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Making your own plastic?

  1. Aug 8, 2006 #1
    I was doing some research online, about making plastic, and I came across a tutorial explaining how you can use milk and vinegar to make plastic.

    I basically wanna be able to make sheets or molds of objects.

    I dont really know what questions to ask, I dont really have any background in chemistry (except for wayy back in middle school), but I do have a few things I need to keep in mind.

    - what can I add to make the plastic stronger? heat resistant? Clear? Colored?

    As i said, i dont have alot of background information, but you can get technical, i just hope not to technical :)

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2006 #2
    Hmm, I've always wanted to try this, but have never gotten around to it. The procedure seems incredibly simple, just precipitate out the casein (milk protein) under acidic conditions and let it dry. Vinegar is not necessarily required- any acid shall work. You might want to try different kinds of milk or maybe even cottage cheese. I would think that whole milk for example would produce a harder plastic compared to that of skim milk because of the higher fat content. As far as coloring the plastic, I'm not too sure. I've used pieces of crayons before to color soaps. The non-toxic ones contain primarily stearic acid. Might work, pure speculation, however. There's tons of variables you can try!
  4. Aug 9, 2006 #3


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    According to this site's instructions on how to make plastic out of the casein in milk,
    The plastic comes out maleable and dough-like, you can then shape it like you please and let it dry out over night.

    Another, clasic, plastic making experiment involves using Borax (Sodium Tetraborate) and Elmers glue. This method is often used to make "slime" or "goo" and is very easy to color (food coloring should work).
    From personal experience, I know that depending on the any numbers of ways you mix the two components, you can create plasticy blobs of many different consistensies (hard, soft, watery, ...).
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