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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.
It feels and looks like nothing much, but holding this nondescript piece of plastic would be, to the world's defence and scientific community, somewhat of a privilege. Starlite, invented by the white-bearded, suited Ward, has been described as astonishing; impossible; miraculous. It has changed assumptions about thermodynamics and physics. It can resist temperatures that would melt diamonds, threefold. 'If it is what it seems,' says Toby Greenbury, a partner at law firm Mischon de Reya and Ward's lawyer for 20 years, 'it will be of enormous benefit to mankind. It's very difficult to think of another invention that is bigger in its implications.' As a fire-retardant, thermal barrier or heat-resistant coating, Starlite could change the world.
On a 1990 episode of the BBC TV show Tomorrow's World, presenter Peter McCann showed off a new plastic named "Starlite" in a rather unusual way: by pointing blowtorches at a pair of eggs. While one egg shattered in seconds, the other stolidly bore the heat, glowing red hot as the flame hit it for minutes on end. More surprisingly, the egg's shell was no more than warm to the touch after the blowtorch was removed, and when cracked open hadn't even begun to cook. This egg was coated with Starlite, a plastic developed by Maurice Ward who was an eccentric former hairdresser from Hartlepool, northern England.
An article in New Scientist describes how Ward negotiated with the British Department of Defence, Boeing, and even NASA but gained a reputation for being impossible to negotiate with, asking for "£1 million one day, then £10 million the next." He was understandably self-conscious that he might be unable to protect his property in court when fighting with some of the world's biggest companies. His belief in the product never diminished, though, with him even approaching BP to suggest that his material couldsolve the Deepwater Horizon crisis.
Ward died in 2011 without ever commercializing or patenting his revolutionary material. He suggested in an interview with Utah-based K-Talk radio that his family might hold the key to this strong, heat-proof and non-toxic plastic, but they've been quiet on their plans ever since his passing.
Having read a recent article on Mr Ward I've decided to leave a brief & factual synopsis of why Mr Ward's product never came to fruition. Mr Ward came to my lab about a year before his death needing help to turn what was essentially a party trick into a useable & commercialy viable product. The problem he had was although the powder component did exactly as it said on the tin, he had found no way of applying a lasting coating. All he really has was some powder mixed with PVA glue, the problem being that although you could apply it to certain objects it's longevity was no more than 2 weeks. While testing we discovered that a sample he'd kept for almost 10 years could be destroyed in a matter of minutes under a methylacetylene-propadiene propane blowtorch. Unfortunately after many samples & tests we where unable to find a effective application method & we parted company on good terms. Sadly this is the true reason why Mr Ward was never able to sell or bring his incomplete product to market. But rest assured, as of this time I can say that there is at least 1 complete & superior product in testing, testing that so far is going remarkably well.
Anon, London GB
I don't think it's a hoax, in the sense that I think this guy invented something. But claims mean nothing; anyone can say whatever they want. In the end, this TV-spot is one of few bits of documentation that this thing ever existed. And all I can tell from it is that it's something that'll smoulder when exposed to a blow-torch, which isn't terribly remarkable in itself. (You're also not going to get anywhere near 2,500 degrees with a blow-torch like that! Seriously, that'd be enough to make some metals boil) "75 Hiroshimas" is so misleading it's almost a lie. Maybe the laser beam they used had a light intensity on the order of the flash from Hiroshima or something. But the heat of one Hiroshima is easily enough to vaporize any substance known to man, near ground zero. But even that doesn't say much, without knowing how long the laser pulse is. So it didn't get hot? Well, at most that means that the material doesn't absorb that one wavelength of light the laser has very well.
originally posted by: Misterlondon
I'm sure this product.. If indeed a real material, has been either bought up or reverse engineered by some defence department around the world.
I did hear a story years ago pertaining to the former, that it was bought and used in black projects.