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Friday, October 31, 2014

Puzzler for the Week (Oct 31)

Puzzler for the Week

Many of life’s great discoveries have been made with someone asked Why? and then spent the time and energy to figure it out.  We also learn more and retain that knowledge when we ask Why.  I am not going to try and discuss the great questions asked by Mr. Cosby like “Why is there Air”.   But, we did run across an interesting puzzler this week at the UAS Freshman Residential Housing project.

The fourth floor seminar room looks out over the UAS campus, Auke Lake and Mendenhall Glacier through several large panes of 1/2-inch thick glass.  The contractor filled used a special clear silicone to fill the space in-between adjoining panes of glass.  They used the electric calking gun so the placement of the silicone is very continuous and uniform.  The first day that the silicone was installed, it looked good.  However, over the next couple of days air bubbles formed in the silicone. 

 Calking Gun Electric Calking Gun by Makita

 Seminar Room

View from UAS Freshman Residential Hall seminar room.

 Silicon Joint Silicone Calking Between Adjoining Panes of Glass

 Bubbles one side Bubbles Only on One Side of Joint.

 Bubbles w feathers Bubbles with Feathers.

 Feather Bubble Feather Bubble

The Puzzler for the week is:

  • Why did air bubbles form in the Silicone?
  • Why there were no air bubbles the first day when it was installed?
  • Why did air bubbles form only on one side of the joint in some locations?
  • Why did lots of small air bubbles form in some sections while large bubbles form in other sections?
  • Why do some air bubbles have what looks like a small feather coming out of them?

 

e-mail your answers to nleigh1@uas.alaska.edu  by noon November 6, 2014. 

The top 3 answers will be included in next week’s UAS Construction Update.

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