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# Phase-Change Tableware

Because everyone likes warm things.
 (+6) [vote for, against]

Food is nice. Adults, children and miscellaneous creatures have all been demonstrated to enjoy it. A recent innovation: "hot" food, has caught on with select Earth inhabitants. Unfortunately, due to physics, hot food tends to cool down at a rate proportional to the temperature differential between it and the surrounding environs. Now, a partial solution:

Take a plate, bowl, mug or whatnot and make it double walled. You can make it of anything, but stainless steel has an enviable track record in the catering industry, whereas strontium would only be useful for VERY fatty foods. So, then, you fill the gap between the double walls with something. The thing has to be a solid at room temperature and a liquid at a temperature SLIGHTLY above the best consumption temperature of the food. I recommend some form of paraffin wax. The details can be worked out by someone who enjoys graphs and tedium.

Then we have a plate that may be warmed in the oven (or on top of the toaster for the impatient), food is added, and the whole process of energy transfer can continue with mind-numbing inevitability. However, the story for the temperature will be different. The plate will miraculously stay at precisely 65C (or whatever) for a miraculously long time. Like a miracle. The consequence being that you get a few extra minutes to trawl the TV listings for something good to watch with your dinner before the whole lot becomes unpalatable. Rinse and repeat the same idea for tea/coffee cups and ice cream bowls. Just swap the phase change substance.

I see this as a more workable solution to the above problem than "consistently good TV programs" which is slightly harder to achieve than perpetual motion.

 — bs0u0155, Jan 07 2013

 I thought you were hinting at an induction table. Electromagnets in the table would heat your silverware, metal plates , shirt snaps etc...

BTW I baked perpetual motion a long time ago. Good TV, not so much.
 — Brian the Painter, Jan 07 2013

I baked perpetual motion too, but teh oil company took away my machine :(
 — DIYMatt, Jan 07 2013

They left me my machine but took my keys! dammit now it wont start!
 — Brian the Painter, Jan 07 2013

 +

 I think I'd be annoyed with having to heat them in the oven. Why don't we use the same technology used for hand warmers that you recharge by putting in boiling water. As long as the water in your dishwasher is hot enough, they would recharge "automatically" and self heat quite rapidly.

Do dishwashers have thermostats to control the heating element? If not, having too many of these might prevent the water in the dishwasher from getting to full temperature. That would apply to this original invention and my suggestion.
 — scad mientist, Jan 07 2013

 [+] great idea

//graphs and tedium// not so much... find something that phase-changes at your 65C, measure how much heat is released, and make sure its volume doesn't vary greatly... not too complex: Wikipedia could probably handle it.
 — FlyingToaster, Jan 07 2013

//make sure its volume doesn't vary greatly// phslunka, the sound made by each persons dish after the phase change. Properly designed, this flatware could scare the phslunka out of you.
 — Brian the Painter, Jan 07 2013

From the title, I imagined a different kind of phase change, and that this would be tableware which transformed your food into a kaleidoscopic riot of interference fringes.
 — hippo, Jan 07 2013

//stay at precisely 65// paraffin 6403 (illegal in Salem due to its witchcraft like properties)
 — Brian the Painter, Jan 07 2013

 //kaleidoscopic riot of interference fringes//

How did you know I was in that band?
 — bs0u0155, Jan 07 2013

I think the wax should be added to the plate in a near vacuum and not quite enough wax added to fill the volume. Then, when the plate is sealed, there will be a little vacuum bubble for the wax to expand into when it expands. The plate will be stainless, it can take the strain.
 — bs0u0155, Jan 09 2013

The only problem I can think of is that my micorwave doesn't like steel inside it when it's working. [+] though, because I like the idea in general. Perhaps we could use the same oven things they have on aircraft.
 — Carmi, Jan 10 2013

I put my steel coffee mug in the mic by itself sometimes, works fine. After all some mics have steel racks and the mic`s walls are steel.
 — Brian the Painter, Jan 10 2013

My problem is food staying too hot.
 — EdwinBakery, Jan 10 2013

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