Introduction: Solar Plastic Injection
Today volks.eco and PlastOK are proud to share with you a solution to inject some recycled plastic parts using only solar and human power.
We believe this method will spread further the precious plastic concept and increase the potential use of plastic waste anywhere in the world.
This is our first step in the solar precious plastic experience.
Don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses and enjoy !
- volks.eco solar concentrator
- Hydraulic Jack press
- Cartridge made with plumbing pipe
- Shredded HDPE
- Injection mold
- Cup of water
- Oven gloves
Step 1: Prepare the Setup
Find a sunny place and preaheat the solar tube concentrator
Step 2: Load the Cartridge
Load the shredded HDPE inside the iron cartridge.
Compress as much as you can the needed amount of plastic depending on the volume of your part, inside the cartridge.
Lock the plumbing pipe with ½" of cap ends.
Load the cartridge inside the solar concentrator.
Step 3: Heating the Cartridge
Wait the time necessary depending on the sunlight exposure (between 30 and 60 min).
You can load several iron cartridge inside the solar concentrator to speed up the process.
Use a temp prob inside of the heated tube to manage the temperature of the cartridge.
The concentrator can heat up between 180-250°C.
There is a lot to learn with this method and a lot of inputs to bring on the table.
Step 4: Screw Cartridge & Mold
The cartridge will be really hot, USE GLOVES !
Remove the two cap ends of the hot cartridge.
Plunge one extremity of the tube in the cup of water.
By putting the end of the tube in the water, you will make a hard plastic piece that will push the melted plastic inside of the mold.
NB : Preheating the mold above 60°C helps a lot to obtain a nice finished part. The preheating is easily achieved by putting the mold a few minutes in the solar concentrator.
Step 5: Inject Manually
Inject the plastic inside the mold, the quicker you can, the better it is.
We will share how to build our portable hydraulic jack in a next Instructable.
Step 6: Extract the Injected Part
Be sure to have cooled down the mold (if needed you can put it in cold water) before extracting your injected part.
Now you have a nicely injected finished part made only with human and solar power !
Mechanical improvement has to be made with the mold for the extraction, it's just a prototype for this proof of concept.
The part is a plug for coat hanger.
Step 7: Recap
This video shows the whole process and the time expected for every step. (It works, but we can improve it).
The solar concentrator is a solution that doesn't need any electricity.
You can setup this everywhere (beach, mountain, city) in any season, you just need a little bit of sun.
If you are interested in the solar concentrator, feel free to visit volks.eco and contact my friend Marco.
He has been working on this nice solar concentrator for a long time now, and it can be used in so much other ways.
I hope you find your way with it and that it will open doors on the potential of solar energy for plastic recycling.
Thanks Marco for your input and Precious Plastic for all !