# What might the description “tiny glass vermicelli at a microstructure level” refer to? (SpaceX Starship heat shield tiles)

In the Starship Update at about 21:05 Musk says:

We’ve gone through various iterations of heat shield, there’s a lot of ways to skin a cat here. Ultimately we decided to have a heat shield of hexagonal tiles, ceramic tiles that are basically like a tiny glass vermicelli at a microstructure level; very light but very crack-resistant, essentially glass tiles.

Question: What might the description "tiny glass vermicelli at a microstructure level" refer to? Is it something like a compressed, fused glass wool?

• Vermicelli means literally little worms. By similarity, vermicelli is a kind of spaghetti pasta, just the calibre is small. Like asian noodles. They were just using the world pictorially, and tiny glass spaghetti would have been clearer (tiny is already there) at least for an international audience. – Alchimista Oct 3 '19 at 9:24
• @Alchimista international in what way? Was the presentation in Italy? ;-) (humor) – uhoh Oct 3 '19 at 9:27
• I have no idea where it was. I said if they wanted to reach a broader international audience using a clearer pictorial description,they could have used rice noodles or spaghetti, which are known everywhere instead of vermicelli, which are not. – Alchimista Oct 3 '19 at 9:36