrier (or floating fortress if you’re so inclined), which could be repaired using the very sea water it was surrounded by. Unfortunately, the vessel lost support and never made it past the drawing board. Pykrete has remained fairly obscure ever since; but just imagine what we could do with this discovery, for example, who wouldn’t want to live in a bullet-proof igloo?

As Al Gore has drummed into the laity, the  second greatest threat facing the world today (the first of course being Manbearpig) is the destruction of the vast expanses of ice on which polar bears like to live. The solution is now obvious, we periodically bombard the polar regions with wood pulp - over time transforming the puny polar ice into impregnable Pykrete! This has the added benefit of locking the carbon in the wood away in vast super strong blocks of ice. Of course, if any does break away it will make the iceberg that sank the Titanic look inconsequential.

History channel documentary segment on the history of Pykrete.

2 Million Ton Pykrete Aircraft Carrier In WW2 - Watch today’s top amazing videos here

Video demonstrating the strength of Pykrete.

No comments:

Post a Comment