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Sheets produced with Heat press

This topic contains 22 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Luna 1 week ago.

Flo flo-2

Sheets produced with Heat press

17/08/2017 at 20:58

Hey!
Today, my 38cm x 38cm heat press arrived which I bought on Ebay and could not wait to try it out (my final goal is producing plastic plates/sheets as a raw material)

So here you can see the first two experiments using scissors-cut Polypropylene!

Unfortunately the back isn’t that beautiful and the front texture isn’t flat due to baking paper, but for the first experiment, I’m impressed!
🙂

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dedicated
17/08/2017 at 21:40

Nicely done, @flo-2. Baking paper prevents the plate from being super smooth, but I would say the overall smoothness depends on how smooth the plates of the press are.

Yours looks like not compressed fully.

We used quite a big pressure, so the thickness was minimum and the overall compression fully flattened the paper.

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dedicated
17/08/2017 at 22:15

@jegor-m thanks! And thanks for the useful information! Now I know what to test next 😉 What did you do to cool it? I took it out of the press immediately, carefully removed the baking paper and let it cool through the air while still on the wood used for compression.

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helper
17/08/2017 at 22:38

do you have pictures of the machine flo?
looks really great!

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dedicated
18/08/2017 at 09:45

@flo-2 ,

All the plates that were taken out of the mould straight away got warped outward. This is caused by the outer area solidifying faster than the middle bit. The outer bit cools down, contracts and forces the mid out.

To make a flat plate, you would need to cool it while it is in the mould, or at least fixed between plates.

I don’t know how your press looks like, but I guess you can take the plate out of the press and still have it clamped till it cools down.

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dedicated
19/08/2017 at 14:14

Thanks @carlf ! Sure! Have a look! I bought it on ebay for ~170€ incl. shipping, you can vary the temperature from 0-399°C and set a timer from 0-999 seconds. the upper part is heated and 38cm x 38cm (15″ x 15″) big. (so thats the limit of the sheet size)

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dedicated
19/08/2017 at 14:20

@jegor-m
Thanks for the really helpful tips & tricks!!! Thanks to that I was able to produce another, nearly flat, ~22cm x ~22cm sheet, about 2mm thick. I used the washers for spacing, that way the sheet got evenly thick, the pen is for size comparison. I will however build a of mould for fututre sheets, that way I also avoid damaging lots of baking paper due to molten plastic.

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helper
21/08/2017 at 15:15

Looking good.

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dedicated
21/08/2017 at 15:34

@flo-2,

I’m wondering, did you use any plastic bags to make this sheet of plastic?

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dedicated
21/08/2017 at 18:59

@ashrak thanks! 🙂

@jegor-m yes, I used only PP, a few tissue- and pasta bags were used too.

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dedicated
05/09/2017 at 10:20

Hey! I recently bought 2 stainless steel plates (330 x 330 x 0,8 mm) and since I had ~ 200g of shredded plastic laying around, I decided to do some further prototyping with my sheets. For Prototype #4 I used PP shredded with sieve (6mm) and made a 1mm thick sheet. I heated it for 10 minutes on each side at 190°C and cooled it off afterwards in cold water. The result I got was by far the best I had since then. The surface is flat and shiny due to the steel plate.
PS: Sorry for the bad image quality, I’m taking the pictures with my 8MP smartphone camera which doesn’t really know how to focus^^ 😀

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dedicated
05/09/2017 at 10:29

Prototype #5 was made like #4, except:
– I didn’t use a sieve when shredding, I just shredded the plastic multiple times and took out too big pieces in the end.
– I used 2mm spacing inbetween.
The results look very promising to me, I just have to add more material next time to get the sheets superflat and somehow make them even flatter if possible.

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dedicated
05/09/2017 at 11:05

@flo-2,

Good prototypes. How is the surface finish of Prototypes 4 & 5 compared to the previous ones made with paper?

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dedicated
05/09/2017 at 11:57

@jegor-m thanks!
I’ve added photos showing the mirror-like effect.
The surface of #3 (baking paper) is matt and feels a bit rough.
#4 and #5 on the other hand are really shiny, flat and feel a bit like acrylic glass (although not really soooo flat)

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dedicated
12/09/2017 at 16:38

Prototype #6
Material: Black (and similar colored) single use plastic crates from the food industry. Very low quality material! The surface is not as shiny and not as even as #4 and #5.
Heat: 220 – 235°C
Size: full-size 30x30cm, 3 – 4mm thick (should have been 2mm 😛 )

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dedicated
12/09/2017 at 18:30

Prototype #7…

… actually consists of 2 objects, they are made with the same material, the same temperature, have the same thickness, unfortunately both are not full size. However I really love the texture, the feel and the thickness (mostly perfect 2mm!)
Heat: 230-240°C, Material: PP mixed colors, heated 10 minutes per side.
The only thing to be aware of is air bubbles that can form when spreading out the material too much! Better to do it like shown on the first picture!

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dedicated
13/09/2017 at 08:35

@flo-2,

About the reflectivity of a sheet of plastic. Now I guess I understand why my plates are not so glossy. You have a thin sheet of metal with appropriate finish in contact with plastic whereas I have a thick metal plate that is polished appropriately, but not to a glossy finish.

Good, now as I understand it I can adjust the sheet press arrangement we have.
Thanks!

BTW – the plates you make get better and better. Any ideas what you’ll be making out of them?

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dedicated
13/09/2017 at 09:10

@jegor-m Thanks!
Well, mainly I want to sell them as a raw material, but I have thought about making poker chips, coasters and other things you can do with a laser cutter. Oh and I plan to mark every product with an aluminium stamp (plastic type)

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helper
04/10/2017 at 11:08

@flo-2 guitar pics might also be a possible product to be made out of your beautiful plastic sheets. they’re usually made from sheets .4 to 1.5mm in thickness. great work!

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new
12/11/2017 at 15:16

H1 @flo-2

What do you mean when you
“used the washers for spacing, that way the sheet got evenly thick”?

Could you explain a bit more about this step?

Thanks!
Luna

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dedicated
15/11/2017 at 12:31

@oceanplastic Yes, great idea! I will try that in the future, thanks! 🙂

@lululololala I have two metal plates (33x33cm) and inbetween I lay the plastic. To achieve steadily thickness, I used little plates with the same thickness that I layed inbetween the plates with the plastic. These pieces were 2.5mm thick, so my plastic sheet was 2.5mm thick in the end too. 🙂

All the best
Flo

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new
15/11/2017 at 16:14

hi @flo-2
I love your work! your sheets look amazing and the communication of the process is very clear as well 🙂
I’m thinking of using a heatpress inc. a low mold to be able to create different forms of tiles / thick sheets without needing to cut a lot of excess plastic.

Have you tried anything like this, or do you think it will be possible?
I would use this to make for example hexagon shaped or round tiles. I think it would be much easier if this was possible this way, instead of with the injection machine (although the injection machine obviously has a larger purpose range).

I’ve found this heat-press, which I think is a good deal (only €90) and has a good size to start with: https://www.ebay.com/itm/DIGITAL-HEAT-PRESS-MACHINE-T-SHIRT-SUBLIMATION-PRINTER-TRANSFER-12-X10-PRESSING/222513097837?hash=item33ced06c6d:g:aBAAAOSw9fRZv1V8

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new
16/11/2017 at 18:08

thanks @flo-2

and hi @veradevera

unless you are planning on producing a sheet that is 2.5mm (not cm!) thick like flo-2, I recommend looking for an oven with compression to make tiles with molds.

flo-2 also has 0.8mm (wow) stainless steel sheets.

a t shirt press heats from the top—>bottom, so if your tile is about any thicker than 10mm, it could be difficult to get heat transferred evenly through the tile. the top part risks burning by getting heat transferred all the way to the bottom.

the heating process may include flipping the mold, but make sure the flakes at the bottom dont fly out!

using an oven with press/injection/extrusion is great because the surface area that the heat(or metal) that is in contact with plastic is relatively large, while the volume/thickness of plastic itself is kept relatively low(shredded or cut films).

i hope this helps 🙂

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