Mon, 28 Aug 2000 21:01:09 -0700
> -----Original Message-----
> From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On
> Behalf Of Benjamin Liptak
> Sent: Monday, August 28, 2000 07:42
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: RE: RE: [gundam] Heat hawks / heat rods: what are they made of?
> >It's probably not a metal at all, but a ceramic or >cermet. The best
> material we
> >have now would be reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC), >which is used for the
> nose of
> >the space shuttle. Tungsten carbide might also work.
> I would think that ceramics would be far too brittle to use as a weapon.
> It would shatter as soon as you hit something with it...
> Something you have to consider is the electrical conductivity of the
> material. Carbon doesn't conduct very well, and wouldn't heat up when
> electrical current is applied. Someone mentioned a coating of some sort,
> which could conduct - thus heating the carbon...
The conductivity of carbon depends on the molecular form. Anthracite (coal) is
not particularly conductive and graphite is used as a lubricant and insulator,
but benzenes are fairly good conductors and diamond conducts both heat and
electricity almost as well as copper. In general, the more developed and
three-dimensional the crystalline lattice, the higher the conductivity. I'm not
up on the new and exotic carbon polymers like buckminsterfullerene or even the
RCC cited above, so I can't comment knowledgably, but I'd expect them to be more
conductive due to their higher degree of organization.
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