Thermoset plastic

In this project I will design an apparatus which will hold a test-tube, basically as a showpiece. Even though test tubes are usually used to hold variables in science, I will be using it as a flower holder. My new boss at the company has asked me to make a flower vase, and has decided that the newest item in the store will be a test-tube flower vase. He has asked me that it has to be commercially viable, which will totally depend on my target audience.

My main target audience in this project is the general female adult, because it would be the best area to sell a flower vase.

This is because showpieces in stores are mostly bought by the female adult who wants to make a place look good by its presence. I’m choosing this audience because they are the ones that most commonly use vases, and it is the place where I can make the most money.

In order to do this, I will go through a whole process which is in this project. I will start of with researching existing examples, researching materials and I will go on to survey a group of people and I will go on to use the results in order to plan my design.

I will go on to create my design and then I will evaluate my whole project. Overall, I will follow the design cycle in this project to create my flower vase. The tools and materials that I will use will all come from the DT lab.

Materials Research In this project there are three main materials that we have the option to use, these being wood, metal and plastic. Below is some detailed information on all these types of materials: Wood: Wood is a main source of creativity, because it can be shaped and even manipulated in some cases.

It is a primary way of creating apparatus/tools because it used to be abundant. Nowadays, there is a threat of it becoming rare, but because it is already such a used material it is not something that is hard to stop, especially because of the reason that the universal population will never decrease over a period of time. There are three main types of wood, namely hard wood, soft wood and man made wood. All types of wood must be seasoned before they are used, meaning that the moisture must be removed so that it is a solid. Soft Wood:

Soft wood mainly comes from evergreen or conifer trees (right). They also come from trees like pine, cedar, fir, hemlock, spruce, yew and redwood. Softwoods are mainly softer than hardwoods; however there are some exceptions i. e. yews are much harder than hardwoods. Softwoods are categorized differently from hardwoods because of their different microscopic structures. There are two main elements that form the structure of softwood, namely tracheids and parenchyma. Uses: It is the main wood source used by man, because of the variety of uses it has.

Softwood is the main material construction of buildings, in furniture, in windows, in mouldings, in doors and a lot of other millworks. Also, it is used for the production of paper and is turned into man-made wood i. e. MDF. Hard Wood: Hard wood trees on the other hand, mainly come from deciduous trees (right) . However, there is a group of hardwood trees that aren’t deciduous, known as angiosperm trees. Conducted experiments show that hardwoods are higher in density than soft woods but it has to be kept in mind that there are some examples of both groups that considerably overlap, i. e. hardwood Balsa is softer than regular softwoods, and yew is in the opposite direction. Hardwoods can be differentiated from softwoods because of the following Characteristics.

They have broader leaves  The contain enclosed nuts/seeds i. e. acorns Compared to softwood, hardwoods have a much more varied existence of species, almost a hundred times more. This also means that hardwood is used a lot more than softwood, especially in exterior work. It is also used to make day-to-day utensils, as flooring, for constructing buildings, for furniture and a variety of different things.

Man-made wood: There are three main types of man-made wood, MDF, maisonette and plywood. MDF boards are known as Medium-density fibreboards. It is made by first breaking down softwood to wood fibres, and then two substances called wax and resin are combined with it. This is then used to form panels by applying on it pressure and high temperature. It is a material mainly made up of sawdust. Plywood, another example of man-made wood is created from thin sheets of wood veneers. Each of these sheets are then stacked together in a method called cross-banding.

Again, they are bonded under heat and huge amounts of pressure. One of the reasons why plywood is favoured over plain wood is that it is resistant to warping, cracking, and shrinkage and is very firm. Maisonette wood is mostly used in the constructing of houses, which is why maisonette houses are existent today. Maisonette houses are basically houses connected to apartments (above right), which is where the maisonette wood is used. Metal: Metal is derived from the Greek word Metallon and is a readily formed element with positive ions which make up metallic bonds.

On the periodic table, a diagonal line from polonium to boron divides up the metal elements (left). Elements below the line are metals and elements above the line are non-metals. However, elements along the line are known as metalloids or semi-metals. Ferrous and Non-Ferrous Metals: There are mainly two types of metal, known as ferrous metal and non-ferrous metal. The word ferrous is derived from the Latin word “Ferrum” which means containing iron. This shows that ferrous metals are the ones that contain iron whilst non-ferrous don’t.

This is a common way of dividing metal because it is the easiest way to decide which kind of metal you need, because the differences between these two groups are clear and obvious. Ferrous metals are the ones that usually rust, and they are the stronger and heavier. On the other hand, non-ferrous metals are the ones that don’t rust because they don’t contain iron, and are lighter and softer. Non-ferrous metals are those which are a mixture of metals (known as alloys) and do not have iron. Examples of them would be copper, aluminium and brass.

Brass is an example of an alloy because it is a combination of copper and zinc. Examples of ferrous metals include: tin plate, cast iron and mild steel. Plastic: Plastics are a general group of apparatus that are created by the combination of oil, salt, air and water. Plastics are defined as a group of (natural) organic or synthesized materials that can be shaped when soft and later when they are hardened. The word plastic is derived from the word plasticity because of the fact that many of them malleable. In other words they are capable of being extended or shaped by the force of some kind of pressure.

When applying plastic, there are two main types: thermo-set plastic and thermo plastic. Thermoplastic: Thermoplastics are characterized as being soft and pliable when heated. This means that it will melt when heated and it will turn into a glassy, brittle state (like that of ice) when cooled down sufficiently. Thermoplastic heat can easily be shaped by heat. This kind of plastic is usually used for packages, especially ones like PBS, polyethylene, polystyrene and acrylic (right). Thermoset plastics: Thermoset plastics on the other hand, are the complete opposite.

They are stronger, much harder and heat resistant. They cannot be shaped with the use of heat, but at the same time they are very brittle pieces of apparatus. These kinds of plastics are usually in the form of a liquid or powder before being designed and moulded. Compared to thermoplastics, thermosetting plastics are harder and are best suited to higher temperatures. Like thermoplastics, thermoset plastics cannot be recycled by re-melting or remoulding the plastics. Examples of thermoset plastic include: polyester sine, poxy resin and melamine (right).

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