If this is the first time you hear this name, you are in luck because today you will be surprised. The PCL is a thermoplastic plastic that we can mold with our hands when heated around 60 ° C and that hardens in the cold and we can repeat the process again and again, hundreds of times.
When it cools it becomes hard and tough, it does not conduct electricity or heat, it is not toxic and it is biodegradable. It seems the perfect solution for our inventions does not?
It reminds me of Sugru, but being able to reuse it and it seems to be more difficult to manipulate. Although of course being able to reuse it again and again is a very important point.
Look how the magic happens …
I really like the video of Plastimake, where we can see how it is used, its hardness and resistance and some very creative uses. Buy it here
If we get more technical, PCL or polycaprolactone is a biodegradable polyester, a thermoplastic polymer. It has a low melting point so over 60 ° C it becomes malleable. Being thermoplastic we can heat it to reuse it as many times as we want, until it degrades.
If you want information about the polymer, go to Wikipedia.
And I recommended you the article we made about Galalith, another polymer.
Main uses of the PCL
It has several interesting uses, leaving aside that it is used as an additive with other polymers, etc.
It is used in medicine, they create thread for surgery that the body is then able to absorb. Polycaprolactone takes a couple of years to absorb, but there is some faster variant.
And then there is the use that interests us for hobbies for a plastic to mold with the hands, to develop any invention or make repairs. From pieces for our projects, (kites, radio control, robots) to molds or as “glue” to join different pieces.
There are also dyes to color our creations.
We can do what we imagine. What I have not yet found is the way to synthesize it in a homemade way in the home kitchen, which does not have to be able to keep an eye, and I do not know if it will be worth trying to create our own instead of buying it.
PCL can be obtained by open ring polymerization of ε-caprolactone, using a catalyst such as tin octanate
But if someone knows how to do that please write to us.
We can find it under different trade names depending on the country of sale, but in the end it is still PCL, yes, perhaps with different purity, we should look. So, if you are looking for PCL or polycaprolactone check out these brands.
- Hand Moldable Plastic, (EE.UU)
- Mold-Your-Own Grips, (EE.UU)
- Simple-Plastic, (EE.UU)
- InstaMorph, (EE.UU) Buy in Amazon
- ThermoMorph Buy in Amazon
- Shapelock, (EE.UU)
- Missing Link (EE.UU)
- Friendly Plastic (EE.UU)
- Polymorph in United Kingdom, Buy in Amazon
- Plastimake in Australia,
- Protoplast in Netherlands,
- Plastiform in France
- Plastypoly (Spain)
Where to buy Polycaprolactone
There are two main marketplaces to buy online this product in any of their business names. You can buy it in:
Yes, I am waiting for you to arrive to do tests and things I have in mind and I will come with some interesting reviews and experiments.