Plant based Bio-Plastic (Attempt 2)

Experiment

Reinvention

Sustainable

This bio-plastic is only made with 4 ingredients that aren’t hard to source and can be made in your kitchen. I came across a bio-materials cook-book in which I came across this recipe. I altered this recipe by reducing the amount of glycerine used and adding sodium alginate to it, which is one of the ingredients used in the bio-letter I produced. This bio-plastic is biodegradable so is not water resistant.

Material

Composite
Experimental materials

Craft

Other

General Technique

Combining
Other

Specific Technique

Firstly a glass chopping board was prepared by taping an old wooden frame to it and ensuring the edges were sealed. Then all the ingredients were weighed out using a precision scale. All the ingredients were placed in a stainless steal pot and heated until the solution turned to a viscous gel. When all the liquid has evaporated the gel like solution was then poured into the frame and smooth it out with a spatula. It was then left in a cool dry place for over a week.

Properties & Qualities

Application

Sample Making Other

Qualities

Bio Degradable

Colour

Other

Sample Information

Date of creation

June 2023

Dimensions

Width 11.2cm x Height 11.5cm x Depth 0.2cm

Weight

8g

Culture & Context

I have a strong interest in bio based materials and as plastic is such a pollutant material I think its vital to research, explore and try to find sustainable alternatives to this durable and widely used material that causes so much harm. Which I chose to experiment with a recipe from a bio-plastic’s cookbook by Margaret Dunne. The recipe I explore was one that can be made from mainly standard ingredients so it was accessible to make with the resources I had available.

Process & Production

The process of this material was firstly preparing all the ingredients and equipment needed. A frame was prepared to act as a mould and all the ingredients were weighed  out using precision weighing scales. They were all then added to a stainless steal pot and heated until the solution turned viscous. Once all the excess liquid was evaporated the solution was poured into the frame mould and smoothed out with a spatula. It was then left to dry. This sample was successful after altering the recipe by using sodium alginate to ensure the material dries and creates a flexible bio-plastic. The limitations for this bio-plastic is that it is not water resistant. Further explorations may include adding a wax to the recipe to increase the water resistance and durability.

Recipe Details

Ingredients :
10g Glycerine.
80g Water.
1.6g Corn Starch
1.5ml Vinegar.
2g Sodium Alginate mixed with a few ml of water.
Method :
Prepare a wooden frame by taping it to a glass chopping board ensuring all the edges
are sealed.
Weigh out all ingredients with precision scales.
Put all ingredients in a stainless steal pot and heat for 10 minutes.
When the solution becomes viscous, continue to heat it for another few minutes to
evaporate excess liquid.
Then pour the gel like solution into the frame and smooth it out with a spatula/
squeegee.
Let dry in a dry space.
The cut out of frame.

Credits

Craft Maker

Amy Kerr (AK Textiles)

Library Contributor

National College of Art & Design Ireland

Photographer

Amy Kerr

Practitioner

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