Sun 23 Feb, 2014 01:57 pm
If you were to have a sphere of molten metal, say, iron, and it were dropped from the edge of our atmosphere, during it's descent, would it be able to cool enough to maintain it's rough shape upon impact? If so, what would the size limitations of the sphere be?
In case Quark you don't hear from somebody who knows, I seem to recall that's exactly how the ball bearing is made tho at a lower altitude to be sure
If so, what would the size limitations of the sphere be?
Again if we don 't hear from an expert, I'd guess pretty big
Actually, ball bearings were what got me thinking about it. I was just thinking about if you could refine metals in space, and drop them, say in some uninhabited area (desert, relatively shallow water, etc...) If I don't hear from anyone by tonight, I think I'll start working out the maths myself. Thanks for the reply Dalehileman!
You could also research 'shot towers'.
Small amounts of molten lead were dropped inside towers, which formed solid spheres by the time they hit the ground. Ideal for muskets.
I'm thinking that the very early ball bearings were made in a similar way, but could be wrong.
if you could refine metals in space, and drop them, say in some uninhabited area (desert, relatively shallow water, etc...)
Sounds like fun Quark but please be careful as I live in the Mojave
I'll definitely take that in to consideration 8p
Not this method of ball bearings manufacturing, the one where you would drop some molten steel down a tube, and the surface tension would form it in to a really nice sphere that cools before it hits the bottom. Thanks though.
Drop it from the edge of the atmosphere and you will probably have what NASA calls reentry problems
Also it might pick up a lot of stray crud
What do you mean by pick up stray crud?
If you drop it through the atmosphere it might pick up particles of all sorts