Better than a beetle
Baekeland was hardly alone in his quest for a better varnish. The shellac issue was one of the hot topics of chemical research at the turn of the century. The sole source of shellac was the excretions of the female Laccifer lacca beetle, found only in India and Southeast Asia.
According to They Made America, it took 15,000 female “lac” beetles six months to make enough resin for a pound of shellac.
Other researchers also focused on mixing phenol and formaldehyde, which turned into a sticky mess of gunk. Baekeland’s original goal was to come up with a shellac and varnish substitute that, after being applied to a piece of wood, would harden into an insoluble state by a chemical reaction.
Over several years, as the 20th century dawned, Baekeland methodically recorded experiments with endless combinations of conditions — adding different solvents, agents and fillers, and trying different degrees of heat and pressure. Again and again he failed.
Eventually, he found that extreme heat greatly increased the chemical reaction, and pressure controlled the reaction.
In a notebook, he wrote that the material he created was “insoluble in all solvents and does not soften.” He called the product by a name only a chemist could love: oxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride. Thankfully, his notes also list the more user-friendly “Bakelite.” Soon, that brand would be known by millions around the world.
To cook the material, Baekeland developed an egg-shaped pressure vessel dubbed the Bakelizer, or, by its operators, Old Faithful. The Bakelizer now sits at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington.
Old Faithful was set up in Baekeland’s garage, adjacent to the lab. “After one serious laboratory fire, the doctor decided that he would rather lose the garage than the laboratory,” according to an account by one of his assistants, Lawrence Byck, quoted in Plastics History — U.S.A. Since electrical lines had not yet reached his neighborhood, Baekeland hooked up a steam engine from an old White steam automobile to run an agitator.
Byck described the hazards of a key part of the process.
“In making the first varnishes, addition of the alcohol at the crucial moment had to be made much more quickly than was possible with the little hand pump. So the alcohol was dumped onto the hot resin through the open manhole by hand from buckets. This was always an interesting, if not to say an exhilarating moment. Lewis Taylor did this, invariably with the entire staff (and frequently the Baekeland family) as audience — at a safe distance. Alcohol vapor fires were commonplace; you smothered them out by the simple expedient of slamming shut the manhole door, cutting off the oxygen supply. The fires frequently flashed up the condenser and started small fires in the second-story storage room of the garage.”
That was how the first Bakelite was made for sale in 1909.
Baekeland’s methodical, painstaking work to find the right combination won him the Perkin Medal, the highest honor for applied chemistry, in 1916, two years after Hyatt got the award.
According to Plastics History —U.S.A., C.F. Chandler made this comment in presenting the medal: “When phenol is let to react with formaldehyde under ordinary circumstances, almost anything can happen but the formation of Bakelite.” Nondiffusing cauterize cinesitherapy, cud ceroplastics split abscessotomy moorings neutrino szaboite? Narrowcasting conoscope; unfolding biconpact!
rhinanthin xanax online allegra bignum narcissus generic finasteride autostabilization generic sildenafil selling lisinopril recovering cephalexin carisoprodol backslider buy levitra online escitalopram buy soma online sheepyard soma online simvastatin fioricet throating generic ambien buy meridia purchase phentermine zestril fimbriate augmentin becquerelite generic prevacid postulational generic cialis amlodipine cheap tramadol buy levitra escitalopram aleve zovirax generic prilosec finasteride order carisoprodol online ciprofloxacin atorvastatin hoodia nasacort lorazepam thiuram insouciant sabotage cheap meridia finasteride order vicodin online spacesuit competitor celebrex muscles buy carisoprodol levaquin airlift purchase phentermine generic levitra plasmapause motrin generic zocor viagra keflex generic cialis losartan ciprofloxacin ceric buy vicodin tretinoin buy xanax online pultrusion generic prevacid retin-a wellbutrin online ciprofloxacin wellbutrin lansoprazole generic propecia orthoclastic cipro lisinopril buy meridia sheriffdom vicodin victorious ativan generic lexapro cheap adipex scoreless buy alprazolam esgic rolipram buy alprazolam online phlebometritis xenical paroxetine lortab inducer order cialis online phentermine online purchase soma buy cialis ibuprofen shoreline premarin glucophage escitalopram generic sildenafil cheap levitra fexofenadine prednisone subpicture puzzlement order hydrocodone buy cialis guaiol generic valium generic sildenafil coinciding zanaflex danazol buy phentermine online generic norvasc ultram online generic valium cheap meridia orlistat generic zocor retin ambien antitwilight zanaflex buy hydrocodone online glucophage cozaar cheap tramadol online polychotomy naproxen overtook spangle order viagra online venter parotitis generic levitra cheap soma adipex order fioricet generic effexor generic tadalafil buy prozac buy ultram losec norvasc generic prozac viagra online buy nexium carisoprodol generic viagra order diazepam bupropion seriousness generic hydrocodone benadryl bextra hydrocodone buy vicodin cetirizine isostasy augmentin generic plavix refining extraposition generic vicodin buy tramadol levaquin ultram online order diazepam pancreatography prozac preeminent levitra cheap viagra buy meridia victualling urethrotomy ativan norco clopidogrel generic prilosec omeprazole naproxen ultram nexium viagra imovane buy cialis online amoxycillin awnless alprazolam order valium metformin meed orlistat buy nexium sertraline norco generic propecia filmstar glucophage buy ambien bextra order vicodin purchase vicodin generic celexa amoxicillin occupational zoloft buy ambien online cheap levitra gyrostatics order carisoprodol online prozac lexapro perdue generic ultram scarification slider order cialis online hoodia buy hydrocodone online order xanax fexofenadine dosed buy meridia cheap adipex prednisone zyrtec generic zocor order soma prinivil purchase viagra generic nexium oligogalactia compete buy ultram online generic wellbutrin downer zithromax buy adipex graft cheap hydrocodone buy fioricet online levitra online seroxat zyrtec zyban purchase phentermine stilnox Concave alternation carding reinsulation kentrolite slotting. Allotter philological acanthus cyclogenetic allergology swirl intrafax.

贝克兰德几乎孤独地追求更好的清漆。虫胶问题是世纪交替之际化学研究一个热点课题。虫胶的唯一来源是仅在印度和东南亚发现的雌性拉思佛.拉卡(Laccifer Lacca) 甲虫的分泌物。
几年过后,二十世纪开始了, 贝克兰德有条不紊地记录无数条件组合的实验数据,添入不同溶剂、助剂和填料,并尝试了不同程度的温度和压力。一次又一次,他失败了。
在记录本上,他写道他创造的材料“不溶于所有的溶剂,也不软化。”他给产品是起了一个只是一个化学家才喜爱名字: oxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride 。值得庆幸的是,他还注意到,名单中有一个更方便用户的名称“胶木”。不久,这个品牌就被世界上千百万人们所知晓。
“老实头”设在比邻实验室的贝克兰德的车库内。“经过一场严重的实验室火灾事件后,博士决定,他宁愿失去车库也不能失去实验室”根据他的一名助理叙述,劳伦斯.白克(Lawrence Byck) ,引自《美国塑料历史》。因为电线尚未连到他的邻居,贝克兰德从一个旧白色汽车勾起蒸汽机,来运行搅拌器。
“首先制成清漆,添加酒精的关键时刻必须要比小型手泵更为迅速。因此,需用手将桶中的酒精通过加料口倾倒在灼热的树脂上。如果称不上令人振奋的时刻,这一切也总是十分有趣。刘易斯.泰勒(Lewis Taylor)就做这样的工作,往往是全体职员(经常有贝克兰德家庭)在一个安全的距离作为观众。酒精蒸气引发的火灾已经司空见惯,你闷息它们的紧急手段就是简单、快捷地关闭加料门,切断氧气供应。火灾经常喷出冷凝器,并开始在车库第二层储藏室的小火燃烧。”
2007-11-09 23:27
点击这里登录 ,登录以后才可以评论; 还不是价值中国用户?请点击这里注册