Developing and Testing composite seaweed polymers

soaking the laminated polymer to test for water resistance

Last week the laminated seaweed bio-polymer films I prepared were sent for high resolution imaging to observe properties by bio-technologist Wei-Lin.

Samples of the laminated films were tested for water resistance by soaking in water.

The laminated films were water resistant on the surface but cut edges bled out. The polymer on the far left was the most resistant to moisture.

Laminating successfully resulted in moisture resistant films but full immersion resulted in bleeding at cut edges. I expect that handling properties, e.g. cutting, stitching, moulding, will be much easier with this reinforced material.

hacking craft techniques for science
Creating a film to seal polymer

The use of a craft cutter elicited both curiosity and amusement on the lab.

A craft cutter was used to create regular polymer film shapes. I laminated the shapes to stabilise the polymer before creating a composite film.  The regular shape allowed for observation of 20% polymer swelling and transfer of seaweed tannin. It was determined that room must be allowed for polymer swelling to inhibit polymer film buckling and cracking.

Peng -Su experimented with chemical cross linker to inhibit swelling but this was discovered to be unsuccessful.

Composite polymer pieces were soaked in water to test for water resistance
Composite polymer dots adhered nicely to skin and held their shape after immersion in water.

I am excited to experiment further with this water resistant ‘dotty’ film.

Gel film responds to ambient moisture

Making changes to the gel film formula;

As with other seaweed polymers the gel film responds to ambient weather conditions.  Moisture absorbed into the film during wet weather causing polymer ingredients to precipitate out of the film.

Peng-Su and I made more gel films adjusting ingredients and film thickness. These film were not successful possibly due to bad weather.

We discussed the addition of beneficial marine derived antioxidants to these films.





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