Ironing LEGO Bricks:
The Wave

Ingo Althöfer; March 12 and 13, 2014; newly formatted in September 2019.

First of all a clarification: "LEGO" is a trademark of the LEGO group in Billund, Denmark. This website is neither sponsored nor authorized nor supported by the LEGO group.

Back in the 1980's, I have been fascinated by the American space shuttles and their system of heat-resistant tiles. These tiles shall guarantee that the shuttles do not burn out during reentry in the earth atmosphere. After landing the tiles sometiles looked a bit baken.

Already some time ago I thought how to mock this process with LEGO bricks. Finally, I performed a small experiment with a yellow 4x12 plate, covered by transparent tiles of size 1x2 each.

Bad news first: In a water bath in the microwave (almost) nothing happened.

The structure in the microwave oven.

The "LEGO sandwich" after several minutes with medium radiation.

Then I dust off an old flatiron and warmed it up.

Of course, the iron was not set diretly on the plate with the tiles. Instead, I put an old white blanket in between.

The result was very satisfying.

Gently curved, almost like the glass roof of Munich's "Olympiastadium".

You can see that the yellow plate is more curved than the small tiles.

It was haptic fun to take the tiles from the curved plate. The slightly curved pieces give a feeling between the fingers that is rather different from that of "normal" tiles.

Title of this still life: The Wave.

After the Ironing: Washing

One day after the ironing I wanted to know if the more or less curved pieces were still willing to form random complexes in the washing machine. So, the yellow plate together with the 24 tiles (25 single pieces) were knotted in a sock and washed at 40 degree Celsius, together with a normal load. The result came as a surprise, especially in its quantity: 10 of the 24 tiles had "found their places" on the plate!

Let me close with a hint: Of course I do not take any liability for damages in LEGO experiments, executed by others. Everybody has to know by himself or herself what (s)he can do with his or her bricks. In case of doubts, please try to stay on the safe side.

Husbands: Do only what your wives allow!

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