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Invented by Geoffrey Pyke, the composite material pykrete is a mixture of sawdust or wood pulp and ice that was initially developed as part of Project Habakkuk to be used to build an unsinkable aircraft carrier for use by the British Navy in World War II. Pykrete is both very strong and durable and has a very slow melting rate, factors which appealed to the Royal Navy when considering the material for use in a ship. Due to limited funding options, the project did not get past the early stages and was abandoned.

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One Response to “Pykrete”

  1. Strictly Pykrete was invented by Herman Mark, but named after Geoffrey Pyke, whose suggestion of using ice as a suitable material to build aircraft carriers for bombers engaged in anti-submarine warfare led to the Habbakuk Project.

    The project passed prototype stage, and a 1:10 scale model of pure ice was built in Canada (although inexplicably shorter than 1:10 scale).

    Cost was a factor in the full sized vessel never being built, but the key drivers were that longer range bombers became available, Iceland became a airfield providing anti-submarine cover, and anti-submarine warfare tactics waged from surface vessels became more effective, under-mining the primary raison d’etre for huge aircraft carriers.

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