Thursday, May 26, 2005


Polymorph and similar materials

I've been dregding for information on Polymorph. Louis-Philippe Breton suggests Polymorph is a polymer known as Polycaprolactone(PCL). Unfortunately, it seems this may be biodegradable. Bad in engineering terms, and also bad for the environment. [Why? It limits the recycling and puts the carbon that was locked safely away back in circulation in the atmosphere.]

Similar materials to Polymorph appear to be:

Protoplast, sheet and pellets, various colours:


Friendly Plastic by Amoco, various colours and sticks:

Hexcelite / X-lite / Vara-form:

I've been playing with some Shapelock recently. Tends to be very sticky when melted. I tried pushing it through a heated syringe and also tried a low-temp glue gun with a 7/16" dowel as a plunger. In each case, the plastic came out but it required quite a bit of effort. Definitely not as fluid as hot-melt glue.

I also tried, just for fun, some HDPE (shredded milk jug) in a high-temp glue gun. Also quite difficult to get moving.
I've managed to form Polymorph into fairly even 7mm sticks and squirt it through a glue gun.

If consistent 2mm strands can be achieved, they could be used as a basis for a mini glue gun, and that woul dbe much easier to control.
Nice. The Polymorph should be flexible enough that the strands could be spooled for later use.

What temperature was the glue gun? Mine was about 200F (93C). I wonder if either it wasn't hot enough or Polymorph is a easier to manipulate than Shapelock.
My glue guns runs at around 114C and is rated at 10W. I have one for EVA and one for Polymorph. They don't melt HDPE.

I've moulded a gearwheel out of Polymorph too, and I'm testing it now.

Vik :v)
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