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casting lava

A foundry using an active volcano's lava flow
  (+14, -1)(+14, -1)
(+14, -1)
  [vote for,

Other than the danger pay is going to be through the roof, the lava is ready for treatment in various ways to produce novel cast rock products.

Some seismic equipment would have to be installed to give some warning of things going pair-shaped. Lava safety channels would have to be cut/blown to give a bit of flow control. Maybe the foundry could be remote controlled.

Maybe like a horizontal drilling rig that lays down a up- hill channel for the lava to flow. The rig can be a distance away and yet have lava for processing. The material of this channel would be the crucial bit.

Or a swarm of autonomous caterpillar carriers that hold a man-made lava channel. The channel would slowly be driven into a natural flow. Each unit would be able to control angle, height and path of channel. A path could be designed 'on the crawl' via sensed conditions.

The channel would have to be extreme heat tolerant and slippery to allow the gravity feed. Insulation would be needed to try and keep the heat in the molten rock as much as possible.

Nature has preheated the rock, pity we can't make use of the material. Maybe we can make manhole covers?

wjt, May 29 2009

fictionally baked http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Mustafar
...in a galaxy far, far away [jaksplat, May 29 2009]

(?) Close. Moulded_20Lava_20Art
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jun 01 2009]

Cast Stone Cast_20Stone#1177820723
[xaviergisz, Jun 01 2009]

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       Only in Hawaii.
zeno, May 29 2009

       sp: pear-shaped   

       +1 not sure how you'd manage it though.
po, May 29 2009

       I've been studying sand casting of metals - you could come up with a scissors affair for the two mold halves and wear enough heat armor to allow for a brief proximity.
normzone, May 30 2009

       Yes, someone could but a flow would be needed for mass production and it would not be easy to change the setting conditions like magnetic field, abrupt temperature change, pressure and the like.
wjt, May 30 2009

       This is not fighting-gravity costly. I would have thought we(humanity) would have the level of technology to do this, though my ideas are in Thunderbirds territory.
wjt, May 30 2009

       I think the sense in the statement lies in the hyphenation of "fighting-gravity". Generally, creating any technology that counters gravity in some manner is expensive right? As to the idea itself, you'd need to work out what you were going to make out of this stuff, what you could sell it for and where your profit margin is. Lava tends to create its own channels to run thru, thus the lava tubes seen in Hawaii whereby the lava goes all the way to the coast - a distance of several km - without being seen on the surface. You'd need to siphon off from one of these existing tubes, although they must eventually dry up, close off, or get diverted. Perhaps what you want to do is build the plant half way up the volcano and then just drill into the side of it to get a guaranteed supply.
Hairy Sock, Jun 01 2009

       I did consider the idea that this plant could be like a bomb proof geological laboratory for studying lava. A sideline in manhole covers could be used to offset cost.
wjt, Jun 01 2009

       As the quality of the lava is not easily controlled, the finished product would be of varying quality too, resulting in low prices. I don not belive this could be formed into any non-artsy product. On the other hand, some nice cast-basalt scultpures for the yard might be rather sought-after.
loonquawl, Jun 02 2009


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