What is Starlite?
Starlite was a purported substance capable of withstanding intense heat while still remaining flexible through manipulation. It’s history is pretty interesting, and can be viewed in the below video. Most interestingly, the author of the below video has discovered and published a likely recipe which only uses corn starch, baking soda, and glue, which is in line with the apparent animal edibility of starlite as confirmed by the creator’s daughter.
In the above video, it was theorized that you would be able to make starlite without using glue by using dextrin, or baked corn starch, which would allow an all corn starch and baking soda formula. I set out to discover this formula, and arrived at the following recipe.
- 1 part dextrin (corn starch baked at 400 degrees F for 3-4 hours until tan colored)
- 1 part baking soda
- 1 part water
- 3-5 parts corn starch
- Mix the dextrin and baking soda together into a homogenous mixture.
- Mix the water into the dextrin-baking soda mix.
- Add 1 part corn starch to the solid mixture and combine.
- Continue adding the rest of the corn starch on a per-part basis, kneading the mixture until it reaches a play-doh-like consistency and stickiness.
After making the starlite, I rolled it out into sections of various thickness and let them dry overnight. The drying process results were just like what you would expect if you let play-doh dry. I then proceeded to do the “finger test”, which is just putting the piece on your finger and blasting it with a blow torch and seeing how much it heats up over time. Here are pictures of the 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch sections after torching.
For the 1/8 inch sample, I was able to torch it for 30 seconds before it became too hot to handle. For the 1/4 inch sample, I torched it for 2 minutes and 30 seconds and it didn’t seem that it would ever get any hotter than slightly warm.