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Author Topic: Polycaprolactone - brand names Polymorph, InstaLock, ShapeLock, Friendly Plastic  (Read 8971 times)
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madhabitz
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 12:12 AM »


Try dying it as well. My attempts never came out as well as hoped but I hardly extended myself in this direction.


I think you'd have to roughen the surface in order to get the dye to stick. Even then it's likely to only lightly stain. Might be interesting to see what would happen to the material's properties if pigment is added during the kneading process.

Would treating this stuff like PVC pipe be the way to go.... as far as glues to use, sawing, etc.? One item that might come in handy before the stuff hardens are the tissue blades you can find in craft stores, used for cutting poymer clays before curing. Other clay tools might come in handy as well.

Possibilities. Fun stuff!

Nancy
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 12:49 AM »

BTW, there is another product on the market that seems similar in a lot of ways, except this stuff hardens and isn' t flexible like your material. It's called Jett Sett. If you google it, you will find a lot of links for it, with a lot of ideas for its use. Here is a link to a PDF file that contains information that might work with the materials you are using:
http://www.cooltools.us/v/vspfiles/assets/images/jett%20sett%20instructions.pdf
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 01:59 AM »

I think you'd have to roughen the surface in order to get the dye to stick. Even then it's likely to only lightly stain.
"Polymorph can be coloured/dyed using food-grade colourings. This is achieved by grinding the polymorph granules to a powder then mixing with the dye material before placing into hot water."

Quote
Would treating this stuff like PVC pipe be the way to go.... as far as glues to use, sawing, etc.?
One issue with cutting/drilling is that you can very rapidly exceed 60 C and get localised melt or even burn. I'm not at all sure you could cut a thread into it, for instance.

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madhabitz
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 08:39 AM »

I think you'd have to roughen the surface in order to get the dye to stick. Even then it's likely to only lightly stain.
"Polymorph can be coloured/dyed using food-grade colourings. This is achieved by grinding the polymorph granules to a powder then mixing with the dye material before placing into hot water."

Cool. Smiley

Quote
Would treating this stuff like PVC pipe be the way to go.... as far as glues to use, sawing, etc.?
One issue with cutting/drilling is that you can very rapidly exceed 60° C and get localised melt or even burn. I'm not at all sure you could cut a thread into it, for instance.

So maybe cutting/drilling it under water would work? On the other hand, would you want to rely on a thread in this material? Interior auto temps could easily reach melting point in my area during the summer.

Nanc.
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2013, 09:05 AM »

at the point you want threads i think i would sink a nut or an insert into it. We also have gotten creative with jbweld. There was another  2 part epoxy that was black( i cant remember the name) it was thick enough that it was modlable and had very little flex when cured.
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« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2013, 10:19 AM »

at the point you want threads i think i would sink a nut or an insert into it. We also have gotten creative with jbweld. There was another  2 part epoxy that was black( i cant remember the name) it was thick enough that it was modlable and had very little flex when cured.

Sinking a nut- ooh, now you're talking.

Epoxy, that stuff is all the rage this year in the jewelry/metalarts world. It comes in all sorts of colors and brands. I recently found some at Michaels crafts store not long ago. One other material I found at the auto parts store is a putty that dries hard as a rock. Just one part- you knead it, shape it, let it dry. I think it' called Quik Steel. Not too expensive. Dries to a medium/light gray.

Possibilities. yup yup.

Nancy
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2013, 03:14 PM »

I drilled it without any melting issue.  It is soft enough that not much heat is generated in the drilling. 


For coloring it alchol inks are reputed to work the best.  Just after melting the material - add the ink - then knead it in while working to the shape you want.  The color is then part of it forever.  See this tutorial.

http://www.instamorph.com/techniques/coloring-instamorph/

Or you could add glow in the dark powder.


http://www.instamorph.com/techniques/instamorph-glow-in-the-dark-power-glowmorph/

Nuts and bolts have been made.  First step is to make a mold of a bolt.  Then cast the plastic bolt.  Then cast a nut.  Full tutorial on InstaMorph.

http://www.instamorph.com/techniques/nuts-and-bolts/
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« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2013, 11:09 AM »

This thread is making me curious about something. My wife and I took a trip to Italy a couple years ago. While we were in Florence, we found a large umbrella that we liked very much and bought. It was awkward traveling with it the rest of the trip, but we managed. At our last stop, we had the hotel hold our luggage (as well as the umbrella) for us between the time we had checked out in the morning and the time we took the train out of the city in the afternoon. We picked it up, and the plastic ferrule had been broken off the wood tip completely.

I looked for a bit for some replacement end cap for our umbrella, but came up empty. The umbrella tip is tapered, so it's an odd thing to match. I don't know much about materials. Earlier, I saw plastidip mentioned on this forum. Should I try that, or one of these formable plastics?
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« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2013, 11:17 AM »

plasti-dip/tooldip would just be a dipped rubberish coating over that area...would work just fine....durable too.....this would be my choice.....
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« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2013, 03:20 PM »

I drilled it without any melting issue.  It is soft enough that not much heat is generated in the drilling.


Good to know Wink


 
Quote
For coloring it alchol inks are reputed to work the best.  Just after melting the material - add the ink - then knead it in while working to the shape you want.  The color is then part of it forever.  See this tutorial.

http://www.instamorph.com/techniques/coloring-instamorph/


Ooooooh, I have a bunch of these-- thought about mentioning them as a way to color something after the fact, but them promptly forgot about it. They are a very cool product and in fact, would be a great thing to "paint" ripstop as well.


 
Quote
Nuts and bolts have been made.  First step is to make a mold of a bolt.  Then cast the plastic bolt.  Then cast a nut.  Full tutorial on InstaMorph.

http://www.instamorph.com/techniques/nuts-and-bolts/


Oh man, lots of great information and ideas on this website. Thanks so much for starting this thread and posting the info. I *love* the camera rig you made, btw. Brilliant!

Anthony, I am going to try the rubbery stuff for endcaps-- need some of those for all my kites.

Nancy
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« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 03:28 PM »

Back with some testing results.

After a full 24 hours in the window, the ferrule type fitting had about a 15 deg bend in it.  It relaxed back to about 10 deg after 24 hours out.  Note that it was not drilled all the way to the center - I do not know if this helped or hindered.  As I said at the end of the first post, I would not choose this as my first material for a fitting.  And based on the test, it is not the best material for a fitting under a lot of stress.  But then again, how many fittings are under tension and stress for 24 hours. 





Somewhere it was reported that this material might be in lesser volume after being melted.  While it certainly does compact in size when the airspace between the pellets is eliminated and it is kneaded together, the volume by weight is exactly the same as the original package - even after heating, forming, drilling (see scraps collected), and sanding. 





I finally received my other samples - Missing Link Brand.  Sold by the manufacturer on Amazon - $2.99 for 1oz size (free shipping with Amazon Prime).  This did not arrive until about 10 days after I ordered it - but they threw in an extra 1oz so I'm happy.  This is the only brand that had a "flowable" formulation.



Unfortunately there were no instructions beyond the 140 - 144 deg F melting point listed on the label.  The website did not have much information either but warned not to go above 145 deg F because it might burn your hands when handling.  As usual, the material did not melt at the listed temperature.  It started melting at 160 deg F and melted quickly at 180 deg F - the same as all the others. 



Although I was really hoping for something different with the "flowable" formula, that title did not yield a plastic that would pour.  Instead, it was simply very easy to mix and mold - it was not stiff.  When compared to the other brands - the ease of mixing and molding was directly comparable to the Friendly Plastic (for which I made a new Maoi just to handle it at the same time and confirm my recollection).    The "Standard" formula was stiffer to work - very comparable to the InstaMorph.  The stiffness makes it harder to get mold details - but with some work and remelting they can be done just fine. 



Out of curiosity and exploration of the differences in the plastics I remelted the original Moai.   I kept the water between 180 and 200 deg F and they melted pretty quickly - a little longer for the centers.



When they are fully melted and clear - you can see the air bubbles and imperfections that were trapped in the plastic from the original casting.



I mixed all 3 Moai together to see how the plastics (InstaMorph, Friendly Plastic, Shapelock) reacted together.  No visible reaction - the material blended together - and ultimately produced two new Moai that seem exactly the same as the original single product Moai.  Having worked and reworked the plastic, I did not quite get all the folds out before molding and that showed up - but that was my haste and error, not a product fault.



As part of the abuse testing, I boiled the Friendly Plastic at 212 deg F for 15 minutes before casting the Moai above.  The plastic was too hot to handle straight out of the water - but was fine after 30 seconds.  No discernable effect on the plastic or the finished Moai was observed. 



Continuing the heat abuse testing, I remelted the InstaMorph star in the toaster oven at 300 deg F. 



After 30 minutes it was fully melted and sloping some.  The original bubble imperfections in the plastic had joined and risen up toward the top of the melt but they could not break the surface tension of the plastic and escape. 



After a full 60 minutes at 300 deg F the melt slope was more pronounced - it lost its star shape - but the material was still not pourable. 



So I took the temperature up to 400 deg F.  Within 5 minutes the plastic was bubbling from within and there was some noxious off gassing.  So I pulled it out before it burned or changed too much. 



Even at 400 deg F - the InstaMorph material is not flowable.



When the material cooled enough to handle I tried to get it to release from the foil - it would not.  I did manage to push it into a mound on the foil and then pushed the mound into the mold.  Even with the abuse it took the shape - albeit still attached to the foil and with some foil folded in.



When it cooled some (under cold running water) I was able to get the foil to release from the thin flat section.  But the foil that was bunched or crinkled would not release.



So - now that the InstaMorph had been melted in water, formed in a cookie cutter, subjected to a belt sander, re-melted in a toaster oven at 300 deg F and then run up to 400 deg F --- I decided to throw it back in the water bath and see if I could remelt it and remove the foil.



No luck on getting the foil out - but it certainly lived up to the polymorphic qualities and remelted and remolded just fine.  This stuff can really take some abuse.



Note the stirrer straw melted when I tried to use it to push around the InstaMorph when it was 400 deg F. 



So next up was the impact test.  A single blow with a hammer on the nose of the Moai - with the Moai on an anvil so that the full force of the hammer blow was right on the nose - resulted in no visible damage.  The hammer bounced back when I struck it.  These pieces are not going to break from impact - any spars in them will be the weak part of the equation. 



Since a single hammer blow did not do anything, I tried multiple blows, still without effect.  I then switched to the chisel hammer - and after 20 hard blows - all on the super abused InstaMorph with the foil folded in - I managed to mangle the surface some.  No fractures or splits, just a torn up surface. 



Paint test - now here finally was something this material doesn't do.  It doesn't take spray paint.  A fingernail scratch applied with moderate force removed the paint.  I don't think this is much of an issue given that the material itself can be colored in a couple of ways (testing on that to come).



And finally (for now) a glue test.  First I cut the cylinder in half.  The material does not cut well - I was using a fine toothed hack saw and it generated a pretty ragged edge.  I had to use a sharp knife to clean up the edges.



And so it is glued up waiting 24 hours.  I do not expect much holding force from this glued joint. 



There is also now a piece in the freezer for a brittle impact test in a day or so. 

I remain totally impressed with this material.  It can definitely be worked and reworked without issue.  It is not going to melt apart in a hot car.  Any spar in a fitting made from this material is going to break long before the fitting.  I need to figure out the best way to work the material and keep air bubbles and imperfections out - but that should just be developing a technique. 
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« Reply #26 on: January 22, 2013, 05:21 PM »

Nice work TBH.  However, having worked in a small injection molding co I can tell you your misunderstanding what they mean by "flowable".  What we always had to test before loading up any new batch of pellets was the flowability of the material meaning how much or how little pressure it took to get through the injector once melted.  Thats how we knew what set up we needed on the machines to make sure the right amount of material came through with each cycle.

If you want to test this you will need a metal syringe with a 1/4" max nozzle tip.  Metal frosting cake decorating kits work well being they are usually stainless, which holds heat in the material very well, and have 1/8-1/4" tips available as well as a variety of fancy tips.  Just make sure you heat the syringe too.
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