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Re-using plastics.
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Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14592
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 13 9:05 pm    Post subject: Re-using plastics.  Reply with quote    

So, the world is full of plastics. Many of them are re-useable, largely by dint of melting them down and reforming them.
But this seems to be largely the preserve of big business, and I'm not seeing why it should be... except that I believe plastics can give off nasty fumes if heated too far.

But is that not simply a question of adequate temperature control?

vegplot



Joined: 19 Apr 2007
Posts: 21297
Location: Ynys Môn
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 13 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Some plastics are thermo-plastic others are not. It's difficult or expensive to sort between the two.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14592
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 13 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

vegplot wrote:
Some plastics are thermo-plastic others are not. It's difficult or expensive to sort between the two.

That depends on the scale you are working on, or what you are trying to accomplish.
I'm talking about for example, cutting something up and welding it back together as something else, or maybe melting stuff down and re-casting.

Not, at this point with anything specific in mind (other than a gerbil wheel). I'm hoping inspiration will come once I start exploring the possibilities.

Nick



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 33600
Location: Hereford
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 13 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Fuel costs probably make it uneconomical, realistically.

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34866
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 13 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Did you see the recent Bang Goes The Theory where they built a furnace to turn old plastic into diesel?

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14592
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 13 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Nick wrote:
Fuel costs probably make it uneconomical, realistically.

No, I don't think so.

Jamanda wrote:
Did you see the recent Bang Goes The Theory where they built a furnace to turn old plastic into diesel?

I didn't... I will. Thanks for the pointer.

Andrea



Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 2260
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 13 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I saw an amazing blog where the guy was doing exactly that. My recollection is pretty hazy but I think he was creating panels of plastic out of milk bottles and lids, and using them to make a boat.

I'm almost sure I first stumbled upon the link here on Downsizer. Ring bells anyone?

OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 13 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've seen outdoor benches and raised bed boards made from recycled plastic bottles, etc.
Maybe if you could chop them up with something like a wood shredder, mix with some kind of resin/glue and press into moulds you could make all sorts of things?

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 8496

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 13 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As vegplot and others have said, not all plastics are thermoplastic, and some release toxic gases when heated. If you are thinking of welding or heating plastic, make sure you know what it is, and check it on the internet.

You need to know exactly what plastic you have and match ones with the same melting point. Anything you make by remelting is likely to have lower physical properties if it is mixed, and possibly even if just remelted. If you make something entirely of old milk containers, they should be more or less the same, but even there the formulation may be different causing different melting points.

Some things, plastic bags in particular, can be made up of layers of different plastics, and they are virtually impossible to separate and reuse.

Yes you can chop up plastic and embed it in epoxy; you can do the same with wood, metal or anything else too. Many years ago we used to make something at work called 'silencer gunk' which was epoxy mixed with zinc powder.

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14592
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 13 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Andrea wrote:
I saw an amazing blog where the guy was doing exactly that. My recollection is pretty hazy but I think he was creating panels of plastic out of milk bottles and lids, and using them to make a boat.

That sounds very promising... probably more ambitious than I was thinking, but...

OtleyLad wrote:
I've seen outdoor benches and raised bed boards made from recycled plastic bottles, etc.
Maybe if you could chop them up with something like a wood shredder, mix with some kind of resin/glue and press into moulds you could make all sorts of things?

I'd think that resin defeats the point when a bit of heat should do the job.

cassy



Joined: 04 Feb 2008
Posts: 1047
Location: South West Scotland
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 13 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Atomic Shrimp

OtleyLad



Joined: 13 Jan 2007
Posts: 2737
Location: Otley, West Yorkshire
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 13 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

cassy wrote:
Atomic Shrimp


It's good to see someone having a go. The boat was very ambitious!
By making short (interlocking) blocks it might be possible to build raised bed walls though.
Although someone mentioned about UV degradation - but maybe it would not be a problem with blocks? What you don't want to end up with is bits of plastic all over the garden after a few years if the blocks disintegrate.

Bodrighy



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 2157
Location: Near Devizes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 13 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I have seen boats made from plastic bottles that are sealed and fixed together. Google 'Bottle boat' and there are quite a few examples. Think I have seen buildings as well, I'll have a look.

Pete

Bodrighy



Joined: 15 Aug 2008
Posts: 2157
Location: Near Devizes
PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 13 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Here you go

This was glass beer bottles but I am sure something a little smaller or simpler could be done with plastic ones.

Pete

Hairyloon



Joined: 20 Nov 2008
Posts: 14592
Location: Today I are mostly being in Yorkshire.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 14 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Does anyone know of a glue that will effectively stick pop bottles?

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