Gareth Hughes announced yesterday that 3D printing/manufacturing was going to be something the Green Party can get behind. ¬†So much in fact, they made it part for the “blueprint” for the future.
So I though it would be a good opportunity to have a look and see why the Green Party has thrown away decades of opposition to oil exploration, oil extraction, oil refining, and of course the result of all this, plastics.
But not all plastics are created equal. ¬†Plastics are bad. ¬†As is oil. ¬†But somehone, “3D” plastics are not.
(Perhaps we need to invent 3D oil?)
Now, truth be known, not all plastics are created equal, and we have been educated to hate plastic bags, and those things that used to hold 6 cans together, because somewhere in the world a tortoise gets stuck in them. ¬†And who can argue with that. ¬†Tortoises don’t come in six packs.
For 3D printing, you need a plastic called “Thermoplastic”.
Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene¬†(ABS) (chemical formula¬†(C8H8)x¬∑ (C4H6)y¬∑(C3H3N)z) is a common¬†thermoplastic. Its¬†glass transition¬†temperature is approximately 105 ¬įC (221 ¬įF).¬†ABS is¬†amorphous¬†and therefore has no true melting point.
ABS is a¬†terpolymer¬†made by polymerizing¬†styrene¬†and¬†acrylonitrile¬†in the presence of¬†polybutadiene. The proportions can vary from 15 to 35% acrylonitrile, 5 to 30%¬†butadiene¬†and 40 to 60% styrene. The result is a long chain of polybutadiene criss-crossed with shorter chains of poly(styrene-co-acrylonitrile). The¬†nitrilegroups from neighboring chains, being polar, attract each other and bind the chains together, making ABS stronger than pure¬†polystyrene. The styrene gives the plastic a shiny, impervious surface. The polybutadiene, a¬†rubbery¬†substance, provides resilience even at low¬†temperatures. For the majority of applications, ABS can be used between ‚ąí20 and 80¬†¬įC (‚ąí4 and 176¬†¬įF) as its mechanical properties vary with temperature.¬†The properties are created by¬†rubber toughening, where fine particles of elastomer are distributed throughout the rigid matrix. — Wikipedia
You can see what set Gareth’s motor spinning. ¬†This isn’t “just plastic”, this is “amorphous” and who can resist¬†styrene-co-acrylonitrile? ¬†The Green Party certainly can’t. ¬† Read more »