It has been a while since I last posted. I’m not sure where the time has gone, but it has been divided unequally between editing work, writing work and what I like to think of as ‘projects’. The latter is really just another way of saying ‘other things that you do when the urge takes you’.
For a while now I have been looking at the idea of recycling plastic. This train of thought was started when the Snail shared a link to a site called preciousplastic. This site has been set up by a Dutch student who has designed small-scale machines for recycling everyday plastic in your backyard or street. It’s well worth a look.
I have decided to try and recycle type 2 plastic, that is, HDPE, that is, High Density PolyEthylene, that is, milk bottles and their lids. What with cheese-making and, you know, drinking milk, Chez Snail has a reasonable amount of the stuff on any given day.
So,the idea is to make a shredder and then make an injection moulding machine. Both are currently well beyond my constructional capabilities (I can do the electrics OK, that’s about it). Although I hope to make the machines out of scrap, the electronic bits will have to new I think. I have ordered the temperature controllers and sensors from a UK company (who actually appear to be a warehouse for stuff from China) but I don’t seem to be able to buy the band heaters from anywhere outside Hong Kong or China for a reasonable cost. I’ll keep looking for a bit before I buy them though, in case there is a UK source I have missed.
The injection moulder is actually quite a straightforward idea – essentially, it is a barrel that you heat to the melting point of the plastic and a plunger to force that plastic out into a mould under some pressure.
Hopefully, I will report back in a couple of months with a story of DIY exploits and injected recycled plastic.
Me, DIY and plastic at 131°C – what could possibly go wrong??