Friday, February 18, 2011

Quick and Dirty Plastic Casting

A demonstration of plastic slush casting using recycled materials. This technique will work with almost any kind of plastic, but I would caution anyone trying it to make sure they have good ventilation. Acetone is extremely flammable and stinks to high heaven. I speak from personal experience.

Back when the radio business insured a steady supply of CDs I used to toss shards of the clear plastic from jewel cases into a gallon-sized glass jar and pour in a cup or two of pure acetone. After a few days the plastic would melt into a thick, viscous goo that was suitable for all kinds of redneck casting projects. If you dropped in a few tinted cases you could produce huge gobs of bubbly, translucent plastic suitable for large cardboard and duct tape molds. The only real drawback to the technique, other than the dubious environmental impact, was that it took forever for the plastic to harden if there wasn't enough exposed surface area.


John Cassid said...

Wait...the bag he used as a glove is plastic...also is the do you say that it works for almost any kind of plastic? o.O

Algedonic said...

Hey John,
Acetone works on polystyrene (which is actually a plastic, despite what he says in the video).

There are a lot of different plastics, from PP (poly propylene) to ABS.

Milk jugs are PP as are many bags. Packing peanuts (any styrofoam) and CD cases are made from PS. As long as you don't have the right solvent, the plastic bags and containers are fine.

Don't try this same experiment with gasoline however, as it will eat away at a couple other types of plastic too.