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Assume a hemispherical cow.
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Here at the Mitxela Co. R&D department we have developed a toaster of such luxurious magnitude that only the most dedicated of toast fanatics will be able to justify its extravagance.
Visually the Barometric Toaster lies somewhere between a steam hammer and a giant, upside-down single cylinder engine.
At the base of the cylinder wall there is a small metal door about the size of a letter box. When you have inserted a slice of bread, close the door and wind the locking handle to form a tight seal. A lever on your right will engage the belt drive to start pumping energy into the cast iron flywheel. When you are ready to make toast, disengage the safety catch and pull the big red lever labelled 'toast'.
With a clunk, the clutch grips the flywheel and dumps its momentum into the crankshaft. The piston slams down and the sudden adiabatic compression instantly raises the internal temperature to just -- just below the autoignition temperature of bread. Voila, toast.
In theory it should be possible to fine-tune the peak pressure and thus exactly control the degree to which the bread gets cooked.
Compression ignition, possibly the inspiration for the diesel engine [mitxela, Nov 16 2015]
Anson engine museum
Full of inspirational items [8th of 7, Nov 16 2015]
Similar, but completly different from my toaster
Shameless self promotion [evilpenguin, Nov 16 2015]
||[+] Toast made immediately and braised internally as well as on the surface.
||I heartily endorse this product and or service.
||Magnificent Dieselpunkery [+]
||I think there are only three possible outcomes of
this device, none of them good.
||(a) If the bread is a largely closed-cell foam, the
rapid compression will collapse it. What you will
get is hot matzo.
||(b) If the bread is largely an open-cell foam, the
result will be hot bread. Toasting relies on the
evaporation of water from the outer layers of the
bread, and on the partial oxidation of those outer
layers, to produce a crunchy exterior and a still-
moist interior. By heating the bread uniformly and
under high pressure, you will eliminate most of the
evaporation and will fail to achieve that crunchy
||(c) Spontaneous ignition.
||when xen and rudolf give it the ok, I'll + it too.
||A variation of this Idea would not subject the bread to
the pressure, but would subject the bread to heat
produced by the pressure. That is, an ordinary toaster
uses electric resistance to make wires radiate heat;
here equivalent amounts of heat could be radiated
from tubes containing compressed gas.
||If the gas is ordinary air, then when the toasting is done
you would want to dump the expanded/cooled air, and
intake another batch of room-temp air. Main
drawback: Ice crystal formation and possible air-
liquefaction as the HUGELY compressed air expands (it
needs to be hugely compressed to make the radiator
tubes glow red). (Another drawback, of course, will be
the danger of the radiator tubes exploding.)
||By reigning in the compression ratio a little (an
offensive concept, I agree) you could avoid totally
crushing the bread. To keep the temperature in the
toasting range, perhaps a flammable gas could be
introduced, at an opportune moment? My chemistry is
a little rusty, but I believe a high pressure environment
is conducive to rapid combustion. The short, intense
conflagration would be ideal for superior surface
browning while the pressure should resist the
undesirable evaporation of core moistness. The
rather wonderful side effect, would be that the piston
would automatically reset. For high throughput
toasting applications. I feel research in to fuelling the
"toasting engine" with a very rich butter:air ratio will be
leave it to better minds than mine to work out the
details of a functional butter carburetor.