Precious Plastic France
Hello everyone; first of all sorry for the re-post of some of the photos you will see on this thread; indeed i have been poking here & there putting some photos & designs, but hadn’t created a “real” thread yet; Here it goes !
It has now been a bit more than a month now that my crew (i own a business in events organization since many years) and myself have started thinking hard on what we could do with plastic waste. The first axe we explored was the plastic differenciation. We emptied all the trashbags that were ready to be picked up and sorted the plastic trash by type in seperated boxes (which are made out of PS…)
(EDIT : Photo uploads NOT WORKING) :((
(EDIT EDIT : Photo uploads WORKS AGAIN, YAAAY !! )
At the same time we started to work on LLDPE from Pallet Wrap ; the technique used was similar to the bag-fusing technique but has the awesome advantage of not needing to do any sewing ; everything is done with the help of an iron & baking paper. We managed to VERY easily create simple BUT resistant bags which replaced our PS sorting boxes.
Expanding that idea, we created backpacks and other types of bags that we use on a daily basis (to go shopping, or pick up litter while walking dog) and made a Precious Plastic Flag using Pallet Wrap & TrashBags
We started manually « schredding » our different types of plastic with _mainly_ cisors in order to start some compression molding tests. As a mold ; we used some aluminum plattery which stacks quite thinly. The process was the following ; butter interior of lower part mold, insert schredded/cut plastic (PS for our first try), put in oven (210°C) for the plastic to melt, butter exterior of the upper part mold. Get out the lower mold of the oven once plastic is melted and apply pressure with upper part mold for around a minute or so ; release pressure ; put in water, wait 30 sec then unmold.
Here is our first compression :
Though it felt amazing for us ; we realized that the grease was quite ennoying to take off of our product, and we had very little control on the products’ thickness which wasn’t homogenous.
We tried the same technique with different metal plattery i own, different greasing systems (when you can’t unmould your product because it’s stuck, good luck to get it off… !)
As for now, i can say that baking paper and teflon (also silicone but has cons) are what we find best suited to unmould or to clean off melted platic rests.
We then had a long reflexion on how we could create an economy around plastic recycling here in France and we came to the conclusion that making a paving system would be awesome. So we created the « compression chamber » with wood & a car creek (it broke on the 2nd use so we reinforced it)
We were GREATLY inspired by the hexa product (from the PP download kit) but wanted to go a bit further in the product–assembly possibilities. A hexagone being 6 equilateral triangles put together ; we reproduced the hexa in 10cm side ; a 10cm side equilateral triangle and a 10cm side 2/3 hexagone. All those figures match together (ie example in image)
And here are our first nicely molded recycled products (Transparent PS ; Black PS ; PET)
Will keep you posted on the advancement of our production !!!
Lots of love
Hey @brendonscrimgeour !
Thanks for the reply !!
Indeed, we are all having fun with the project !!
For the greasing options; the molds we intially used had many curves and as a fact didn’t pop out; we ruined a couple molds because of that.
Now, our molds being mostly made of wood (plastic goes through the veins) the only good solution is baking paper
As for the plastic melting; we use “teflon” bowls or platters; where plastic detaches amazingly quick and with no struggle
So we continued are experimenting today and took a try at LDPE bags; i was really curious to see how the compression would work out because of the stickiness of the melted LDPE
Also; we came up with an interesting technique for the LDPE melting.
If your LDPE is in contact too long with the metal surface it is melting on; it will start to burn (don’t know why though..) Our solution for that was the following: once the first batch is melted, unstick it and put in on your 2nd batch before putting back to melt. Repeat the process until you get to the “enrobage state”, which is the last layer to be melted. You can use the plastic which usually surround 6 (or more) bottle packs. This process will maintain (more or less) the desing which was printed there.
We also managed to get enough bottle caps (more than 100 were used :p) to give them a try in the mold; it is the most colourful product we managed to get!!
Hello everyone !
We tried today to use some of the PS Cristal (the ambercoloured) Hexagones to transform in a lamp !
The differents hexas are connected together with fin striped of ironed LLDPE, used as some string, that we made go through drilled holes (funny how the drill melts through the plastic, i also tried drilling some PET i moulded, but drill didn’t go through :o)
I am thinking of an other version which would have a top (or bottom depending on how you look at it ! will keep you posted !
little update to the lamp 🙂
so the drill managed to go through the PET triangles, so I added them in the structure. also used some metal wire (more solid then the LLDPE string; but i’m thinking to give a system like this _ https://plasticbottlecutter.com/ _ a try and maybe use PET string to attach the different pieces)
lamp looks beautiful!!
what are the dimensions of your hex shapes?
and for the LDPE bags you melted down, what temperature did you heat them to?
Thanks @brendonscrimgeour !
The dimensions of the hexa shapes are : 10cm per side & around 11mm thick
Same dimensions for the triangles : 10cm per side & around 11mm thick
There wasn’t any LDPE bags used in this process (didn’t manage to get a translucent yet with LDPE). The hexas are made out of PS Cristal & the triangles in PET
210°C-220°C for PS
180°C-200°C for PET
Hey guys !
So i continued some experimenting, here are the 2 hexas which were created using LDPE bags (shopping bags which were stacked beneath my kitchen sink for 2 years) and the result is astonishing ! i just love how the colours blend + the resistance of the product.. i mean you can throw it on the ground it won’t break for a bit, only downside is i didn’t figure yet how post-prod work can be down on LDPE 🙁
And some more tested was done also on PS Cristal; i used the same transparent PS Cristal sourced from disposable cups & added around 1/5 in volume of disposable pink (outside) and white (inside) coffee cups
It maintained its transparency !! Which leads me to think my lamp’s hexa’s might have been a bit overcooked. The difference in the process here was mainly that i did not wait for the plastic to be totally melted (very partially melted and the reste VERY soft) where as on my lamp’s hexas i had waited for all the plastic to be totally melted.
More transparency & plastic properties maintained & less fumes woohooo !
(sorry for the photo; last hexa on the photos wasn’t post-proded (any tips btw to post-prod PS Cristal?)
will keep you posted !
Amazinggg. Sir I’m a new member here and I would like to know more about how things related to plastics work so I have a few questions about melting of plastics.
First, does melting PS and PET alright to health? ( Cuz I read articles in the internet that when a PET and PS is melted or burned, it produces toxic fumes that can be dangerous to health)
Second, it is ok to melt any kind of plastic (soft/hard, thin/thick) as long as it is group to its similar type (PET,LDPE,HDPE, etc)?
Third, what are the things I should consider when I melt plastics?
Thank you for your reply in advance :). sorry if I have many question I just want to make sure that I’ll do the right process 🙂
Hey there @camento !
“does melting PS and PET alright to health?” i think whatever plastic you are melting, always wear protection and work in VERY ventilated space (outdoor if possible). There is often a misunderstanding concerning PET because of the phtalates which would be cancerigenous. Sorry my sources are in french but here an interesting translation :
“The poly (terephtalate of éthylène), more known under the English name of polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes gallicized in a unfit way in “polyethylene terephtalate”) or PET, which we also find with the abbreviation (PETE), is a plastic type of saturated polyester, by opposition to thermodurcissables polyesters. This polymer is obtained by the polycondensation of the acid téréphtalique with the éthylène glycol. In spite of the name, there is no similarity with the polyethylene and it contains no phtalate “( https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyt%C3%A9r%C3%A9phtalate_d%27%C3%A9thyl%C3%A8ne )
Also you have to be aware of plastic thermal degradation, which is specific to each type of plastic. Also, so we are clear, there are different subcategories for PS plastic, mainly Expanded PS & Cristal PS (this is the one i use). the lowest the temparture, the less fumes you will have.
“Second, it is ok to melt any kind of plastic (soft/hard, thin/thick) as long as it is group to its similar type (PET,LDPE,HDPE, etc)?”
In my opinion you could blend LDPE & HDPE if it is sourced properly (please foum please validate or NOT!), and you know exactly how they work alone (to get a feel of the additives which could be used, Carbon black for milk bottles, sometime some paint added on the plastic, and other additives which will supply the searched properties for each use of plastic (uv resistance, more flexibility, etc..) )
“Third, what are the things I should consider when I melt plastics?” go step by step, try learning through the forums & different sites about plastics, composition, degradation. Go very slowly on temperature rise to really observe what is happening.
Don’t hesitate if there are more question i can answer. Please be cautious with the info i supply you, as i am not a professionnal, nore a chemist; just a lad who wants to leave a pretty footstep for the following generations !
Hey guys just bringing up a personnal big update :
the preheat for PET is a BIG thing !! around 70-80°C for at least 20min for it to dehydrate
I finally managed to make it melt + press ! Unfortunately, my mould requires so much plastic that i can’t fill it up with 1 melting process in the oven. My oven + dish i use to make it melt isn’t big enough to put the required plastic in one time (around 15 1,5L bottles are required)
I went to see a friend today who owns a cooking material shop and got some material to upgrade my setup; hopefully i’ll be able to do a nicely recycled fullyshaped hexa very soon!
(tomorrow i’ll try to make a DYI aluminum foundry with @carlito ; hope it works out !)
I see. thank you sir :). another question if I may. what are your specific model/name of electronics you use (ie. heat controller, motor*?, etc)? much better if there is a picture so I can distinguish it from others. hehe
sorry I have so many questions…
hey @camento !
Sorry to disappoint you but i don’t have ANY of the machines yet 🙁
I just use an oven to make the plastic melt in an antiadhesive dish, the rest is hand made; a compression chamber using a car creek and moulds are made out of wood (except lower part which blocks the plastic’s form which is metal).
The metal and and the wood of the mould are both protected with cooking paper cut out as a patron to fit well the forms (which most of the time turns out as single use 🙁 ) i will post photos tomorrow to recap my equipment
oh that’s so creativeee. yes I would like to see more photos of your machines and works 🙂 thank you for answering my questions. hope we make a change in the world by recycling. thank you again.
Sir, I’m planning to build an extrusion machine with molder. is it practical or ok to use PET bottle as my input? or should i use injection machine? TIA 🙂
hey @camento !
here are the photos as promised; as you can see the system isn’t very sophisticated yet !
to answer your last question : i don’t have extrusion machine or injection machine so i’m not the best person to answer you. But since you need to preheat the PET in order to dehydrate it, i think only compression is doable while maintaining (more or less) the PET properties.
But since it’s the only (from the big 6) plastic which needs some preheat, you can recycle other types much easier (i suppose) with extrusion & injection.
Hope i answered u well
Photo #1 : oven + compression chamber
photo #2 : heat resistant gloves (which are starting to plastify, need to change them), gas mask
photo #3 one of the teflon coated dishes i use to make the plastic melt, and MUCH needed spoons :p
photo #4 one of the wooden moulds we use
Here a photo took 2 days ago, showing the different types of rendering with the hexa mould 🙂
hey all; didn’t have enough PET to do a full compression; so i was able to take photos showing the colour change of PET while getting back to solid form
Hello everyone; wow time goes by so quickly, already 4 months since my last update !
First things first, we finally managed to build the schredder !!! *HURRAY* (thanks to the help of a precious handyman!) unfortunately, it didn’t last long as the jawcoupler broke when trying to schred a PET bottle (waiting for a 500N/m coupler to arrive and make the beast work again !)
here is a mini video of it running for a couple secs :p
We also purchased through Precious Plastic official the laser cut parts for the compression bowl mould and assembled/welded it !
It is only when u start using it that you realize the importance of finishing the mould, as it will lesser the post-production work on the moulded product.
Eventhough are mould wasn’t perfect we started trying it out and the umoulading was VERY difficult; so we used this magical unmoulading wax and here is the result !
Julieta (who i work with) had the nice idea to use them as little planters
(eventhough the plastic used in the first place is foodsafe _plastic HDPE caps_ food contact product is in my opinion a no-go; cuz of the different additives and all; it feels too risky..)
I promise @brendonscrimgeour i will be doing a video very VERY soon! Once the mould is ready ready ready ! (already started to fill out the “make a video” template from the download kit)
mould mould mould, can’t stop the frenzy !
Hi, I love following your work. Are you bale to share with me the dimensions of the mould for the bowl? I have downloaded the .dwg files from PP but I cannot see the dimensions.
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