For the 4th Technical Studies class we formed thermoplastics using heat and pressure. Thermoplastics are a class of polymers that can be heated and re-formed.
The ovens (heat ~200˚c)
Heated to ~200˚C and the plastic (or part of the plastic) turns into liquid and can be formed using the pressure from hand, or an object.
Heated to <200˚C and the plastic start to turn into a gas hence the bubbles.
We also heated small bits of plastic to reform into sheets and formed using a press. This process can make really beautiful patterns.
Playing with form in this way is chemistry and physics in action, and in terms of fun it beats this revision book, which describes the basic theory of the principles we were exploring with materials. I’m really interested in whether these forming techniques would be effective in communicating some of the concepts in the book below -another way that the design process can be part of learning about science principles.