Today we’d like to highlight the ingenious efforts of a DIY plastic molder, who created a plastic molding process out of fairly primitive materials. You can read his story as he told it on Reddit. We got his permission to put together this post, but unfortunately we don’t have any access to actual photographs of his process.
Simple Methods with Extraordinary Results!
In East Africa, the ancient art of blacksmithing is getting a twenty-first century, eco-friendly upgrade. A writer working under the pseudonym Technosaur has developed a “smelting” process for recycling plastic and rubber, allowing for an innovative form of custom plastic molding.
Necessity Gives way to Invention Again
Technosaur’s village lacks safe running water, and tire-soled shoes are common footwear there. Perhaps it was this culture of upcycling – repurposing used materials into new products – that cultivated Technosaur’s ambition to go the step further and build a home-based plastics recycling method. In a reddit post, Technosaur explains that while plastic products are unavoidable, it is possible to reduce the waste they create by melting them down and molding them into new items.
The process involves heating oil in a metal barrel to just the right temperature. Technosaur uses scraps from the shoe maker’s tires, empty shampoo and beverage bottles, and plastic grocery bags. When the plastic forms a liquid film across the top of the oil, it’s ready. The tire scraps render the highest yield. On the other hand, it takes hundreds of plastic bags to produce enough liquid for a one-inch ingot.
Waste Reduction through Recycling
Technosaur wears a respirator for protection from fumes and works in an open-air shed. Keeping the oil at the lowest effective temperature prevents excess fumes and makes the process more eco-friendly. While we can’t attest to the specific environmental repercussions of this DIY plastic smelting, Technosaur seems to have done plenty of homework on it and invites conversation and suggestions from chemistry experts. The environmental payoff, of course, is the repurposing of non-biodegradable materials which leads to significant waste reduction.
Technosaur prefers untreated wood for building projects, but the village has a rampant termite problem. Dipping posts in the liquid plastic creates a barrier to protect from moisture and pests. Technosaur also dips the edges of panes of glass for rubberized seals and better fitting windows.
Primitive but Effective Plastic Molding
This creative environmentalist has even developed a simple form of mold building and plastic molding. Technosaur uses clay or sand for mold building, leaving a cleft in the form to allow melted plastic to flow in. He continues to hone mold building skills, and has mastered the ability to make plastic doughnuts for construction and mechanical purposes, door jamb pads, and a variety of custom container shapes by dipping oiled metal vessels into the plastic so it forms a skin around them.
Along with these creative methods, Technosaur recommends reusing plastic containers in their original form whenever possible, suggesting many projects to this effect. Plastic water containers become rodent-proof canisters, or, filled with gravel, counter-weights for gates.
We at Superior Plastics applaud Technosaur’s inspiring practice of recycling and reusing. It’s inspiring to see how much he has been able to accomplish with a will to succeed and some ingenuity.
If you have a plastic molding project, or mold building, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our commitment to precision and customer service makes us Fort Worth’s best plastic injection molding company.Contact Us