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Removing Yellowing from Plastics - Part 3

tezza

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Regarding patenting, I always thought maybe it was because from the start the formula was pretty well out in the open--open source. Can you patent open source stuff? I'm pretty sure you cant, but dont get me wrong, I dont know what I am talking about. I cant see someone trying to patent something open source, like an OS or anything if it's code was open from the start. How could they prove they had come up with it in the first place, right?

--Ryan

Yea. From idea to practical application, this developed as a community project. I am very glad it took that route and congratulate Dave and others for promoting and sharing the idea. It is, as Ryan says, very much like an open-source project with people adding their tweaks and experiences.

There would be nothing to stop anyone from pumping in money, playing with the chemistry and (if they crack it) patenting and selling a particular paste "formulation" which seemed to work well on ALL kinds of plastics (not just old computer cases). In other words, you open the jar, dip your brush in and paint it on and it de-yellows anything. As plastics do differ, that would be some high chemistry and is a long way from where we are now.

But for computer cases only, the market is a lot narrower. It's possible there could be a small ebay market for an easy "open and paint-on" commercial product just for computer cases, but any manufacturer would need to do a lot of R+D to give it shelf-life, and get the raw ingredients in bulk so as to sell it at reasonable cost. They would also need to be prepared for lots of complaints from people that stuff up, don't use it as directed and blame the product.

For those reasons I don't think a packaged solution would be feasible. Getting and mixing the raw ingredients is dead easy (you can buy them over the counter) and if you use a low concentration of peroxide it's also safe. Making up the paste is easier than cooking most meals! It also seems pretty robust in that it works well with most vintage computer cases both in sunlight and with lamps.

Tez
 

Merlin

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OK, let's clear this patent thing up and explain why we undertook this project.

People had been trying peroxide separately, whilst others had tried Oxy on it's own. What was missing was the understanding of what was actually happening; people had bits of a jigsaw, but didn't know what the picture looked like, if you follow the analogy.

What our projects on EAB and VCF brought to the party was the understanding of what the 'picture' was, in that we identified the brominated flame retardants as the cause, TAED in the Oxy as the catalyst and UV light as an essential ingredient to trigger the bromine reaction; to my knowledge, all previous commentary on the subject of yellowing of plastics by retro hobbyists focussed on the ABS polymer and completely overlooked the flame retardant and hadn't identified it - we put the research in and identified the chemical responsible and the essentials of bromine / UV chemistry.

With our project, we also have worked together to optimise and streamline the process conditions to make it easily reproduceable. This was another ingredient that was missing ; project management, nobody was really communicating about this, it was all little bits of work all over the Net. The project really tied these communities together and we all worked the problem as one. I just served as a type of project manager, co-ordinating efforts and sharing information. My little moment of inspiration was in the idea and formulating of the gel version of the mix, which drastically reduces the cost of treating a large case. That, and trying to formulate a gel using ingredients that most people could source without too much hassle. That takes experience and can't be found in books....

The peroxide experiments without Oxy and the Oxy experiments without peroxide constitute both 'prior art' and 'public domain information' as far as patents go; these factors, along with the costs of patenting this in enough countries to make it worth going after people infringing the patent, made it unrealistic and impracticable. Besides, there are some countries that basically don't recognise patents, unless they are their own country's patents...:sneaky:

My personal view is that this was an 'open source' project as soon as we started it, so why not share it with everyone?
 

Lorne

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@Merlin:

You are fantastic, man.
Safety guy, HR guy, Project Manager, and a part time rebel-chemist to boot.
If I were you, I'd go in and ask for a pay rise :)


PS: the insurance costs associated with patenting and producing a product like our gel/paste would kill any profits that we might ever even dreamed of making.
 

Unknown_K

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Regarding patenting, I always thought maybe it was because from the start the formula was pretty well out in the open--open source. Can you patent open source stuff? I'm pretty sure you cant, but dont get me wrong, I dont know what I am talking about. I cant see someone trying to patent something open source, like an OS or anything if it's code was open from the start. How could they prove they had come up with it in the first place, right?

--Ryan

You cannot patent something that is common knowledge, or known to people in the art. Nothing mentioned here is unique or has not been done before in other fields. What you CAN do is make up a specific formula (2 part in this case) and copyright a brand name and sell it. By doing that you will also have to be insured for the cases of people going blind using your products (or drinking it, etc) and taking you to court for millions of easy money.
 

Merlin

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And to think, you coulda had more fun if you'd been a gynecologist...or made more money as a butcher!

--T

Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes, Terry. The reason I went into industrial science was that my high school grades weren't quite good enough to get me into medical school.

I spent 25 years in industrial science (oils, lubricants and speciality chemicals businesses), so I must have been doing something right!!

My mother was a nurse for nearly 30 years and I have heard just about every medical joke ever told. My favourites are:-

What's a nurse's favourite operation? Strapadicktome....

I used to be a Gynaecologist; I am retired now, but I still look after the odd patient, just to keep my hand in........

Doctor!! I can't feel my legs!!
That's because we've cut your arms off......


I'll get my coat.....
 

tezza

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Some more deyellowing results.

2009-03-09-case-before%20de-yellowing-treatment.jpg


2009-03-15-deyellowed-case-gum-left-arrowroot-right.jpg

Four days under inconsistent sunlight (probably only 2 days of sunlight in total). First photo is before treatment. As with the other photos it's Xantan gum/glycerine on the left, Arrowroot on the right. Same number of applications. Xanthan gum/glycerine is perhaps a little less patchy but not by much.

My feeling is the process hasn't finished yet and more time is needed. I should have a bulb soon and hence have a more reliable source of UV.

Tez
 
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Merlin

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Mimo on AtariAge had a similar issue but a further treatment evened the tone out. It's funny, he was just as worried then as you are now!

Stick with it. she'll be right....
 
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tezza

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Mimo on AratAge had a similar issue but a further treatment evened the tone out. It's funny, he was just as worried then as you are now!

Stick with it. she'll be right....

Yes, I saw that post on Atariage, which is why I figure it just needs more time to complete the process.

I'm not worried Dave. This is a junk case, and I'm not concerned about what happens to it. I'm essentially doing this to see if there is any difference between Xanthan gum/glycerine and Arrowroot in the rate or quality of de-yellowing.

Tez
 

gerrydoire

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... I think I can hear loads of C64 owners screaming at the screen....

"A junk case? NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

:mrgreen:

With so many C64's out there, why waste time and money or fixing one, I've seen very nice C64's go for practically nothing on EBAY..
 

cosam

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With so many C64's out there, why waste time and money or fixing one, I've seen very nice C64's go for practically nothing on EBAY..
I picked my last one up for literally nothing. Considering there were, what, 30 million(?) of those things made, a lot of which seem to be particularly prone to yellowing, they make great test pieces.
 

Unknown_K

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The original brown C64 versions seem to not yellow much (atleast the ones I snagged on freecycle).

Even if 30 million were made, if you have a yellowed unit why not clean it? Better to try it out with something easily replaced (and cheap) first then to clean up that Lisa with twiggy drives.
 

hachti

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Drying?

Drying?

Hi folks,

I just tried to follow the discussion here.
I am just now trying out a mixture with wallpaper goo....
Got it a bit too sticky. Dissolving the Oxi stuff was a bit difficult (as noted above. Hot water is a good idea, but I already had the peroxide goo when thinking about that).
I'm using a blacklight.
I tried it with a (broken) and VERY yellow teletype cover. After about one hour, I rinsed and looked if something changed. And yes, it seem to work! I reapplied the stuff and waited. Transparency seems to be a problem, possibly also the fluorescent ingredient in the oxy stuff?
I noticed that the stuff dries too quickly. Will try Xanthan when I get it..
Ah... I use 30% stabilized peroxide (is that ok to use? Didn't get anything else). Mixed about 1:1 (volume) with tap water. The result should be about a bit more than 15%.

For now I have put some foil over the part.

Another idea to try: Put the whole thing into something closed, with some water in the bottom. That should avoid drying. Anyone tried?

Will let you know if it works.

If all your pictures aren't fakes (and I don't think they are) - That's amazing!!!
Could be really revolutionary :)

So I will see what I get.

Best wishes,
Philipp :)

P.S.: Sorry for my English - I'm just too enthusiastic to care for better written expression *g*
 

Merlin

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@ Hatchi

Welcome to the discussion!!

I am glad someone is trying the wallpaper paste idea, there is no reason it shouldn't work as it is starch based.

The drying issue seems to be a problem with the arrow root version as well - did you see any evidence of the the coating cracking as it dried? If so, try adding a teaspoonful of glycerine as this will help the coalescence, so the film may not crack as it dries.

I may have just been very very lucky and totally fluked the right thickener in selecting xanthan gum the first time around; if I did, I must learn to trust my gut instinct more often.. :D

Ignore the UV fluorescence from the Oxy; thay add an optical brightener so that white appear brighter due to a UV blue effect. It doesn't affect what we are doing at all.

1% H2O2 is fine and I am surprised that you can see a change after one hour, that's good.

Foil is good and others have used foil to reflect the UV back onto the parts, why waste energy? ;)

None of the pictures on any of the threads are faked to the best of my knowledge; that would just totally undermine the work we have done.

Keep on with the good work....
 

cosam

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Foil is good and others have used foil to reflect the UV back onto the parts, why waste energy? ;)
Speaking of kitchen supplies: how about wrapping the pieces in cling film? Would that help stop them drying out so fast? Or do you need the air to get at it?
 
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