FREE! Click here to Join FunTrivia. Thousands of games, quizzes, and lots more!
Quiz about Signs for Designs
Quiz about Signs for Designs

Signs for Designs Trivia Quiz


You are probably familiar with the use of blueprints to display architectural designs, but do you know the chemistry behind the technique?

A photo quiz by looney_tunes. Estimated time: 5 mins.
  1. Home
  2. »
  3. Quizzes
  4. »
  5. Science Trivia
  6. »
  7. Chemistry

Author
looney_tunes
Time
5 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
373,948
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
5 / 10
Plays
2215
Last 3 plays: Guest 69 (8/10), Guest 47 (6/10), fado72 (10/10).
-
Question 1 of 10
1. Architectural blueprints are an example of what type of printing process? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The bright blue familiarly seen in blueprints is caused by a chemical with the formula Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3 (imagine the numbers are written as subscripts, please). What name is commonly used for this color? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The production of a blueprint using Herschel's method starts by mixing the two chemicals potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium nitrate. Which of these reactions is the first step in the ensuing process? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. To produce a blueprint, the yellow chemical mixture must be placed on a surface that can absorb the liquids. Which of these would NOT be suitable for this? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. To produce a picture, it is necessary to place some object, such as an architectural drawing, on top of the material that has been impregnated with the color-producing chemicals, and then initiate the desired chemical reaction. Which of these is the simplest way to do this? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Once the material being used to produce a blueprint has had the necessary chemical reactions completed, it is necessary to stop the chemical reaction, so that the final print is stabilized. What is the name given to this stage of the process? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Sometimes a blueprint may turn out too light, so it may be desirable to increase the intensity of its blue color. This is most easily done by soaking it in a solution of a weak acid or an oxidizing agent. Which of these would NOT be a suitable choice? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Sometimes it may be desirable to reduce the intensity of the blue color when a blueprint is being processed. Which of the following common household products can be used to do this? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. One of the reasons for reducing the intensity of the blue color in a blueprint is so that you can then soak it in another chemical to produce a new color. Which of these possible coloring agents is correctly matched with the color it will produce? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Horrors, you discover that your blueprint has faded after several years. Perhaps you shouldn't have had it framed and hung in that sunny spot. Which of these simple methods can be used to significantly, if not completely, restore the original color? Hint



(Optional) Create a Free FunTrivia ID to save the points you are about to earn:

arrow Select a User ID:
arrow Choose a Password:
arrow Your Email:




View Image Attributions for This Quiz

Most Recent Scores
Feb 29 2024 : Guest 69: 8/10
Feb 04 2024 : Guest 47: 6/10
Jan 29 2024 : fado72: 10/10
Jan 23 2024 : Guest 211: 7/10
Jan 13 2024 : Reamar42: 6/10
Jan 07 2024 : Guest 106: 4/10
Jan 03 2024 : teachdpo: 4/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Architectural blueprints are an example of what type of printing process?

Answer: Cyanotype

The cyanotype process involves a chemical reaction that produces a print that is cyan (a shade of blue) in color. It was first developed by the English scientist Sir John Herschel in 1842. Another process used in making blueprints was that developed by Louis Poitevin in 1862, which used slightly different chemicals to produce similar results to those of the cyanotype process.

Blueprints using a cyanotype process are actually rarely used these days, as other technologies have replaced them, but architectural plans are often still called blueprints in common usage.

The image accompanying this question is an example of a cyanotype image produced in 1842 by Sir John Herschel.
2. The bright blue familiarly seen in blueprints is caused by a chemical with the formula Fe4[Fe(CN)6]3 (imagine the numbers are written as subscripts, please). What name is commonly used for this color?

Answer: Prussian blue

Prussian blue is also called Berlin blue, Parisian blue, and Turnbull's blue. The formula given in the question is actually what is called an idealized formula - when the pigment is produced, it usually contains impurities from the chemical reactions that produce it. Their presence can lead to slight changes in the hue. The shade of blue is also affected by the size of the particles formed in the colloid (a suspension of particles in water).

The image accompanying this question shows a blueprint drawn in the 20th century for the galleon La Belle, used by La Salle in his explorations of the US. It was lost off the coast of Texas, and the wreckage discovered in 1995.
3. The production of a blueprint using Herschel's method starts by mixing the two chemicals potassium ferricyanide and ferric ammonium nitrate. Which of these reactions is the first step in the ensuing process?

Answer: Reduction of iron

The prefix ferri- is used to describe an ion of iron with a charge of +3. In the reaction, the Fe3+ from the ferric ammonium nitrate is reduced (gains an electron) and has a charge of +2 (described with the prefix ferro-). The ferrous ions produced then combine with the ferricyanide ions from the potassium ferricyanide to produce ferroferricyanide, or Prussian blue.

The image accompanying this question is a standard architectural blueprint showing a number of elevations and architectural details for a two-story house.
4. To produce a blueprint, the yellow chemical mixture must be placed on a surface that can absorb the liquids. Which of these would NOT be suitable for this?

Answer: Glass

Glass is not porous, so it will not absorb the chemical mixture. It is possible to use glass (if you really want to) by coating the glass with a material such as gelatine which will absorb the chemicals, and fix them in place when it sets. Architects usually used paper, as you may recall from seeing the rolled-up paper cylinders that can be dramatically unrolled to reveal the plans. Artists applying the process to produce images of more aesthetic value have explored a range of other absorbent materials.

The image accompanying this question shows the Library of Congress under construction in 1893.
5. To produce a picture, it is necessary to place some object, such as an architectural drawing, on top of the material that has been impregnated with the color-producing chemicals, and then initiate the desired chemical reaction. Which of these is the simplest way to do this?

Answer: Expose it to sunlight

The UV portion of the sunlight is actually the essential component, as it provides the energy to reduce the iron ions, so you can also use a UV light source if sunlight is an issue. Those portions of the surface which the UV light affects will turn blue; those parts that are blocked (because of being dark areas in the negative placed on top) will not change color, and will appear as light areas in the final print. A typical blueprint exposure time would be between five and twenty minutes. Architectural drawings to be turned into blueprints are drawn on translucent paper, so that only the areas where the lines for the plan are drawn will block the sun. If you have placed an ordinary object, such as a flower, on the surface instead of a drawing, you will produce a photogram, a negative image of the original object.

The image accompanying this question, titled 'Carix (America)', was made by Anna Atkins, an English botanist who published a book, 'Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions' (1843), using the technique invented by her friend John Herschel, which is considered the first book with photographic illustrations. They were created by placing the plant specimen on the photosensitive surface, and creating a photogram.
6. Once the material being used to produce a blueprint has had the necessary chemical reactions completed, it is necessary to stop the chemical reaction, so that the final print is stabilized. What is the name given to this stage of the process?

Answer: Developing

The same term is used for other photographic processes to describe the stage in which the photosensitivity of the materials is removed. In the case of blueprints, the unused chemicals can be simply washed away with running water, since they are quite soluble, unlike the blue product. As the material dries, the blue color usually becomes slightly darker, so it takes some practice to know how dark is needs to be before ending exposure and stopping the process.

The image accompanying this question shows a sample of woodhorsetail, by Anna Atkins.
7. Sometimes a blueprint may turn out too light, so it may be desirable to increase the intensity of its blue color. This is most easily done by soaking it in a solution of a weak acid or an oxidizing agent. Which of these would NOT be a suitable choice?

Answer: Sodium hydroxide

Sodium hydroxide is a strong base, not an acid or an oxidizing agent. Lemon juice contains citric acid, and vinegar contains acetic acid, both of which are weak acids. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent. Oxidizing agents and acids reactivate the chemical process, and increase the speed of the reaction that forms the Prussian blue. This gives larger particles, which have a darker color. It is only limited in effect, however - it is better to get the exposure right the first time!

The image accompanying this question was taken by Anna Atkins, of the algae Dictyota dichotoma, showing several stages of development.
8. Sometimes it may be desirable to reduce the intensity of the blue color when a blueprint is being processed. Which of the following common household products can be used to do this?

Answer: Washing soda

Chlorine bleach, washing soda (NOT baking soda), ammonia, borax, and a range of other chemicals can be used to reduce the color intensity in the finished blueprint. After exposure, the print is developed and thoroughly dried, then placed in a weak solution of the chosen chemical for a short time. It must then be rinsed thoroughly, or the bleaching process will continue. If an even lighter color is desired, the process can be repeated, but it is recommended that you let the print dry first (as the color intensity does change on drying) so you can see whether or not it is still too dark.

The image accompanying this question shows some fronds of the fern Pteris aquilina, an image created by Anna Atkins.
9. One of the reasons for reducing the intensity of the blue color in a blueprint is so that you can then soak it in another chemical to produce a new color. Which of these possible coloring agents is correctly matched with the color it will produce?

Answer: Coffee produces a blue-black color

All of these coloring agents contain tannin, which is the principle agent in changing the color of the iron compound. Red wine and black tea both produce a dark brown, almost black, color; green tea produces a dark purple-black color, similar to a ripe eggplant. The exact shades produced depend on the strength of the solution used, the length of time for which the print is soaked, and temperature. It is definitely more an art than a science!

The image accompanying the question was taken in 1895, and shows the last buildings left in the abandoned Zion Hill Mission in what is now Nundah, Queensland.
10. Horrors, you discover that your blueprint has faded after several years. Perhaps you shouldn't have had it framed and hung in that sunny spot. Which of these simple methods can be used to significantly, if not completely, restore the original color?

Answer: Store it in a completely dark environment until it looks good again

Cyanotype prints should be stored in the dark for ideal preservation. If you want to put them in an album, do not use one of the special acid-free paper albums recommended for photographs - cyanotypes do not react well to the basic environment in them. If you want to put a framed print on display (or if you have it printed onto clothing which you wear) and it is exposed to light, it will fade over time. However, this can be largely reversed simply by placing it in complete darkness and letting the Prussian blue re-create itself.

The image accompanying this question is one last contribution from Anna Atkins, titled 'Foreign Ferns' - no further details are available. If you are interested in her work, you can find more examples in Wikimedia Commons, in the Cyanotypes category.
Source: Author looney_tunes

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor rossian before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
Related Quizzes
This quiz is part of series Commission #37:

It's Rhyme Time with Commission #37, and with this set, the authors of the Author's Lounge took in rhyming titles. This Commission launched in March 2015.

  1. Heavy Metal Lover Easier
  2. The Physical Revue Featuring Tom Lehrer Average
  3. A Chemical Tourist Easier
  4. A Category of One's Own Average
  5. Nuclear Fission For Kids! Average
  6. Molecules of Life Average
  7. The Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram Average
  8. Signs for Designs Tough
  9. Billions and Billions of Stars Easier
  10. The Eyes Have It Average
  11. The Power is Yours Average
  12. Mohs Scale Easier

Also part of quiz lists:
3/1/2024, Copyright 2024 FunTrivia, Inc. - Report an Error / Contact Us