Wonder Bread is one of the more versatile foods in your pantry, probably more than most people realize. It can be used to make sandwiches, toast, and an incredibly heat-resistant carbon foam.
One of those doesn’t seem like the others, but it’s true that ordinary white bread can be turned into a charcoal-like substance that has a very high electrical resistance and can withstand temperatures of about 11,900 degrees Fahrenheit. This transformation is pretty easy to achieve if you have the proper tools, which the builders and tinkerers among us likely already do.
AvE demonstrates how he made the substance (via Sploid), and he used a pyrolysis oven, which causes thermochemical decomposition in high temperatures with the absence of oxygen. His setup was relatively simple, consisting of a small metal chamber with a small hole in the top, into which he pumped argon, which is heavier than oxygen and will therefore force the air out. From there, he heats the box with a torch until he’s left with a result that’s comparable to materials NASA uses to protect its spacecrafts from the intense heat caused by reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
The best part is that, as may be obvious, this material is very cheap to make. In fact, a recent study not only proved this to be the case, but it also showed that sometimes, the result is better than the result of other existing options for creating carbon foam. So if you find yourself applying for a job at NASA, perhaps you ought to show some initiative and bring a loaf of bread with you.
Featured Image: AvE