Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

About the efficiency of engines

  1. Sep 17, 2018 #1
    if we had an entire car made of Starlite (a material that was created resistant to 18032 °F). Would the efficiency of the combustion engine be close to that of the electric and that of the electric would be almost 100% efficient?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starlite
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2018 #2

    .Scott

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    "Resistant to" 10000°C is not the same as stating a melting point.
    There is not enough known about "Starlite" to determine if it would be an appropriate material to use in forming an engine block or turbine blades.
     
  4. Sep 17, 2018 #3
    I thought the following: When a turbine produces work, there is the heat loss, soon it spends more than produce (30% of efficiency). I thought if the pistons and all the surroundings were made of starlite, then there would be a tiny perch of heat, I just don't know if I'm correct. I think I am, and from what I understand by your comment, there is no way to know, correct?
     
  5. Sep 17, 2018 #4

    .Scott

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    The inventor died apparently without passing on what this material actually was. There some public demonstrations - but hardly the type of experiments that you would need to do before building an engine with it.

    As far as creating a "perch of heat" engines work in response to a difference in heat. If you can force more of the heat flow to occur within the engine rather than being wasted, that would be an improvement. I'm not sure about a turbine engine, but with an internal combustion engine, much of the work heat is dissipated through the body of the engine. So blocking it would kill the whole process.
     
  6. Oct 4, 2018 #5
    Now I'm back, Scott. Sorry for haven't responded you, I was blocked by 2 weeks because of linguistic problems.
    So, you are saying if a cooling system were made of starlite, would that cooling system "kill" the car? And then we wouldn't have the better use of dissipated energy? And why someone didn't do a reverse engineering to discover what that material was made from?
     
  7. Oct 4, 2018 #6

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes. Dissipation of the heat (releasing it into the air) is both a practical and theoretical requirement. Insulating an engine cannot, even in principle, make it perform substantially better.
    Evidently he never let anyone have a sample. Perhaps his family knows. Coincidentally, there is an active thread on this topic:
    https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/a-cautionary-tale-on-inventing-from-the-bbc.956762/
     
  8. Oct 6, 2018 #7
    I'll take a look in this topic. Thanks, Russ!
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted