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What is black, moldable and crumbles easily?

  1. Oct 15, 2016 #1

    taylaron

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    Hello everyone. I need a hand.
    I'm designing something special and I need some help to find a substance that I can make or buy that I can form into something the size of a baseball, and be able to cast an object in the center of it and be able to break it apart easily and cleanly to reveal the object in the center.

    It would be really nice for the material to be pitch black, or colored to be pitch black all the way through

    I'm envisioning some kind of rubber or silicone resin or home-made concoction that can be mixed with some colorant and poured into a mold with the object in the center and breaks using your hands* into dime-sized pieces and not leave a residue on your hands.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2016 #2

    fresh_42

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    What about modelling clay? And to color something black, almost always is coal being used.
     
  4. Oct 15, 2016 #3

    taylaron

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    That's a good suggestion. do you think It will be able to crumble if let it dry? I've used the oily modeling clay that never dries. I'm also looking at air-dry porcelain clay that you can make at home, but I need it to be breakable. I'm curious if I can add anything to it so that it's not so rock-hard
     
  5. Oct 15, 2016 #4

    fresh_42

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    You always could add oil to soften it, or use gypsum if it has to be hard and your target can be placed in it beforehand.
    You could as well look at the links on the Wikipedia page I quoted, e.g. papier-mâché. Or you can buy a tube of silicon sealing compound. This will stay soft without being oily and can easily be broken (eventually with a knife). But I suggest to wear gloves in this case, it's a nasty material.
    I don't know about your goals or what it has to be, so even Legos would be possible (at the given knowledge).
     
  6. Oct 16, 2016 #5

    Mark44

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    This sounds like the setup for a riddle.

    Person 1: What is black, moldable and crumbles easily?
    Person 2: I don't know.
    Person 1: It's india ink!
    Person 2: India ink? India ink isn't moldable.
    Person 1: Yeah, I was lying about it being moldable.
    Person 2: And you said it crumbles easily.
    Person 1: Oh, I just threw that in to make it harder.
     
  7. Oct 16, 2016 #6

    collinsmark

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    Bake the object inside a baseball shaped chocolate cupcake?
     
  8. Oct 16, 2016 #7

    dlgoff

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    At first I thought it was a @micromass challenge.
     
  9. Oct 16, 2016 #8

    davenn

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    My wife's baking !!
     
  10. Oct 17, 2016 #9

    Fervent Freyja

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    Play-doh...

    :wideeyed:
     
  11. Oct 17, 2016 #10

    davenn

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    no, unfortunately it's worse than play-doh :wink:
     
  12. Oct 17, 2016 #11

    jim mcnamara

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    Learn to cook! It is fun and keeps you occupied productively for a few hours every day. 'swat I did about 50 years ago, mostly in self defense. Works great.
    The cleanup is not even remotely bad if clean as you go.
     
  13. Oct 17, 2016 #12

    Fervent Freyja

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    I agree, cooking and the prep/cleanup involved takes hours, I've got it down to 1.5 hours. I cook at least once a day, usually dinner, the other meals are either left-overs from a prior dinner or bought and non-cooked meals. My Husband buys his breakfast and lunch half of the week. My daughter doesn't usually prefer her breakfast 'cooked', maybe 2 or 3 times a week. My Husband cooks a great breakfast on Sundays. I'm excited about the upcoming cooler weather, lots of crock-pot meals and soups. They are particularly great for when I have many exams back-to-back, just re-heat and serve! They don't like eating the same meal three times (dinner, lunch, dinner again) in a row though... I don't agree that it's always fun. I do like to experiment, but don't have the motivation to go all-out and be creative when I'm stressed. I mainly forge, but love a super hearty meal occasionally! I have two very picky eaters.

    You cooked to defend yourself? That's weird.

    She probably compensates for that in *other* areas. If she does, then you shouldn't complain!
     
  14. Oct 17, 2016 #13

    jim mcnamara

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    Against badly prepared food. MY late wife had a mother from Hell who would not let her do anything in the kitchen. When we were first married, she tried. She also knew my aunt had taught me how to cook from almost day one. So one day she was frustrated with yet another 'ugh' meal, and asked me to cook. Been doing it ever since for ~50 years.

    BTW cooking is applied Chemistry and a little Biochem, too.

    Example of decent low-level science is 'Good Eats' with Alton Brown.
    A web page with another slant: http://amazingribs.com/ a bit over-commercialized but explains why tough meat fares better with really low oven temps and long cooking times, for example.
     
  15. Oct 17, 2016 #14

    Fervent Freyja

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    That's what I've thought as well! :smile:

    It would be nice to be able to put 'years of experience in chemistry' on a job application. Unfortunately, those skills don't translate for many people going back into the workforce.

    You must be planning to do ribs soon. That article made me want them too! I will do them next week, I think. Even better, he does most of the grilling. So, I could just wrap some potatoes, corn (I like smothering them in mayo, paprika, and Parmesan cheese)), and ribs- then let him do all the work outside!
     
  16. Oct 17, 2016 #15
    My answer would have been Ben Carson.
     
  17. Oct 24, 2016 #16
  18. Oct 25, 2016 #17
    Do we get royalties for this "something special"?
     
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