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I'm looking for a material that I can use to make a mesh netting. It should be flexible and have reasonable tensile strength when cold but brittle when hot (400+ degrees F). I want to use it to contain charcoal when cold but disintegrate when charcoal is burning and some force is applied to it.

Any ideas?

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  • $\begingroup$ Does Rope work? (If by brittle you don't mind burns to ash.) $\endgroup$ – Nick Jul 23 '13 at 16:37
  • $\begingroup$ The usual solution to the problem it sounds like you're trying to solve is thick and nested paper bags -- they'll store the charcoal while not on fire, and then burn with the charcoal once you set it on fire. Plus, if you want, you can soak the inner paper and the top in wax to make the whole bag a bit easier to light. $\endgroup$ – Aesin Aug 22 '13 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ But will it maintain its shape until coals are ashed over? $\endgroup$ – richcollins Aug 22 '13 at 22:32
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Clay or ceramic materials. Not flexible, but worth a try. It has to be completely dry before heating or it can explode on heating projecting pieces everywhere.

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It's indeed not common, as the brittle/ductile transition is usually the other way around. You can, however, find counter-examples (in a limited range of temperature) by searching for “inverse brittle-to-ductile transition”.

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