Thursday, October 26, 2017

Semester 3 Week 9

Plastic number 1 grinding is quite the slow endeavor and time consuming compared to all other plastics I have ground so far. This week is full of grinding that plastic with the goal of having enough by the end of this week to move into the research phase. I was told this week by Matt I will be recreating Jasmine's research and I am welcome to watch as they perform a task Friday to allow for me to better understand what I will be doing for my research project. I am excited to get more information as to what I will be doing and understanding the importance of this research. This next week may be slow as I familiarize myself with the protocol and understanding the purpose of each step of the protocol.
Image result for protocol

Semester 3 Week 8

I was able to get into the lab early this week after a class got cancelled, effectively using this time I set up the plastic I will be grinding later this week and have noticed if I use the vice to compress the plastic together at certain points it makes the plastic more rigid and less likely to flex under the stress of the reciprocating saw. I have yet to work on a different container so how I will compress that container to give to same effect will be a bridge I need to cross after grinding this container as much as I can. I believe this is the last plastic type I need to grind before I move into my research phase, Matt will be informing me of my project in better detail next week as we approach the final weeks of plastic grinding. I am looking forward to beginning the next chapter of this semester and getting to put some data together.

Semester 3 week 7

This week has been quite slow. Grinding has resumed but plastic number 1 is scarce or I am not looking in the right places. I have begun grinding the bottle of glue I was given by Amber and have realized the plastic is quite thin and either heats to a melting point rather easily or shakes too much due to the reciprocating motion of the power tool. I am looking into a solution to keep the container from flexing with the motion of the reciprocating saw. I currently have a couple plastic containers of the appropriate plastic type which will allow for me to continue grinding as I search for a better source. I might need to adjust the speed of the saw to a slower rate to allow for the heat build up to be less or else I will be melting the plastic and altering the size of the ground samples. I am under the impression that due to the rate of the reciprocating saw it may take quite some time to attain the proper sample we require to conduct our research.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Semester 3 week 6

My grinding of plastics has ground to a stop. Another group of students also need to grind plastics for their projects so as we share the equipment we are on standby until they have completed their part. This allows for us to minimize the risk of cross contamination between plastics. Allowing for proper cleaning between each plastic type and for each person to get time to grind for their project. Once they have completed grinding their PVC I will resume grinding my plastic type 5 and collect that sample. Predicted date for my grinding to resume is somewhere in the next week or so, I will begin grinding plastic number 5 and then take a look at our collection of samples to determine what we need or if I may proceed with my research. The sample size collected of plastic type 5 was roughly 56 grams. I am currently looking into a reliable source of plastic type number 1.  Related image

Friday, October 13, 2017

Semester 3 week 4

Grinding is not as bad as it seems, the process for grinding has proven to be problematic. The first week with the new grinder methods were being tested and we have selected the best way to grind. Now we must look at cross-contamination and the clean up process. Sweeping our immediate area allows for us to start with a clean slate free of other debris. As we grind the friction between the file and the plastics causes for the plastic sample to become statically charged, this charge causes the sample to want to stick to any surface it comes near, clothes, the floor the vice holding the plastic and the clean up equipment. This week I created my first sample with the grinder in 30 minutes, the process is as follows:
1) Sweep the floor to clear debris from other uses of the lab.
2) Grind the plastic until sample size looks to be enough.
3) Vacuum the sample off the floor and move into beaker labeled for that sample.
4) Sweep the remaining plastic to be disposed of due to cross contamination in the broom.
These steps are our way of limiting cross contamination. being careful to collect enough of a sample before moving on as to not need to continuously change between the sample being ground.
My collection sample for the 30 minutes of grinding in week 4 are 31.94 grams, compared to several hours of grinding by hand to attain only a sample of 1.08 grams.
Sample 1(Left side) took several hours to attain through the process of grinding with hand tools
Sample 2(Right side) took 30 minutes to attain through the process of grinding with power tools 

Semester 3 Week 3

Week 3 has begun and the task of grinding has become much easier. We have a reciprocating saw with an attachment that allows for us to file and grind the plastic. This was a new experience for all of us although I have used power tools before, plastic has proven itself to be a stubborn material.  It took me half an hour to find the right speed, and direction to grind the plastic to be effective and collect the samples. Grinding too slow and the plastic wouldn't budge, grinding too fast and the heat from the friction caused the plastic to reform rather than shred. Yet in the end I found a effective way to grind away my day.

Semester 3 week 2

This is my second week back in the stem lab, today will be my first attempt to grind plastics using the manual (by hand) files and cheese shredder like file. Hopefully I find a way to stabilize the softer plastics to prevent them from continuously bending to the motion of the equipment I am going to be using.

The second part of this blog will be after I have attempted to grind the plastic:

I collected the material and equipment and began to grind. The process is simple enough, the only problem so far is that I need to find a way to collect the grounded up plastic and maintain the plastic from moving as much as it does to allow me to efficiently grind it. Samples from today's grinding were insufficient to store for use. The samples mass was approximately 1.084 grams.