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ACRYLIC: The Wonder Plastic

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Poly(methyl methacrylate) — or ‘PMMA’ — is a transparent thermoplastic with untold numbers of applications. It’s sold under the brand names Acrylite, Altuglas, Cyrolite, Lucite, Optix, Oroglas, Perspex, Plexiglas, R-Cast and Zylar, and it’s used to make everything from spectacles to paint. What is a ‘thermoplastic’? Thermoplastics are more properly called ‘thermosoftening plastics’, and the clue is in the name: They’re a class of polymer that becomes soft and malleable when heated above a certain temperature but remain tough and hard when cool. This means that a single piece of plastic can be made and remade multiple times — you heat it up, you do what you want with it, you wait for it to cool and then if you don’t like it you can heat it up again to ‘reset’ it and start over. There are hundreds of these thermoplastics in the world, but one of the best known and most utilised is poly(methyl methacrylate) —more commonly known as acrylic. What sets acrylic apart? Acrylic is special mostly because it’s so versatile. It’s a great replacement for glass in situations where safety is of absolutely paramount concern, meaning that it’s often used in aquariums and for viewing ports in submarines and aeroplanes. It’s good for making lenses with and has been used in lighthouses and on automobiles as well as to make ordinary glasses. Architects can use its light-reducing and -controlling properties to great effect in building design, while artists of other kinds have used it to frame paintings and to design furniture from. Salvador Dali used to paint on it as though it were canvas! Acrylic paint is, of course, a favourite of children everywhere. Dentists use it as a form of cement, as well as to build dentures — and over the years the medical uses of this remarkable plastic have been many and varied. You have only to glance at the ‘applications’ section of the website for one of acrylic’s best-known brand names to see how versatile it is. What can’t it do? All materials have their drawbacks, and acrylic is no exception. It’s difficult to know how most plastics will break down over time because they simply haven’t been around — or outside — long enough to find out, but early investigations of the Futuro house have indicated that it seems to be biodegrading. This is good news for the environment in many ways, but bad news for the longevity of PMMA and other thermoplastics. Acrylic is also quite flammable, and was partially indicated in the Summerland Disaster on the Isle of Man in 1973. The most important drawback from an engineering perspective, however, is acrylic’s tendency toward brittleness. It can’t be used as a load-bearing material, and it’s important to be careful using it in any situation where pressure may be applied. The good news is that some of this problem can be mitigated with the use of rubber toughening, a process by which many polymers can be made better able to cope with load and pressure by simply adding rubber to them. This makes them bend a little and removes some of their stiffness — which in turn decreases brittleness. All sorts of thermoplastics and engineering plastics are used in a variety of industries because of their...

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Container Gardening Tips for Beginner Gardeners

Posted by on 2:13 pm in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Container Gardening Tips for Beginner Gardeners

After buying a new Melbourne home, starting an edible garden can help you offset the relatively high cost of buying groceries and your overall financial strain. Did you know that you can skip all the major digging and weed pulling in the new backyard garden and fast-forward to the fun? Container gardening will get just enough dirt under your fingernails without taking the fun out of gardening. All you have to do is design your garden, plant and enjoy your close-up delights. Choosing a container Picking a container is the first step towards your new garden. Bigger is always better as long as you can lift it or move it around. It’s convenient to grow plants in large containers than small ones. Choose a container, whether new or recycled that is large enough to accommodate vegetables such as spinach, eggplant or tomatoes. Smaller vegetable choices such as lettuce and carrots can be planted as companions in a single container. You can choose wooden boxes since they are natural looking, and will protect a plant’s roots from rapid temperature swings. Window wooden boxes are large enough to grow arugula and radishes. For a lightweight option, plastic containers will do the job. Plastic containers are available in various sizes and shapes as well as pocket-friendly prices. If you’re using wooden boxes (like those from Westend Pallets (Aust) Pty Ltd) as your planting containers, seat them on available container feet, stones or any other object that will elevate the wood from the ground surface. This will prevent rotting of the container bottom and surface underneath it. Add the soil Use bagged planting mix rather than ordinary garden soil since its too heavy and can introduce diseases. Add fertilizer to the soil at planting time and remember to supplement it with a water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks.   Choosing best plant combinations A container allows you to think beyond one-note planting. You can combine different plants for a long lasting display without crowding too many plants in a single container. Balancing the form and proportion of your container garden is key to a beautiful, successful garden. Select plants that are relatively small and at the same time try to avoid plants whose roots stuff the container. Grow simple plants such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, eggplant and beans. These plants present little trouble, and there is so much to love about how quickly they grow. They are also easy to grow in sun to partial shade, and all you have to do is to water them regularly or before the soil drys...

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What You Need to Know About Two-Way Radio Frequencies for Your Workplace Applications

Posted by on 8:10 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What You Need to Know About Two-Way Radio Frequencies for Your Workplace Applications

Sometimes, coordinating multiple activities in your firm can be quite difficult especially when you are dealing with a large group of employees. Text messaging and paperwork is not only time consuming but also hard to use concurrently with some of the activities in the workplace. Thankfully, two-way radios can help you sort out this problem by facilitating prompt communication between your workers through voice messages. Two-way radio can transmit and receive radio signals, enabling prompt two-way communication between different people, unlike broadcast receivers that can only receive content. Two-way radios rely on bands of frequencies (electromagnetic waves) to transmit information. The following is a discussion about the frequencies used by two-way radios to help you gain insight and make better consumer choices:  Very High Frequency Radio Very High Frequency (VHF) radios are designed to cover more distance with little power consumption during communication. This is because they use long sound waves that do not travel far above the ground level. They are ideal for job sites where you can achieve a clear line of sight with minimal to no obstructions on the communication path between those who are using the VHF radios. Since the VHF radio waves are long, it is hard for them to travel around obstructions. This interferes with the quality of the sound transmitted. Ideally, VHF radios are suitable for use in work places like large water bodies or open fields like golf courses. Ultra High Frequency Radios Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios rely on short waves for communication, unlike the VHF radios. These short waves easily travel around obstacles on their path. This means that UHF radios still work well in areas with many obstructions like walls, metal barriers, hills and thick vegetation. The quality of the sound received is not dependent on a clear line of sight between those who are communicating. For unpredictable situations in the workplace, UHF radios are preferable because of their ability to function well in varying outdoor conditions. Channels Channels allow you to partition the frequency signal transmitted among the various users. You need them to organise the flow of the communication so that your employees can select the specific person that they want to communicate with. Each department at the workplace can have its channel. Both VHF and UHF radios come with varying capability regarding the number of channels that the user can tune in to. When buying two-way radios, ask about the number of channels available to ensure that you meet the current and future expectations of your firm. Remember to choose the same band (either UHF or VHF) when buying the two-way radios. Don’t mix them because inter-band communication is not...

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Things to Consider When Purchasing a Second Hand Shipping Container

Posted by on 8:40 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Things to Consider When Purchasing a Second Hand Shipping Container

Purchasing used goods is a great way of cost cutting but still getting something that is functional. However, just as with other used items, second hand shipping containers will not always have their original lustre when they are up for resale. However, signs of wear and tear do not always mean that the shipping container’s structural integrity is completely compromised. By knowing what to be wary about when shopping for a used shipping container, you increase your chances of buying something that is still viable for use. The following are some of the things to consider when purchasing a second hand shipping container. Consider the age of the second hand shipping container The first thing that you need to keep in mind when making a selection of used shipping containers is their age. The older the shipping container, the higher the chances that it has been exposed to significant wear and tear over the years. When looking through the different shipping containers, take note of their individual serial numbers. The serial number is also referred to as the container’s ISO number. This number is what freight companies will use to track the container when it is in transit. Additionally, the ISO number also will provide you with information regarding the age of the container. If you are looking for a used shipping container for transport needs, always opt for the younger options. Consider the materials transported by the second hand shipping container Before purchasing a used shipping container, always establish what materials were being transported within it. This is crucial so as to establish whether the shipping container was ever used to ship toxic or hazardous materials. In the event that it was used for this purpose, you may have to make additional arrangements to ensure that the shipping container is completely sterilised and ready for use again. Consider the structural integrity of the second hand shipping container When inspecting used shipping containers, do not disregard some options merely because they have a few dings or dents on their surface. Instead, what you need to pay close attention to is how severe these dents are. If the structural damage affects the functioning of the container such as making it harder to open and close it, then it is not recommended to purchase it. However, if the dents are superficial, you may get a good deal on the shipping container since it does not have a pristine appearance. Other aspects to inspect when it comes to structural integrity include any rust spots or signs of...

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Reasons You Should Consider FRP Decking Materials Over Steel

Posted by on 9:27 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Reasons You Should Consider FRP Decking Materials Over Steel

The term FRP stands for Fibre Reinforced Plastic. This material has steadily been gaining popularity in construction applications due to a variety of benefits that it offers. As such, more and more people are moving away from using steel for their projects and opting for FRP. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider FRP decking materials over steel. FRP decking materials are resistant to corrosion One of the biggest selling points of FRP decking materials is that they are Non-corrosive. For steel to stay in pristine condition, you would have to put it through additional process such as powder coating it or galvanizing it. FRP decking, on the other hand, will not be prone to water damage. This makes it ideal for outdoor applications, as it will not be affected by wet weather conditions. It should also be noted that you can get some FRP materials that have the ability to withstand exposure to an array of caustic materials if you so choose. FRP decking materials are lightweight Generally, steel gets its inherent strength due to how heavy it is. This is why it is typically considered for construction projects that will require sturdy materials. However, the heaviness of steel also makes it difficult to handle. As such, the labour costs incurred when using steel tend to be higher than with other types of materials. If you would like a lightweight material that is still structurally sound, then you should consider FRP decking materials. The ratio of glass and resins used to manufacture the FRP enable it to bear heavy loads while still keeping the material lightweight and easy to handle. FRP decking materials are virtually maintenance free When you opt for FRP decking materials, you save yourself the trouble of having to constantly try to keep this material in pristine condition. Generally, all fibre reinforced plastic requires is an occasional wipe down to eliminate any grime that has started accumulating on it. During manufacture, the FRP undergoes ultraviolet stabilization. This process eliminates the need for any lacquering or painting of the FRP as its appearance will not be affected by continuous exposure to the sun. This is unlike steel, which could eventually suffer from ultraviolet degradation. FRP decking materials are resistant to high impact Another benefit of using FRP decking materials is that it is impact resistant. Your deck is likely to be exposed to high traffic, which increases the risk of high impact in the form of items falling onto your decking. When FRP is exposed to high impact, its surface goes back to normal after the impact. This is unlike steel that would suffer from permanent deformation if the impact is high enough. For more information about FRP decking, contact a local...

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How Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Help You Improve Your Home’s Fire Prevention Plans

Posted by on 11:35 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Help You Improve Your Home’s Fire Prevention Plans

There is nothing pleasant about fires at home; all they do is wreak havoc by destroying valuable properties and lives. However, with a proper fire prevention plan in place, you can kill the fire before it spreads and prevent destruction of your properties. One plan is investing in carbon monoxide detector, a device that reads the signs of danger from early on and relays an alarm regarding a possible fire. Smoke and flames are clear signs of fire, but it may not be possible to spot these signs if they are coming from a vacant area in your home, at least not until the fire has spread. And that is you should have an extra eye in the name of carbon monoxide detectors in these areas. How They Work Basically, carbon monoxide detectors operate by detecting carbon monoxide, which is a colorless and odorless gas that is generated by the burning of fossil fuels like kerosene, gasoline, charcoal, and wood. Carbon monoxide detectors may vary in models, but they have some components that do the same task. The components include light-emitting diodes (LEDs), microchips, a test/reset button, and sensors. If you get an alarm from your one of your detectors, it may be hinting that there is a fire somewhere in your home. This occurs if the fire is burning a fossil fuel like oil or kerosene. The carbon monoxide produced when these products burn is detected by the sensors of the detectors, which in turn send a signal to other components of the devices so that they can produce an alarm.   The detectors generate a beeping sound, which is often accompanied by flashing lights. The sound is a warning that there is a high level of carbon monoxide in the area. But not all sounds produced by the detectors are alarming. A chirping sound, for instance, indicates that the device is failing. Carbon monoxide can also be produced by malfunctioning appliances in your home like your clothes dryer, oven, water heater, and furnace. So even if there is no fire, the detectors can help you detect the carbon monoxide gas produced by these appliances. Placing The Detectors The detectors can be placed in any room or area that is liable to catching fire in your house. These areas include bedrooms, the top of stairways, each floor of your home, the bottom of stairways that lead to the basement, and in hallways that are adjacent to the sleeping areas. If your hallway is more than 40 feet long, place the detectors at both...

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Safety Precautions When Working With Water Cutting

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Water cutting is a technique used by many businesses in different industries that is also available for ordinary people. It’s an environmentally friendly way of cutting many different materials that prevents dangerous material and harmful particles from being released into the air while you’re cutting. However, even though water cutting in many ways is safer than ordinary cutting using a blade, it can still be quite dangerous. If you at some point need to handle a water cutter for your own purposes, you should be aware of the safety procedures necessary for you to be able to handle the tool without getting injured. Protecting your hands The first thing you need to make sure of is that you run no risk of cutting your hands while you work with cutting the material. You should always wear protective, reinforced gloves when working with water cutting, but in many cases this is not enough. If the water beam hits your hand straight on, it will cut through your gloves as well as your hands. Make sure to keep your hands away from the beam both on top and underneath the material being cut. Even if the beam has passed through material, it’s still very protruding. Therefore, you should not attempt to hold the material up from underneath while you’re cutting. Always use tools to keep the material in place so that you can avoid getting cut. Hearing protection Another safety precaution you should take is to wear hearing protection as you’re working with water cutting. This is not always necessary in ordinary operations where the material is submerged in the water, as this doesn’t produce a lot of noise. However, if you’re working above water, for example with a material that is too large to submerge, you’ll need to protect your hearing. Ordinary ear plugs are sufficient, but it you’re working on the project for a long time, you should also make sure to take breaks every now and again so that your ears can rest. Safety goggles The most dangerous part of the water itself is the abrasive material used to give the water more cutting power. In most cases, this is garnet sand that is harmless for your skin. However, you still need to protect your eyes. Getting any type of sand in your eyes can be dangerous, but getting sand from a water cutter in your eyes is even more worrying, as the sand is highly pressurised and will come shooting towards your eyes with great speed. Always use goggles to protect yourself from this when using a water cutter. For more information, contact a business such...

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Safety Precautions When Repairing a Hydraulic Hose

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Hydraulic hoses are common equipment in many industries. Hoses are used for many purposes in different hydraulic systems. However, hydraulic hoses can be serious safety hazards if not handled properly. The hose itself can cause as serious injuries as the material being transported through it. When setting out to perform hydraulic hose repairs, you should be extra careful, as these are instances where you suspect a malfunction with an already dangerous tool. To do this in a safe fashion, there are a few things you should think about. Avoid Cracks & Holes When examining the hose for cracks and holes for the purpose of performing hydraulic hose repair, you should be extra careful. Never go near the hose with skin exposed when it’s being in use and is pressurised. Pressurised liquid being forced through a crack can create a beam so powerful that it can cut through both skin and flesh. The smallest holes are actually the most dangerous ones, as more pressure in created in these ones than in larger ones. When examining the hose, make sure it’s not pressurised and not in use. Gently flush it through with room temperature water and wait for it to bleed through any possible cracks that it might have. Even so, you should still use safety equipment such as gloves and goggles when doing this, as hazardous substances might still be present on the hose. Wipe Away Residue Fluid When repairing a hydraulic hose, it’s possible that hydraulic fluid will leak out on the floor as you’re handling it. This is a safety hazard mainly because it causes the floors to become slippery and threaten general safety in the workplace. It’s also a bad thing as hydraulic fluid can be hazardous and contaminate the environment if not handled properly. Make sure you wipe the workplace clean after performing repairs and that you check with local environmental authorities how to get rid of the waste in a safe manner. Inspect Couplings After you’ve repaired the hose and need to reassemble it, you still need to be careful. Make sure you examine all couplings and fittings to make sure they’re firmly attached to the hose and that they aren’t chipped or damaged in some way. Coupling coming off while the hose is pressurised could shoot off in a tremendous speed and seriously injure a worker that comes in its way. Use a new piece of security tape to properly cover up the coupling after you’ve attached it as firmly as you can. Also make sure you examine the couplings a couple of days after assembling the hose to make sure they are still secure. For more information or assistance with hydraulic hose inspection and repair, contact companies like Southern Hydraulic...

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Industrial Manufacturing: Materials for Custom Bearing Fabrication

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Bearings are crucial in the operation of most industrial equipment used in commercial sectors such as construction, processing and agriculture. If these components are not present or operating optimally, you will notice significant problems in your machinery. Basically, the bearings are responsible for reducing friction in the moving components. Moreover, the elements will direct and constrain the relative motion to the desired direction. Unfortunately, industrial machinery bearings are not infallible, so you will need to replace them when they experience extensive wear or other types of damage. You can replace these with stock options in the general market. However, you can improve the performance of your equipment by installing custom bearings that are designed to suit the specific requirements of your operations. Here are the materials that you should consider for this industrial bearing fabrication. Stainless Steel Stainless steel is an ideal choice for bearing manufacturing in general purpose machine applications. This metal is advantageous because it has high compressive and tensile strength. This means it can handle heavy loads in the equipment without distortion. Stainless steel is highly resistant to damage by high temperature environments.  This material is resistant to corrosion and rusting and corrosion in high humidity zones. However, if your industrial operation deals with caustic chemicals, you should consider using an alternative. Titanium Titanium is a high strength metal that is favourable for heavy-duty applications. Therefore, it is an ideal choice for your industrial machinery if they are in constant operation. The main advantage of choosing to fabricate titanium bearings is the high strength it provides, particularly when compared to the weight. In simple terms, the metal is light but can support heavy loads and high pressure. This will increase the efficiency of the movement. Titanium bearings can also withstand adverse industrial conditions with regard to chemical corrosion and temperature. This metal can withstand acidic solutions without corrosion and it is perfect for marine equipment applications. Moreover, its melting point is over 1,650⁰C. Non-Magnetic Bearings Metals are favourable for bearing fabrication because they are strong and resilient. However, the materials are not appropriate for some specific applications because they often have some magnetic properties. This might interfere with the operation of the equipment. If you have this concern, consider choosing ceramic or polymer for the fabrication project. These are non-magnetic, corrosion resistant and lightweight. Moreover, the bearings will not require lubrication since they do not generate unfavourable friction. However, you should note that ceramic is brittle and prone to breakage while polymer bearings can only handle light...

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Timber Crates vs Plastic Cases

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Are you wondering about which packaging material you should use for your products? Read on and learn some crucial information about timber crates and plastic cases. Use this information as you pick which material is better for your packaging needs. Timber Crates Timber crates have been used in the packaging industry for a very long time because of the many advantages of this material. First, it is easy to customise timber crates so that they handle any packaging need (such as enclosing the crate so that products are protected from the elements). Timber crates are easy to repair in case they sustain any damage during their use. For example, loose sections can be repaired by driving additional nails into the timber sections in order to make the crate firm once again. These crates are very strong and can carry heavy payloads. They are eco-friendly because they are made from a renewable resource. Timber crates are also one of the most affordable packaging materials However, wooden crates have their downsides.  First, the timber crates are heavy and can increase the cost of shipping. They are also subject to strict conditions (such as heat treatment) in order to avoid spreading pests to different locations. They may also pose some safety risks (such as splinters injuring employees) as the crates are sealed or opened. Special lifting equipment (such as forklifts) may be needed to move them. Plastic Cases Plastic cases are relatively new in the packaging industry when compared to timber crates. These cases address some of the challenges posed by wooden crates. For example, plastic cases are lightweight and may not inflate the cost of shipping products. They are also easy to move around (no special lifting equipment is needed). Some are built to be fire-resistant. However, plastic cases cannot be repaired easily once they are damaged. They are also difficult to customise because of their complex manufacturing process that involves creating special moulds for each packaging requirement of a client. Plastic crates aren’t biodegradable and pollute the environment (via offgassing, for example). Plastic cases are also more expensive when compared to other packaging materials (such as cardboard boxes or timber crates). As you can see, each packaging material has its own strong points and weak points. It is therefore imperative that you discuss your packaging needs with a packaging expert so that he or she helps you to choose the best packaging option for your...

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