Guess The Tube

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7 years 8 months ago #1315 by Accutron
Yes the pink powder is one of many chemically unstable substances they used as packing foam during the cold war. We have pulled some horrible unspeakable things out of large tube boxes many many times. In general, we call the class of materials 'death foam', the most notable type being the extremely hygroscopic, high density antistatic black foam they use for IC chips. The foam turns itself into a sticky, crusty goo, and eventually destroys the chip. The moisture will eventually find weak spots in the gold plating on the IC's pins, and will rot the inside of the pin out, leaving nothing but a fragile hollow tube of gold plating. We often find large tubes floating around in a box of decomposed fluff, sometimes adhered to the outside of the tube, sometimes not, depending on what particular flavor of toxic foam they originally used. Suffice it to say, I'm going to die of a rare form of cancer by the time I'm 50.

Micah Mabelitini
www.decadecounter.com

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7 years 8 months ago #1318 by Stuckey
All I can say is that stuff smells like death. The bright pink + the smell is a bad combination.

I've never seen and IC destroyed like you described. What types of electronics used that dense foam? I assumed most were ceramic.

"If the laws of physics don't apply in the future, then god help you."
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7 years 2 months ago #2327 by Sine1040
Ooh ... that would be a fun tube to build a scope clock with.

A real hardware character generator :)

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7 years 2 months ago #2341 by Stuckey
I still have the tube but haven't even attempted trying to see if it still works. The glass is still in great shape but it was sitting in a box for a few decades in rotting foam so I have to wonder what has happened to the internal components with time :-/

"If the laws of physics don't apply in the future, then god help you."
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