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Can I use steel wool as a filament for a homemade lightbulb?

I want to use steel wool as a filament for a homemade light bulb.  I would like it to just glow, like a soft red or orange.  Is there a reason why this wouldn't work?  I know tungsten is ideal for a filament but at a lower temperature I can't think of a reason why steel filament shouldn't be alright.  I figure I should pass it by the all knowing Internet first though.  Oh by the way, the steel wool would be enclosed in a vaccuum or in a container filled with inert gas.  I would use this Instructable as a base for my project  http://www.instructables.com/id/Hanging-Bottle-Light-Bulb/  .  Thanks for your help.

Picture of Can I use steel wool as a filament for a homemade lightbulb?
rickharris1 year ago
Yes and No.

You could but it won't last long you can never get rid of ALL the O2 and with even a little steel will be very reactive .

It's worth looking up the history and construction of the light bulb - There were many experiments to develop a long lasting material for the filament.


Carbon thread and Tungsten are the 2 most successful.


Agreed 100%
Thank you Frollard; that was very interesting .
I think I'll check some more of his clips.
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