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Fill Potholes with Oobleck

A temporary solution (a non-Newtonian one), until the asphalt guys can make a more permanent fix.
  (+14, -1)(+14, -1)
(+14, -1)
  [vote for,

Fill potholes with a non-Newtonian fluid so that their effect on passing traffic is minimized, until a pothole crew can rope off the street to put in a more permanent solution. This would only work on potholes that are only hit by full-speed traffic. It would not work in potholes by traffic lights or where traffic often backs up, because the oobleck will provide no resistance if not hit hard by the tires.

In true halfbaker fashion, I am not sure if this idea would work. But I would at least be interested in blindfolding it and tricking into walking through the anno gauntlet before wasting perfectly good cornstarch on a test run.

swimswim, Apr 15 2010

AA to fill potholes with quick-setting custard http://www.theaa.co...e-assist/index.html
Lolpril loolz [idris83, Apr 01 2011]

Bright Idea: Filling Potholes with Non-Newtonian Fluids http://blogs.discov...on-newtonian-fluids
If undergrads are doing it, it must be a good idea. [swimswim, Jan 03 2018]


       Without something to keep it mixed the cornstarch will settle to the bottom of the hole.   

       There may be a non-Newtonian fluid that will not settle but I have not heard of it.   

       This is a custard idea in disguise isn't it? Unmask yourself!
wagster, Apr 15 2010

       //Without something to keep it mixed// Perhaps some flagellate microorganism?
Anyway, [+] for use of the word "oobleck."
mouseposture, Apr 15 2010

       I love it. I might even try it around here. Maybe it would shatter? It's cheap, easy, and would perhaps even work. If i could give you more bread i would.
nicholaswhitworth, Apr 15 2010

       I was thinking about this at work and you could make a dilatant not settle out if the individual particles were neutrally bouyant within the fluid.   

       I'm also kind of surprised that Oobleck hasn't been taken as a user name.   

       \\something to keep it mixed\\
Did I fail to mention that a swimming rat is also dropped into each pothole full of oobleck?
swimswim, Apr 16 2010

       Wouldn't people steal the oobleck? I know I would.
simonj, Apr 16 2010

       This seems like a good idea, but I am not sure why a more liquid asphalt patch would not work exactly as you describe, but also be solid enough for low velocity impacts. Cornstarch oobleck is not that viscous but asphalt is. I wonder why asphalt or tar patches are not more durable.
bungston, Apr 16 2010

       //swimming rat// Naw, it has to be something that won't eat the oobleck.
mouseposture, Apr 16 2010

       Beaver it is then.   

       \\a more liquid asphalt patch\\
I thought about this too, but if it's temporary, wouldn't the liquidy asphalt be harder to clear out when the crew is ready to put in the more permanent fill? I was thinking that, in the case of the oobleck, a tube could be dropped into the pothole and the liquid quickly sucked out.
swimswim, Apr 16 2010

       There are loads of good reasons this wouldn't work. To begin with, what happens if it rains? And are potholes guaranteed to be nonporous? The oobleck could all seep into the ground, although I think it's non-toxic. [+]
gisho, Apr 16 2010

       [2_fries] Beavers is perfect. When frightened, a beaver slaps the surface of the pond with its broad, flat tail. Should give interesting results with a non-Newtonian fluid.
mouseposture, Apr 17 2010

       //There are loads of good reasons this wouldn't work.// Yes, three critical ones I can think of, Sun, rain and impact angle. The Sun will evaporate the water, the rain will dilute the Oobleck, but the biggest issue not yet mentioned is impact angle. A rolling impact on a flat surface of Oobleck would sink and allow the tire to impact the far side of the pothole. A smaller bump than without anything, but a bump.
MisterQED, Apr 18 2010

       \\something to keep it mixed\\ + \\rain will dilute the Oobleck\\ = NEJAB.   

       What happens when you make jelly with cornflour?
marklar, Apr 18 2010

       [21_Quest] From Wikipedia:
//The word has since been adopted to describe a substance - a mixture of 2-parts corn starch and 1- part water - used to demonstrate the dilatant property of non-Newtonian fluids.//
mouseposture, Apr 18 2010

       What if the Oobleck was covered with an insulating, protective skin? It would retain its non-Newtonian properties, but the sun and rain would have less of an effect.
DrWorm, Apr 18 2010

       If rain is the problem, then we need an oil based goo... Though that's too simple. How about a non Newtonian mixture of molten lead and finely ground asbestos? No idea whether it would work, but at least it would set and things would soon learn not to eat it!
saedi, Apr 18 2010

       [saedi] s/learn/evolve/
mouseposture, Apr 18 2010

       Molten lead? That'll harden up quickly in cold weather, making it very un-oobleck like. What you need is mercury.
ye_river_xiv, Apr 19 2010

       [+] How about Silly Putty? True, there's a risk that it would break if driven over at really high speed, but it would re-form afterward.
goldbb, Apr 19 2010

       I leave the problem with //in the case of the oobleck, a tube could be dropped into the pothole and the liquid quickly sucked out// as an exercise for the reader.
spidermother, Apr 08 2011

       1st prize in an engineering contest <link> and heading for the patent office. Now with 100% more bag, a la [DrWorm]'s anno'ed suggestion.
swimswim, Apr 11 2012

       Asphalt isn't non-Newtonian, but it is a slow-moving fluid. It will shatter if you hit it on a cold day, but sink out from under a heavy truck on a hot day. The pouring of hot asphalt is pretty much filling a hole with oobleck, already.
baconbrain, Apr 11 2012

       If you fill the potholes with oobleck, shouldn't you also add a plum pudding?
UnaBubba, Apr 12 2012

       I've heard of edible landscaping, but filling potholes with plum pudding may start a trend in edible infrastructure. I like it.
swimswim, Apr 12 2012


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