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 °C (221 °F). 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 −20 and 80 °C (−4 and 176 °F) 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 »