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How to melt an inconvenient ladder


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Judging from other screen shots I have seen, I'm not the only one stuck with an annoying plastic ladder next to one of my AETNs.  I lived with it for hundreds of cycles, but I finally decided that it has to go.  It took a few dozen cycles to get rid of it, but I'll share here for other folks.

  • Plastic melts at 159.9 C.  Normally, I'd just say 160, but given how long it takes, you will watch for it to hit 159.9 also.
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    I used strictly pre-space technologies:

    • Gold for the metal tile (but Copper should work fine too)
    • Diamond for the tempshift (but probably any material will work ok)
    • Igneous for insulated pipe to the vent
    • Crude for the heat transfer
    • Metal Refinery to heat the crude
  • If you don't want to wreck your cold biome, first build an insulated wall around your AETN.
    • As you can see, I had to include a desk, two doors, and two lockers as well. :(  The other stuff is made of Copper Ore, Steel, and Neutronium.  The copper melts at 1000+, the steel at 2400+, and the Neutronium at infinity (or is it 10k?).  Needless to say, these are well outside the capabilities of pre-space tech, so just suck it up.
    • You can't see it in the picture, but the door on the top right is a standard triple-door vacuum airlock for thermal isolation.  Don't let your heat leak out!
  • For some reason, ruins ladders have extremely low thermal conductivity, despite being made of *plastic* (if I set a critter trap next to the ladder, it would melt in minutes, not cycles).  I assume this is for folks who accidentally burn the ruins, so they have a few cycles to rescue them for a museum or whatnot.  Whatever the reason, it's extremely annoying, and why it will take dozens of cycles even if you have a strong heat source.
    • For this reason, I put tempshift behind every ladder tile.  You probably don't need that much tempshift, but I was paranoid and impatient.
    • My first version just used metal tiles next to the ladder, which takes even longer to heat up.  Don't bother.
    • You really need a fluid to do the heat exchange, so make sure you have at least 2 kg of any gas in the room, and don't go in and out.
  • In case it's not obvious, build a liquid vent next to the metal tile, and pipe it to somewhere outside your cold biome where you can easily set up a metal refinery with access to crude.
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      Loop the output back to the input so that you can heat the crude up to close to 400 C.

    • Since you'll be doing this a few times, I added a thermo sensor to send it upstream when it got at least 350 C.

    • Steel will raise the temp by 140 C per batch, Iron by 80 C, and Copper by 50 C.  Try to get the crude as close to 400 without crossing it (or you'll cook it to petro and break your output pipe).  If you have Petroleum handy, use that instead, since you can heat it to 540, which will save a few iterations.

    • Please ignore the pipes on the bottom.  This is in my oil biome and those have nothing to do with this temporary refinery setup.  However, you can see that I'm pumping crude straight out of my lake, which was all I wanted to show.

  • If you're even more impatient, make the oil pocket bigger so you can dump more oil into it at once.  Otherwise, the oil will cool down below 160, and you'll have dump it and fill it fresh.  I did that by deconstructing the insulated tile to the left of the vent, letting it spill out, and rebuilding it.  Very crude, but effective.
  • I had to refill the pocket maybe 5-6x.  Perhaps more.
  • Be patient!  The ladder will take a frustratingly long time to heat up.  The best time to do this is *before* you've used your AETN and chilled the ladder to -160.  It starts out around 20 C, so you will save yourself a *lot* of time if the melting begins at this temp.
  • If you're extremely impatient and have a *lot* of fluid to spare, you can build a tighter wall around the AETN and just flood the chamber with hot liquid.  Beware that you're looking at 16-20 tons of hot fluid, which is going to be a much bigger mess to clean up afterwards.
  • Good luck!
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20 minutes ago, bleeter6 said:

Didn't you put the ladder there? This seems needlessly complicated.

Heh. If you look carefully at the ladder, you'll see that it does not look like the plastic ladders you can build. It's too...neat, symmetrical...too...Gravitas. ;)

I will say, though, it would be hilarious if i built a plastic ladder and then melted it instead of deconstructing it! Even so, it would be a lot less dramatic than this, because real plastic melts pretty easily. 

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