It’s been a long time since I last wrote. My new IT lady Marelize has been on my case, so here goes my blog;
Imagine if all roads were one-way. There has never been a circumstance where cars come hurtling towards each other at a combined speed of 240km/hour, and then miss each other by about 2 metres. Now imagine some bright spark says “Hey, I’ve got a great idea! Let’s build roads adjacent to each other running in opposite directions, it will save a few bob on construction.” Apart from the extreme danger, several other reasons will soon be forwarded why it is a daft idea. Firstly, how do you know which side goes which direction? “Oh well, we could all keep to the left.” What about night time, you’d have headlights shining in your eyes. If you wanted to turn left you’d have to cross the path of the oncoming traffic. “Oh well, we could put up a sign so everybody has to stop there, then the first to arrive proceeds first.” What about where roads cross? “Oh well, we could make electromechanical devices to signal which cars can go and which must stop.”
Actually, the two way road is a bloody daft idea, and nobody would give such a proposal any consideration at all if it was proposed in a society which had only one way roads. It is strange and incongruous that we still have this daft system in our modern safety conscious society.
I propose a system of one way arterial routes. The system works as follows: Routes are chosen for one way traffic. You can join an arterial route from either side, but via a slipway, with a barrier to prevent you from turning the wrong way into it or crossing it. If you want to cross it, you have to join it at one slipway, work your way across the lanes and leave at a slipway on the other side. Now think about it; on an arterial route, nobody crosses your path, nobody travels in the opposite direction, no piece of tarmac is traversed in different directions. Presto! We don’t need stop streets, we don’t need traffic lights! The traffic keeps flowing like on a freeway. From the moment you access the arterial route to the moment you leave it, you keep on moving.
So what’s the difference between my arterial routes and a freeway, apart from the convenience of having a gazillion on ramps and off ramps? Actually freeways are also daft. They are built with lanes in opposite directions next to each other. Instead of stop streets and robots we build hideously expensive bridges and flyovers. If we built them in one direction, well separated from each other, we could have the convenience of my arterial routes, i.e. a gazillion on and off ramps, on both sides!
If this does not make sense to you, read it again. Yes, it is too good to be true. Pity it seems like it will never happen.
We manufacture quite a range of paints these days. They are mostly inorganic paints with rare and obscure functions. One of them has good market potential. That is our Fireproof Paint. It is thermally insulating, being composed of hollow ceramic microballoons. It is much harder than normal organic paints. Most of all, it is an excellent oxygen barrier. It is chemically setting and will not wash off if it rains on it 2 hours after painting. It is quite amenable to colouring with oxides. We make a yellow for new thatch and black for old thatch. Doesn’t matter what you current thatch is. Mostly it is used to protect wood, chipboard, OSB etc., but it even works on cardboard! To demonstrate it we paint onto a piece of cardboard, show how it protects, then burn the cardboard away from the back, leaving only the layer of paint! See………………………………….
Houses and heating.
Just a few random thoughts and observations. Have you ever noticed when on a ladder inside, how much hotter the air is near the ceiling in summer? Sometimes people install fans and complain that they don’t work. This can be because the fans push down this hot air which got there by convection. Apart from convection, I guess everyone knows how hot it gets inside your roof. You can put insulation on top of your ceiling, but a whirlybird will remove the heat effectively. Best is our Keraforce roof panels, which meet the most stringent insulation requirements. They are so light and strong that you dispense with trusses. You can dispense with the ceiling as well if you don’t mind seeing the wires for your lighting.
I have had potters, heat treaters etc. asking advice on how to remove their heat. More often than not, it turns out the heat is largely radiating from their steel roofs. This is easily tested. Take a large board and hold it over your head. If the heat instantly disappears, it is all radiant heat from the roof. There are several remedies. A reflective paint on top gives slight relief. “Insulating” paints are a myth. Sisalation under the roof works, expanded polystyrene is best of all, because it keeps the cold out in winter. Keraforce on top works very well. It was used originally to repair corrosion damage or leaks, but was found to have a huge effect on stabilizing the temperature. Kiln fumes destroy galvanized roofs. Keraforce on top of corrugated or IBR forms a new roof even after the steel has totally disintegrated and fallen down.
Heaters work by radiation, convection or conduction or a combination. Air heaters with fans work, but the result comes slowly. Radiant heaters give instant relief. Underfloor heaters use all 3 mechanisms. Thermal mass plays a large role in heating. A good stone castle is virtually impossible to heat, though radiant heaters will give relief without having an appreciable effect on the wall temperature. I built an ultralow thermal mass house out of polystyrene, with excellent thermal insulation. I built a fireplace in it and guess what? It heats up so fast that you soon want to extinguish the fire!
I made a monster heater out of Pizza Oven Floor Mix, our super high thermal mass material. It had a 2,4 kilowatt element and weighed about 30 kg. It turned out you must switch it on when you come home, then switch it off when you go to bed, and it is still warm in the morning.
What household heater works on conduction? Bet most of you are stumped here. Your electric blanket!
Keep warm ‘till the next letter.
Dave Onderstall and staff.