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Glowing things! - progress update

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Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:56 am

  1. I now have a tube filled with a mixture of rapidly hardening epoxy resin comingled with Starglow green GITD powder.
  2. Said epoxy is pink and not clear as expected! (I was most shocked at the colour of the hardening resin!)
  3. Despite much stirring and care, the glow powder is not solidly mixed throughout the epoxy, resulting in uneven and rather poor glow.
  4. Perhaps mixing 10ml of epoxy in a poorly ventilated (at the time) room was not the best idea. Mad Windows are now open and fans are on....


Oh well! We do these things FOR SCIENCE! study


Last edited by Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:07 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 2:57 am

And oh dear. I seem to have started a new thread instead of replying to the enquiry from Dr Q... Embarassed

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Dr Quack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:10 am

It's alright, I can multitask.

Dr. Q.

By the way, since you're finally here, I hope you've properly introduced yourself.


Last edited by Dr Quack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:14 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:13 am

Further investigation using a set o high power UV LEDs to charge up the "glow epoxy" contained in the 48cm long piece of tubing reveal that it does indeed glow green, but the end glow is not solid. The effect is more of a densly speckled green.

Also the top 16cm of the tube is home to some exceedingly large air bubbles.

Blast!

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Dr Quack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:21 am

Right, well, wash it out and try again.

Alternativly leave the lid of the petri dish off and when you come back you'll notice that the bacterial collonies are somehow inhibited by the mold from an old sandwich which has fallen down the back of the centrifuge.

That's how proper science works,

Dr. Q.

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:22 am

Unfortunately old chap, cured epoxy resin is a bit difficult to wash out...

Actually, all may not be lost.

Cutting open the tube and extracting from therein the now set epoxy rods reveals that they glow more brightly than they did in the tube.

Methinks that the tube itself was therefore UV resistant perhaps.

Dashed things are still pink though, and not evenly glowing throughout.

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Dr Quack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:29 am

Kismet!! Eureka!! and other such expostulations.

In my last post I used the word "inhibit" which now suggests the possibility of using an inhibitor in your epoxy mix to slow the curing process. This may allow more thorough mixing of the pigment and for the air bubbles to escape to the surface.

Depends on the resin you are using, but many systems do have one as part of the range.

Dr. Q.

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  HAC on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:38 am

Don;t know what the cost of your glow powder is, but if you can get your hands on some SuperLuminova, do so.. the glow is very strong, and the powder is designed to be mixed with epoxy. Pricey, but glows brightly, and has a good glow timespan..

Cheers
Harold
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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Dr Quack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:41 am

Harold,

Is there anything you don't know?

now not merely agog, but also awestruck.

Dr. Q.

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Siliconous Skumins on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:43 am

Would it not be easier to simply - assuming use of two part epoxy resin - not add as much of the hardener (within limits of course, otherwise it will never 'go off'...) to lengthen the cure time?

The mention of air bubbles earlier, suggests that slightly too much hardener was present (or too much air was mixed in via vigorous stiring - in which case the mix should be pored through a wire mesh screen to help filter out the bubbles). Rapid curing can also lead to cracking / fracturing of the resin, though this can sometimes be a desirable visual effect.

SS

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Dr Quack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:53 am

Good call Mr. S.

Also, maybe one of those plasticraft type encapsulating resins would be the answer as they are naturally clear and tend to have a lower viscosity to ease potting up ones bits and bobs.

Dr. Q.

p.s. The real answer would be for us all to go and live in the same house, so that we can make all these useful suggestions face to face and not have to bother with all these expensive computor thingies.

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:58 am

Well chaps, the air bubbles were I fear inescapable due to uneven suction - I was using a 20ml syringe to suck the resin through the pipe, and it was (I fear) a job most likely requiring 3 hands to keep an even "suck" going...

I also feel that I should perhaps have mixed a bit more of the powder with the resin, as the powder I am using is supposed (by those in the know) to be equivalent to the SuperLuminova stuff which seems to be only available in the USA. It was certainly pricey enough, and the makers claim a 20+ hour glow for it. http://www.glowtec.co.uk/powder-green-2.htm

I have also just done a test, cutting 7 pieces from the rod to length of just under 3cm and gluing them together so they form a thicker rod structure. Said rod structure, while still not glowing a solid green throughout, is brightly visible from a distance of approximatly 20 feet away. Shocked

Also, the beloved has a quantity of modelmaker's clear resin which she has offered to me for further tests...

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Dr Quack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:07 am

Such a selfless offer proves that you are indeed soulmates.

With a warmed heart and a lump in my throat, I bid you goodnight.

Dr. Q.

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  HAC on Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:42 am

Dr Quack wrote:Harold,

Is there anything you don't know?

now not merely agog, but also awestruck.

Dr. Q.

The most important thing I know is that there is lots that I don't know.. SuperLuminova was easy, its used as the luminous material in better watches, and I have used it to re-lume some hands and dial markers.. You can mix it with either epoxy for filling spaces, or with lacquer/shellac for painting on..

Cheers and thanks...
Harold
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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  The Kernel on Sat Oct 18, 2008 12:09 pm

Shades of "JoHarries Window" - popularised by Donald Rumsfeld

Seriously though its amasing how knowlage and skills can be applied to different areas.


Last edited by The Kernel on Sat Oct 18, 2008 1:06 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Original could have sounded mocking - this was not the intention)
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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Zwack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:47 pm

HAC wrote:
The most important thing I know is that there is lots that I don't know..

But indeed that is one of the most important things that anyone can know. Expressing an area of ignorance, or the limits of ones knowledge is one thing I admire. I used to work for someone who would never admit that there was something that he didn't know. So he'd make up a plausible sounding answer. Fortunately he knew everything he needed to for his job (Health physicist at a nuclear physics lab) so he didn't have to make the stuff about radiation levels up.

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SUCCESS this time!!! (at least I hope so)

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:20 pm

The experiment has been re-done using modeller's clear resin and finishing off the glow powder (so I've used about 20g of powder this time instead of the 10g for the initial experiment).

This epoxy takes 48 hours to set, so the tube is currently standing and the air bubbles therein are rising nicely to the top. The powder is also visibly slowly settling out in the resin as it slowly cures, but as it does this will make for a nicely dense block of glowing material encapsulated in clear resin.

The excess resin after filling the tube has been poured into 4 moulds measuring 15mm x 56mm x 7.7mm filling three of them to the brim and one almost completely, and these are glowing exceedingly brightly indeed.

Thus far it is looking most promising Smile

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:17 pm

As expected, the glow powder has continued to settle out in the resin, the top 6cm of the tube is now free of suspended powder.

Once the blocks have set, I should be able to sand them flat at the rear, leaving only a solid block of glowing resin and they can then be turned into hanging tags for keyings etc.

I must of course work out how best to steam them, but for now I must WAIT.

FOR SCIENCE! study Twisted Evil

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sat Oct 18, 2008 9:09 pm

Glowing powder contents of the tube has continued to settle, with now 8.5cm of clear resin at the top.

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Zwack on Sat Oct 18, 2008 10:54 pm

Alexander Edmund Clough wrote:Glowing powder contents of the tube has continued to settle, with now 8.5cm of clear resin at the top.

But the remaining 2.5 cm is glowing like a supernova!



OK I admit I know it's a 48cm tube, but... Smile

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:03 am

This tube was somewhat shorter this time Zwack old chap, being 40cm long which was filled to about 38cm of resin.

Of that original length, following settlement of the powder, it now contains approximately 27cm worth of the glow powder & resin mixture, the powder now having settled out of 11cm worth of the resin.

I expect it to continue to settle until the resin's hardening process makes it too viscous for the powder to sink any further.

This time however, it is a very pleasant green hue, as opposed to the pink that was formed by using FastGlas brand resin.

And damn my eyes but it's exceedingly bright! Very Happy

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Sun Oct 19, 2008 8:27 pm

Just thought I'd share a daguerrotype I took of the items merrily glowing upon my lab bench last night. (taken handheld with ISO 400 at f5.6 for 1/2 second exposure time)

All lights are OFF, only illumination is from the items themselves.



They are resting on the drill-stand for my dremel, and the tube is taped to a support which is also resting against the drill stand.

As you can see from the picture, they glow sufficiently brightly that you can make out the base that they are sitting upon and part of the dremel itself! Very Happy

Update:

Here's a side on shot of one of the trays to give a better idea of how the glowing stuff has settled out in the resin:



The tray measures 56.67 x 15.24 x 8.39 mm with walls 1.17mm thick, and in this one, the glowing layer is approximately 4.18mm thick.

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Herr Döktor on Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:45 pm

Blimey! Welcome, welcome, Mr Clough!

Sorry to hear about your resin based woes: are you using polyester? The pink stuff sounds like it is, you should be using polyester encapsulating resin- clear resin and hardener- but, if I was to reccommend a resin, I'd point you at this stuff- Solid water:

Deluxe Scenic Materials

It's quite expensive, but very easy to handle, and doesn't smell of death (which probably means it's even worse for you than the other stuff), I'm not sure waht it's based on, but it helps if you warm it up first, and keep it warm while it's curing, which takes 24-48 hours.

Incidentally, if you rotate your tubes every couple of hours, I think that might help with a more even distribution of the powder...

Keep up the good work, old chap!

Smile
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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Alexander Edmund Clough on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:30 am

What ho Herr Doktor old chap!

The first god awful pink resin was actually FastGlas resin from Halfords designed for use with glass fibre matting. I happened to have some lurking for use in another project (custom fabric & epoxy laminates for use in knifemaking, but that's for a different forum!) so I decided to give that a try. It set exceedingly well, but opaque pink resin does not make for a good end glow.

With these ones I actually wanted the powder to settle out because they should end up more glowy that way (more powder distributed within the set part), and initial results seem to prove that. They are certainly bright!

Once I have them sanded down to just the glowing portion (after suitable curing time of course) I should be able to better assess the durability of the resulting slabs. The clear resin I've used is something akin to the solid water you recommend, except sold (originally) for florist's use when making fake "water" for permenant arrangements.

If these don't work out too well, I shall certainly give your recommended resin a try! (thinking of which, thanks for that link. I shall have to try their 2-part 1-hour epoxy).

P.S. The lumen chucking thingy has sort of stalled. I must get cracking on that again! Embarassed

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Re: Glowing things! - progress update

Post  Herr Döktor on Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:44 am

I think, to all intents and purposes, the flower arranging stuff is exactly the same, only sold under a different name! Is it this stuff:

http://www.resin-supplies.net/10140/info.php?p=2&cat=48566

Much cheaper than a lot I've seen before, time for a bookmark, I think!
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