How could we use Starlite in warfare?


Under tests, Starlite was claimed to be able to withstand attack by a laser beam that could produce a temperature of 10,000 degrees Celsius (Starlite may have reflected part of the beam, however, which would have lowered the temperature). Live demonstrations on Tomorrow's World and BBC Radio 4 showed that Starlite could keep an egg (coated in the material) raw, and cold enough to be picked up with a bare hand, even after five minutes of blowtorch attack. It would also prevent a blowtorch from damaging a human hand.

Starlite... claimed to be thermal and blast-proof.

Assume that you need a millimeter-thick coating of Starlite to get the anti-thermal effects that were demonstrated, but you need an inch-thick coating for blastproofing. However, you can get as much as you want.

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    $\begingroup$ In the real world, Starlight is a hoax, although I guess we can pretend it works for the purposes of this question. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Oct 30 '15 at 21:21
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    $\begingroup$ Actually, though, would that answer your question - a refutation of the premise? $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Oct 30 '15 at 21:28
  • $\begingroup$ Guns, melee, modern? What kind and type of weapons? $\endgroup$ – Dan Smolinske Oct 30 '15 at 21:30
  • $\begingroup$ @HDE226868 - That's very, very informative, but no, for this question, I'll pretend it's real. $\endgroup$ – Malady Oct 30 '15 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ @DanSmolinske - Anything that's sufficiently different, by 'I know it when I see it'? I can't think of any other way to define different-ness at the moment, sorry... $\endgroup$ – Malady Oct 30 '15 at 21:35

Build bunkers and protected areas out of it.

In a comment, I cited an answer I wrote on Skeptics about Starlite and how it is, for all intents and purposes, a hoax. However, in that answer, I cited an article from The Telegraph that was pointed out by Bobson. According to the article, Starlite - well, some form of it, because little-to-no reputable information is available about any of the tests - survive a simulated nuclear explosion:

In June 1991, a sample was sent to White Sands atomic weapons testing site in New Mexico, in the care of the SAS, and subjected to a simulated nuclear onslaught. 'It was classed as the biggest bang in town. I've seen a video [on which] it shredded forest to sawdust, rolled some tanks around, stripped an aircraft into pieces.' But Starlite survived. Further tests at Foulness had subjected it to the force of 75 Hiroshimas, and it survived that, too.

What could one use a material that can survive a nuclear attack for? Well, if a solid chunk of Starlite - in other words, some three-dimensional shape - could survive a nuclear attack, then it could be used to protect some weapon or other important object during a nuclear attack that would be used in the aftermath.

Attackers could drop a weapon encased in Starlite during the drop of a nuclear bomb. Post-detonation, the weapon could itself be detonated, devastating the area again. Alternatively - and this is where the big advantage lies - it could be used in defense. If a military base was bombed, weapons could be encased in (or perhaps made out of) Starlite and used after the attack against any forces that came by. Soldiers and other important equipment would also be protected.

The best offense is a good defense, and if you can use Starlite to keep your weapons, personnel and military equipment safe, then you've got a pretty darn good offense.

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    $\begingroup$ The video of the egg test seems to show that the stuff itself is light and perhaps flimsy. It may be able to handle an extraordinary temperature - perhaps even a nuke flash - but he peeled it off the egg with his hand, so I'm thinking it would shred and float away in the face of an overpressure wave. $\endgroup$ – Sean Boddy Oct 31 '15 at 4:34
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    $\begingroup$ @SeanBoddy True, but that was a small-scale test. Were you to build up layers and layers of it, it would most likely be stronger. Perhaps reinforcing it with steel or some other strong metal could protect it from such a pressure wave. $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Nov 1 '15 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ I like it. Maybe an ellipsoid shape. Concrete-starlite-concrete-repeat, or something. There are proven heat insulators that would make that pretty spiffy, even in the absence of the mythical starlite. $\endgroup$ – Sean Boddy Nov 1 '15 at 0:48

Instead of chrome (or whatever material) bore lining in the barrel of a gun, using Starlite would produce a way where you would not get deflection of the barrel due to heating. All of the heat would be (I assume) blown out the barrel instead of absorbed by it. Thinner lighter barrels could be used ... heck, aluminum could be used for the barrel as well, which would make it lighter yet.

Using it in the barrel, since it would prevent heat caused warpage, would allow for super accurate weapons. It would also force more heat out the barrel, which would make ammunition have greater velocity for the same amount of propellant.

Also, as titanium is used now for the leading edges of supersonic aircraft, using Starlite would allow for a way for that leading edge and the rest of the surfaces to be protected from the heat buildup due to friction. Using it around vital parts of the plane, such as engine, cockpit, and fuel tanks, would make it less vulnerable to enemy fire.

Obviously, using Starlite as the main armament on tanks/tracked personnel carriers, would by far protect it from enemy fire, making it far more lethal than it would be otherwise because it would have greater longevity on the battlefield.


If such a material had any germ of a true story, it probably works by absorbing the heat in a form of a chemical reaction. Just as ordinary drywall will keep fire at bay for a time becuase the gypsum "cooks" back into plaster of paris, and the trick described is usually done using bread dough.

So it would not be good for a lining, as it would get "used up" with exposure. Such things are called ablative heat shields and are engineered for suitable purposes.

It's also rather heavy, so it's not good for aircraft. For a fortification, it's hard to beat plain old local dirt.


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