Styrofoam Trough Innovations

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IMYoung
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-31
Quote:

I have found from instructing classes on styrofoam troughs, that students, in general, really don't don't have a clue as to how much melting of the surface is correct.  Something I had previous thought to be pretty intuitive.

As yes, well one man's intuition can be another's PHD thesis  ;)

It can be useful for demonstration purpose to get some offcuts of chunky styrofoam ( the type used in insulation and building works) and to ....1) roughen an area.... let the students feel the roughened surface2) lightly heat an patch ... let them touch that to feel the difference3) seal the surface "properly"... let them see the shrinking and sheen on the surface now... and feel it again... the feel alone is quite telling and seems to get the necessary finish more firmly in their minds.

4) Do take a second to overheat   a section, to let them see the destruction.As an aside to that, you can demonstrate making slits for planting in side-walls, of course.

Not always easy to do all this while keeping the work area well ventilated and keeping the loose granules from flying everywhere, but worth it!

Going back to the idea of hot air carving ,  rather than actual shaping of the sytrofoam with stick or wire brush.... remember that this may generate more fumes, so keep plenty fresh air through the work area. (I've already assumed that masks are being worn!)

Ian  and/or Margaret Young ( -here it is usually Margaret) Aberdeen , North East Scotland, UK Zone 8a

www.srgc.net

CScott
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-23

There are styrofoam coolers sold at our local tire store which could be cut to form a shallow trough.  They are usually available when fishing supplies are being stocked.

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21
CScott wrote:

There are styrofoam coolers sold at our local tire store which could be cut to form a shallow trough.   They are usually available when fishing supplies are being stocked.

If those are the kind that hold water for minnows, then they are probably strong enough, I would think.  I suspect, though, that they are regular coolers for beer, etc.  These don't have the strength integrity needed for lasting troughs. 

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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