How It's Made (2001–…): Season 7, Episode 6 - Glass Cookware/Soap Bars/Steel Drums/Firefighter Uniforms - full transcript

Find out how glass cookware, soap bars, steel drums, and firefighter uniforms are made.


CAPTIONS PAID FOR BY
DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

Narrator:
TODAY ON "HOW IT'S MADE"...

...GLASS COOKWARE...

...SOAP BARS...

...STEEL DRUMS...

...AND FIREFIGHTER UNIFORMS.

PYREX IS AN IDEA

COOKED UP BY THE WIFE
OF A GLASS-INDUSTRY SCIENTIST

IN 1913.

SHE BELIEVED THE TOUGH GLASS
USED IN LANTERN GLOBES

WOULD BE GREAT
FOR BAKING CAKES IN,

SO SHE BAKED ONE IN SOME GLASS
HER HUSBAND BROUGHT HOME.

THE CAKE WAS A HIT,

CHANGING THE NOTION THAT GLASS
WAS TOO FRAGILE FOR THE OVEN.

TODAY, IN MOST HOMES,

YOU'LL FIND
DIFFERENT TYPES OF COOKWARE,

MANY OF WHICH
ARE MADE FROM PYREX.

TO PRODUCE SOME DISHES,

A BATCH FEEDER PUSHES
INGREDIENTS INTO A BIG FURNACE

AS THEY SPILL
OUT OF A BIN OVERHEAD.

SILICA SAND
IS THE BIGGEST PART OF THE MIX.

IT'S A CRYSTALLINE SUBSTANCE,
AND IT MAKES GLASS TRANSPARENT.

THE BATCH ALSO INCLUDES
SODA ASH AND RECYCLED GLASS.

SOME OF THE OTHER INGREDIENTS
ARE A TRADE SECRET.

THE FURNACE HEATS THE MIX
TO THE MELTING POINT,

OVER 2,700 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

IT TURNS INTO MOLTEN GLASS
THAT LOOKS LIKE LAVA.

THE GLASS,
IN THIS LAVA-LIKE FORM,

WILL SPEND UP TO 24 HOURS
IN THE FURNACE.

ON ITS WAY OUT, MECHANICAL
SHEARS CUT IT INTO GOBS.

THE GOBS SLIDE DOWN
A WATER-COOLED CHUTE

AND DROP
INTO A BAKING-DISH-SHAPED MOLD.

THERE ARE 16 MOLDS
ON A ROTATING TABLE.

AS IT TURNS,

THE TABLE DELIVERS THE
GOB-FILLED MOLDS TO A PLUNGER,

WHICH PRESSES THEM
INTO THE BAKING-DISH SHAPE.

CONTINUING TO ROTATE,

THE TABLE POSITIONS THE MOLDS
UNDER BLOWERS.

THEY COOL THE FRESHLY-MOLDED
GLASS SO IT HOLDS ITS SHAPE.

A MECHANICAL ARM
SUCTIONS UP THE GLASS DISH

AND SETS IT DOWN
ON ANOTHER REVOLVING TABLE.

FLAMES LICK THE GLASSWARE
FROM BURNERS ABOVE AND BELOW.

THE DISH IS EXPOSED

TO A TEMPERATURE OF OVER
1,800 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

THIS SOFTENS ITS SHARP EDGES
SO THAT THE RIM IS SMOOTH.

NEXT,
HOSES BLAST HIGH-PRESSURE AIR,

COOLING THE DISHES
TO SOLIDIFY THEM,

SO THAT A MECHANICAL ARM
CAN PICK THEM UP

WITHOUT RUINING THEM.

IT TRANSPORTS THE GLASS DISHES
TO A CONVEYOR BELT.

FURTHER DOWN, ANOTHER ARM
FEEDS THE DISHES TO A KILN,

WHERE HEATING AND COOLING CYCLES
TEMPER THE GLASS.

THIS IS WHAT GIVES PYREX
ITS STRENGTH.

NOW IT'S TIME TO MAKE THE LID.

A DIFFERENT PLUNGER PRESSES
GLASS GOBS INTO A LID SHAPE.

EVERY LID NEEDS A KNOB,

SO A VALVE INSIDE THE MOLD FORMS
IT, AND THEN THRUSTS THE LID UP

TO BE PICKED UP
BY A MECHANICAL ARM.

THE ARM FLIPS ITS LID AND
SETS IT DOWN ON A CONVEYOR BELT.

THE LIDS ARE ON THE MOVE,

TRAVELING THROUGH
A TEMPERING KILN.

ON THEIR WAY OUT,
A FAN COOLS THEM OFF

SO THAT THEY CAN BE HANDLED
BY HUMAN HANDS THIS TIME.

WORKERS INSPECT EACH GLASS LID
BEFORE PACKING THEM.

ON ANOTHER LINE,
MEASURING CUPS ARE PRODUCED.

LITTLE PLATFORMS
LIFT THE MEASURING CUPS

TO SUCTIONING ARMS

THAT PROTRUDE FROM
A REVOLVING SILK-SCREEN MACHINE.

A LITTLE SQUEEGEE
FORCES ENAMEL THROUGH A SCREEN,

PRINTING MEASUREMENTS
ONTO THE CUP.

OVER IN THE LAB, A WORKER
ROUGHS UP A SAMPLE DISH.

BY RUBBING IT WITH SANDPAPER, HE
MIMICS YEARS OF WEAR AND TEAR.

BUT IT'S ABOUT TO BE SUBJECTED
TO EVEN MORE ABUSE.

HE PLACES A SHARP TOOL
IN THE CENTER OF THE DISH

AND TAKES AIM WITH A HAMMER.

WILL IT BREAK WITHOUT SHATTERING
INTO NUMEROUS LITTLE SHARDS?

IT'S A CLEAN BREAK,

WHICH MEANS THIS DISH
HAS MET THE QUALITY STANDARDS.

Narrator:
THE WIDESPREAD USE OF SOAP

HAS ELEVATED OUR STANDARDS
OF CLEANLINESS.

THE INGREDIENTS
THAT ARE USED IN SOAP

REMOVE DIRT
AND DANGEROUS PATHOGENS.

REGULARLY WASHING YOUR HANDS

CAN REDUCE THE CHANCES
OF YOU GETTING SICK

AND WILL MAKE YOUR WORLD
A MORE HYGIENIC PLACE.

SOAP COMES IN A VARIETY
OF SHAPES, COLORS, AND TEXTURES,

EVEN DIFFERENT SCENTS.

BUT IT ALL STARTS
IN A BUBBLING KETTLE,

WHERE ANIMAL OR VEGETABLE FAT
REACTS WITH SODIUM HYDROXIDE,

A CAUSTIC SUBSTANCE,
TO CREATE SOAP.

THEY ADD WATER TO KEEP IT FLUID,

AS STEAM BUBBLES UP THROUGH
THE CENTER TO MIX IT ALL UP

AND ENCOURAGE
THE CHEMICAL REACTION.

THIS MAY LOOK LIKE AN ARCTIC ICE
FLOE, BUT IT'S THE LEFTOVERS --

SOAP THAT SETTLED
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE KETTLE.

THEY POUR IT ALL INTO THIS TANK
AND REUSE IT IN THE NEXT BATCH.

NOW THEY SPRAY HOT LIQUID SOAP
ONTO A BIG METAL ROLL.

IT SOLIDIFIES IN A FLASH,

AND A BIG BLADE
SCRAPES IT OFF THE ROLL,

CREATING RIBBONS OF SOAP.

THE SOAP RIBBONS PLUNGE
INTO A HOPPER,

WHERE AN AUGER MOVES THE SOAP
ALONG, SENDING IT DOWN A CHUTE.

THE SOAP RIBBONS FALL
ALL THE WAY TO THE NEXT FLOOR

TO BIG STEEL ROLLERS
CALLED MILLS.

THEY MIX AND COMPRESS THE SOAP.

A BLADE SCRAPES IT
OFF THE ROLLERS

AND CUTS IT INTO RIBBONS AGAIN,

BUT THESE SOAP RIBBONS
ARE DENSER.

INSIDE THE NEXT HOPPER,
ANOTHER AUGER TURNS.

IT PUSHES THE SOAP THROUGH AN
EXTRUDER CALLED A NOODLE PLATE

THAT SHAPES IT
INTO SOAP NOODLES.

AS THE NOODLES
FALL FROM THE EXTRUDER,

THEY'RE COLLECTED IN BINS, WHICH
ARE THEN DUMPED INTO A MIXER.

AT THIS POINT, THEY ADD COLOR
IN POWDER AND LIQUID FORM.

STEEL BLADES STIR IT UP

UNTIL THE COLOR COATS
THE SOAP NOODLES.

THEY ADD SOME FRAGRANT OILS, AND
THE BLADES TOSS IT ALL TOGETHER.

WHEN THE BATCH IS READY,
A TRAPDOOR OPENS.

THE BLADES KEEP TURNING,
NUDGING THE SOAP OUT THE DOOR.

THEN IT'S FORCED
THROUGH ANOTHER NOODLE PLATE.

THIS MIXES UP THE BATCH
A LITTLE MORE.

NEXT THEY PUSH THE SOAP
THROUGH A FORMING PLATE,

MAKING A LONG BAR.

BLADES MOUNTED ON A TRACK

SLICE IT INTO SHORTER PIECES
CALLED SLUGS.

THE SOAP SLUGS ARE ON THEIR WAY
TO THE NEXT STAGE.

THEY'RE
ON A TWO-LANE THOROUGHFARE

HEADING INTO A DIE-PRESS.

A MECHANICAL ARM PUSHES
THE SLUGS THROUGH AN OVAL PLATE,

TRIMMING IT AND THEN LOADING IT
INTO THE DIE.

THE DIE ROTATES
TO ACCEPT THE SLUGS.

MECHANICAL PRESSES MOVE IN
TO SHAPE AND STAMP THEM.

MECHANICAL ARMS SUCTION THE BARS
TO REMOVE THEM FROM THE DIE.

THESE MECHANICAL PUSHERS HELP.

THEY NUDGE THE SOAP BARS

OUT OF THE DIE
TOWARDS THE SUCTIONING ARMS.

THE OVAL SOAP BARS NOW TRAVEL
THROUGH A WRAPPING STATION.

A BLADE CRIMPS AND HEAT-SEALS
THE PLASTIC WRAP

IN ONE FELL SWOOP.

THEN AUTOMATED GRIPPERS GRASP
THE WRAPPED BARS

AND LOAD THEM INTO A MACHINE,

WHICH SLIDES THEM
INTO LITTLE BOXES.

NOW IT'S TIME TO PACK THEM UP
AND SHIP THEM OFF TO THE STORE.

Narrator:
THE STORY OF THE STEEL DRUM

BEGINS IN TRINIDAD
IN THE 1930s,

WHEN STREET-BAND SKIRMISHES
LED TO THE BAN OF SKIN DRUMS.

SO PEOPLE IMPROVISED AND MADE
DRUMS FROM THICK BAMBOO POLES,

CAR PARTS, TINS,
AND, FINALLY, OIL BARRELS.

STEEL DRUMS
HAVE A VERY DISTINCTIVE SOUND.

[ CLACKING ]

[ STEEL DRUMS PLAY ]

WHEN PEOPLE FIRST STARTED
POUNDING ON STEEL INSTRUMENTS,

THEY INADVERTENTLY DENTED THEM.

THAT'S HOW THEY DISCOVERED

THAT EACH DENT
PRODUCED A DIFFERENT PITCH.

SO NOW STEEL DRUMS
ARE CREATED WITH THE SAME IDEA.

TO MAKE A DRUMHEAD, THEY CUT
A PIECE OF STEEL INTO A CIRCLE.

THEY WELD A METAL RING ONTO IT,

AND THEN THEY POSITION A METAL
SHELL, OR SKIRT, ON THE RING

AND WELD IT IN PLACE.

THE DRUM IS HELD IN A BIG CLAMP

WHILE A WORKER PINPOINTS
THE DRUMHEAD'S EXACT CENTER.

HE PLACES
A MEASURING GUIDE THERE,

USING IT TO MARK RADIAL LINES
FROM THE CENTER TO THE RIM.

EACH LINE IS 10 DEGREES APART.

AS THE DRUM TURNS, HE DRAWS
CIRCULAR LINES TO MAKE A GRID.

NOW HE POUNDS THE HEAD OF THE
DRUM WITH A PNEUMATIC HAMMER,

USING THE GRID AS A GUIDE TO
ENSURE THE WORK IS DONE EVENLY.

IT TAKES 8 HOURS OF HAMMERING

TO TRANSFORM THE DRUM
INTO A BOWL-LIKE SHAPE.

THIS IS CALLED SINKING THE DRUM.

THEN, WITH A SPECIAL GUIDE
FOR CURVED SURFACES,

A TECHNICIAN
MEASURES OUT ANOTHER GRID

INSIDE THE BOWLED DRUMHEAD.

HE OUTLINES THE NOTES THAT ARE
ABOUT TO BE HAMMERED OUT --

IN THIS CASE,
A HIGH "B" AND AN "E."

THEN HE HAMMERS DOWN THE STEEL
AROUND EACH ONE

TO SHAPE THE NOTE.

GETTING THIS RIGHT
TAKES SKILL AND A LOT OF TIME,

UP TO 50 HOURS.

HE TRIMS THE DRUM SKIRT
TO THE CORRECT LENGTH

AND TAPES A STENCIL OF
THE COMPANY LOGO ONTO THE SKIRT.

THIS DEVICE IS
AN ELECTRICAL ETCHING MACHINE.

IT USES ACID
AND ELECTRIC CURRENT

TO EAT AWAY THE STEEL
EXPOSED THROUGH THE STENCIL.

NOW A TECHNICIAN WIELDS
AN ULTRASONIC THICKNESS PROBE.

SHE PRESSES IT AGAINST A NOTE.

USING
HIGH-FREQUENCY SOUND WAVES,

THE PROBE MEASURES
THE STEEL'S THICKNESS

TO WITHIN A FRACTION OF AN INCH.

SHE GRINDS DOWN THE NOTES
WHERE NEEDED.

THEN, USING A SCRIBING TOOL,

SHE SCRATCHES A LINE
AROUND EACH NOTE,

SO IT WILL BE VISIBLE
TO THE PLAYER.

NOW IT'S TIME TO MAKE SURE
THEY HAVE THE RIGHT NOTE.

TO TUNE A STEEL DRUM,

THE TECHNICIAN PLAYS A NOTE
WITH A STICK

AND THEN DENTS IT WITH A HAMMER
TO ADJUST THE PITCH.

YOU HAVE TO LISTEN
VERY CAREFULLY.

HE HAMMERS THE NOTE
UNTIL IT SOUNDS RIGHT.

SOMETIMES, HE TURNS THE DRUM
UPSIDE DOWN

TO KNOCK OUT A NOTE
FROM THE UNDERSIDE.

FOR THE FINE-TUNING, HE RELIES
ON AN ELECTRONIC TUNER.

A MICROPHONE
DELIVERS THE SOUND TO IT,

AND THE LINES ON THE SCREEN

TELL HIM IF THE NOTE
IS IN TUNE OR NOT.

NEXT, HE BURNS THE BORDER OF
EACH NOTE WITH A BLOWTORCH.

THEN HE COOLS IT DOWN
WITH WATER.

THE PROCESS TEMPERS THE STEEL,
MAKING THE NOTES MORE RESONANT.

HE TUNES THE DRUM AGAIN,
CHECKING FOR FLAWS.

AFTER THE DRUM IS CHROME-PLATED,
HE TUNES IT A FINAL TIME.

IT HAS TAKEN 120 HOURS
TO MAKE THIS STEEL DRUM.

NOW IT'S TIME TO TAKE A BREAK
AND LISTEN TO THE UNIQUE SOUND.

[ STEEL DRUM PLAYS ]

Narrator: FIREFIGHTERS HAVE BEEN
DOING THEIR JOBS HEROICALLY

FOR CENTURIES.

THEIR UNIFORMS, HOWEVER,
WERE NOT ALWAYS UP TO THE TASK.

GOOD THING TODAY'S FIREFIGHTERS

ARE CLOAKED IN LAYERS
OF SPACE-AGE MATERIAL.

THE PROTECTIVE ARMOR

HAS VIRTUALLY ELIMINATED
FIREFIGHTER DEATHS

CAUSED BY BURN INJURIES.

A COMPUTER-GUIDED MACHINE
CUTS OUT MORE THAN 90 PARTS

TO MAKE THE OUTER SHELL,

JUST ONE OF THREE LAYERS
IN A FIREFIGHTER'S JACKET.

THIS FABRIC CONTAINS
SYNTHETIC FIBER KNOWN AS PBI,

WHICH PROTECTS
AGAINST TEMPERATURES

AS HIGH AS
1,200 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

ANOTHER MACHINE TAPES THE SEAMS
OF THE JACKET'S MIDDLE LAYER,

THE MOISTURE BARRIER.

PRESSURE ROLLERS AND HIGH HEAT
ACTIVATE GLUE IN THE TAPE,

SEALING THE SEAMS.

THIS SYNTHETIC FABRIC
LETS PERSPIRATION THROUGH,

BUT BLOCKS SOME HARMFUL LIQUIDS,

SUCH AS BATTERY ACID, HYDRAULIC
FLUID, OR INFECTED BLOOD.

NOW THEY LINE THE MOISTURE
BARRIER WITH THE THERMAL LINER,

THE JACKET'S THIRD
AND INNERMOST LAYER.

THIS SYNTHETIC FABRIC

PROTECTS AGAINST HEAT
OF UP TO 800 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

TO REINFORCE THE CUFFS, HEMS,
AND FRONT AND BACK PANELS,

A WORKER SEWS THEM TOGETHER

WITH A HEAT-RESISTANT TAPE
AND THREAD,

BUT SHE LEAVES THE NECK AREA
UNATTACHED,

SO THE FIREFIGHTERS
CAN PULL THE JACKET INSIDE OUT

TO INSPECT THE LINER
BETWEEN RESCUES.

BACK TO THE OUTER SHELL.

A WORKER SEWS
TWO ORANGE-AND-SILVER STRIPES

TO THE FRONT AND BACK PANELS.

SHE ALSO SEWS A STRIPE
ONTO EACH SLEEVE.

THE FLORESCENT ORANGE

MAKES THE FIREFIGHTER
MORE VISIBLE IN DAYLIGHT.

THE REFLECTIVE SILVER IS
FOR NIGHTTIME OR IN THE SMOKE.

IN SOME CASES, SHE ADDS
REFLECTIVE DIE-CUT LETTERS

IDENTIFYING THE FIRE DEPARTMENT

OR SPELLING
THE FIREFIGHTER'S NAME.

A STRIP OF VELCRO
GOES ONTO THE LEFT FRONT PANEL.

IT'S ONE OF FOUR WAYS
TO FASTEN THE JACKET,

IN ADDITION TO ZIPPERS,
SNAPS, AND HOOKS.

TO KEEP WATER FROM ENTERING
THROUGH THE FRONT OF THE JACKET,

THEY ATTACH
A STRIP OF THE SAME FABRIC

USED
TO MAKE THE MOISTURE BARRIER.

A WORKER SEWS IT INSIDE THE
OUTER SHELL'S RIGHT FRONT PANEL,

WHAT'S CALLED THE STORM FLAP.

THE STORM FLAP'S OTHER SIDE
GETS A VELCRO STRIP

THAT MATES WITH THE VELCRO
ON THE LEFT PANEL.

THEY ATTACH THE FRONT PANELS
TO THE BACK PANELS.

A WORKER FOLDS THE GARMENT OVER,

AND THE MACHINE
SEWS THROUGH TWO LAYERS AT ONCE.

IT'S ANOTHER WAY TO REINFORCE
THE SEAMS OF THE JACKET.

THEY USE A DIFFERENT SEWING
MACHINE TO ATTACH THE SLEEVES.

A WORKER SEWS
FIVE DIFFERENT SEAMS

TO JOIN THE SHOULDER AREAS.

THIS IS CRITICAL
BECAUSE FIREFIGHTERS

CARRY A 24-POUND AIR TANK
ON THEIR BACK.

THE SEAMS SPREAD OUT THE STRESS

THIS WEIGHT PLACES
ON THE JACKET.

A WORKER ATTACHES
THREE METAL SNAPS

TO THE INSIDE FRONT
OF THE OUTER SHELL.

THESE WILL ATTACH THE OUTER
SHELL TO THE TWO INNER LAYERS.

THEN,
A HEAT-RESISTANT PLASTIC ZIPPER.

THIS MACHINE APPLIES
THREE RIVETS

TO EACH
OF FOUR SPRING-LOADED HOOKS

ALONG THE RIGHT FRONT PANEL
OF THE JACKET.

A SIX-FOOT-LONG STRAP
CINCHES AROUND THE ARMPITS

TO DRAG AN INJURED FIREFIGHTER
AWAY FROM DANGER.

A WORKER THEN SNAPS TOGETHER
THE ASSEMBLED INNER LAYERS

TO THE OUTER SHELL.

THERE ARE FOUR SNAPS
ON EACH CUFF,

WHICH COULD HEAT UP QUICKLY
IN A FIRE.

TABS ENSURE THEY NEVER BURN
THE FIREFIGHTER'S SKIN.

THE FRONT PANELS COME TOGETHER
WITH FOUR SNAPS ON EACH SIDE.

THE FOUR-INCH COLLAR UNFOLDS,

COVERING THE NECK TO WHERE IT
MEETS THE FIREFIGHTER'S HELMET.

FULLY ASSEMBLED,

THE JACKET WEIGHS
ABOUT FOUR AND A HALF POUNDS.

THIS TESTING DEVICE
GAUGES HOW LONG IT WOULD TAKE

TO SUSTAIN A SECOND-DEGREE BURN.

A GAS BURNER SHOOTS A FLAME

THAT'S EXACTLY
2,000 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT

DIRECTLY ONTO THE JACKET'S
OUTER LAYER.

A HEAT SENSOR MIMICS HUMAN
SKIN'S SENSITIVITY TO HEAT.

THE MATERIAL FAILS THE TEST
IF THE TRANSFERRED HEAT

WOULD CAUSE SECOND-DEGREE BURNS
IN LESS THAN 17 1/2 SECONDS.

FINALLY, THEY SHOWER THE UNIFORM
FOR 20 MINUTES

TO TEST ITS WATERTIGHT SEAL.

THE DUMMY'S WEARING
A COTTON BODYSUIT UNDERNEATH.

JUST ONE WET SPOT
ON THE BODYSUIT,

AND THE UNIFORM
FAILS INSPECTION.

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