Built a model or part from your own materials lately?
Hosted by Mike Kirchoff
Liquid Nitrogen Container
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Ohio, United States
Member Since: May 02, 2010
entire network: 596 Posts
KitMaker Network: 94 Posts
Posted: Monday, April 18, 2011 - 05:20 AM UTC
This will be my first real adventure into the realm of scratchbuilding. I've done a few minor modifications on past kits, but I'm now facing a task that involves building completely on my own from the ground up. I'm in college right now, so I don't have a lot of opportunities to make models. So of course I jumped at the chance to help out my chemistry professor when she told me that she needed some help with an experiment. Specifically, she needed someone to build something. I'm in!!

I'm now charged with creating a vessel that will contain liquid nitrogen. and discs of superconductors (if that means anything to anyone). The model they currently have looks like a train, and if the model is of high quality, the cold superconductor will levitate above magnetic "tracks." Therefore, the vessel will have to be able to have the discs (they're small) inserted and removed, and liquid N2 has to be able to be poured in.

This is my current plan: I was thinking of taking a small brick of styrofoam (which is often used to store dry ice or liquid nitrogen) and cutting it into the general shape of an old steam engine with the smokestack in front and the like. The brick would be constructed by cutting a bit of the brick off the top (maybe about 2/3 of the way up) and carving out the bottom section to form a reservoir. The smokestack would be formed on the top section and would act as the entry/exit point of materials. The two sections would then be glued together using either regular Elmer's or Gorilla Glue (I've heard conflicting reports on each) and you'd be left with a hollow styrofoam brick with a hole in the top large enough to place the superconductors and pour liquid nitrogen inside. As an added bonus, the vaporizing liquid nitrogen would escape through the stylized "smokestack" up front and look more like an actual train. Can you guys find any logistical flaw in this plan? Anyone have any experience keeping styrofoam together with Elmers or Gorilla Glue to withhold the forces of vaporizing liquid nitrogen? Thanks in advance!
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Arkansas, United States
Member Since: June 29, 2009
entire network: 11,610 Posts
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Posted: Monday, April 18, 2011 - 09:24 AM UTC
I would suggest asking an engineer. Liquid nitrogen and superconductors are a far cry from plastic and resin. For glue, I would suggest a hot glue gun or elmer's wood glue(the stuff hardens like a rock). But, I don't have the properties of the chemical on hand to determine what the best route would be.