'RetroBright' - De-Yellowing plastics

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by mAJORD, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. callan

    callan Member

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    Not much chance of much sun down here in Melbourne in this bleak midwinter!!. Having consistent 24/7 UV I agree really helped.
    I was a bit concerned that the warm water might have condensed out on the lamp, but that didn't seem to happen.

    I used about 2/3 of a 1 Kilo container of Sards Vanish napisan oxy-white, in about 9 Litres of water. I used fairly warm water to help the powder dissolve quickly, and I think the warmth also seemed to kickstart things.
    I did need to rig up an apparatus to hold the case down, as it tended to float up - thats something you might need to consider if doing it yourself.

    Callan
     
  2. lithos

    lithos Member

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    Put it in a plastic bag, and squeeze all the air out. You also won't have to use as much mix.
     
  3. callan

    callan Member

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    Good idea, for smaller items (Drive fascias, keys and the like).
    I haven't seen any clear bags large enough for full cases, though..

    I did notice with the oxy method that there was some gas bubbles being produced, at least initially - One would have to be a bit careful...

    Callan
     
  4. lithos

    lithos Member

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    Old marinading trick, callan. You can either mix up two litres of marinade to cover three steaks in a tupperware container...or mix up a cup to cover 'em in a ziplock bag.
     
  5. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    Can't believe I didn't think of that!

    Has given me some good ideas on how to better tackle the keys. :thumbup:
     
  6. trackhappy

    trackhappy Member

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    I might try this on my HP LaserJet 4100. Great printer, just looks a bit ugly.

    I also have a 4050N which also works, but it has yellowed a lot more severely than the 4100 (my guess is it lived next to a window or something), however the plastic on that is brittle as balsa wood. It doesn't take much at all to snap one of the yellow bits off.

    Does the process that yellows plastic also weaken it, and, is there a way to restore it's durability, even partially?

    Both printers are dated around 2000-2001 I believe, the 4050 being the slightly older of the two.

    Cheers.
     
  7. DonutKing

    DonutKing Member

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    Retro printers! haven't heard that before. Someone's gotta keep this old tech running though :)
    I saw on amibay a while ago someone trying to sell Amiga printers but nobody was interested.

    At work we had a couple of LaserJet 4M's kicking around until just a couple of years ago. You couldn't kill those things with a stick.

    Also had a few tractor feed printers still kicking around the place that I got rid of. I was pretty glad to see the back of those.
     
  8. trackhappy

    trackhappy Member

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    My LaserJets are by no means retro! Old and a bit yellow on some panels, but not retro. Consult the dot matirx printer that sat in my grandad's place that was part of my brother's C64 for that. :p

    These LaserJets do seem pretty hardy, except the fan in one needs replacing and the laser shutter arm on the other was extremely fragile and broke into two, then into three as I removed it... Thankfully I have a piece of blu-tac holding the shutter open and it works fine. (The shutter arms on both printers are the same, but the fans (and toners) are not.. go figure, eh.) It's only purpose is to stop any bits of toner falling out when you remove the cartridge, so all is well. :thumbup:
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
  9. qwertylesh

    qwertylesh Member

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    I have been looking online to do this for some retro gear I have got thats super yellow from the bromine

    I came across a site which discussed using a single ingredient

    Easy Retrobright

    a certain type of hair bleach that didnt require extra ingredients, unfortunately I dont think its available anywhere here, I'm wondering if theres an equivalent (single supermarket item) that anyones found?

    I really dont mind buying multiple ingredients, I have glycol already, but still seems like I wont be able to get all ingredients from the local.
     
  10. callan

    callan Member

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    Just be a little careful - as there seemed to be some outgassing from the liquid - so a sealed bag may inflate and burst!

    Callan
     
  11. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    I mentioned that one in my first post, I had a little look into it but didn't go any further after I read about the Oxy bleach method. You can pick that particular peroxide gel online for fairly cheap, but it's from the UK so your looking at a 1-2 week wait to receive it.

    http://compare.ebay.com.au/like/300...ItemTypes&cbt=y&_lwgsi=y&item_id=300463383504

    I doubt you'll find something similar in a supermarket here, your probably best going to a hairdresser or even one of the larger chemists which stock hair products as well.

    While I've had limited success with the Oxy bleach method (largely I think due to a lack of decent sunlight) I still think it's the best method. It's cheap, it's safer, it's easier to use and you can go to just about any shop and buy it.

    But on the topic of gels, Napisan has a gel called "Vanish Napisan Oxi Action". I wonder what it is like?

    http://www.vanishstains.com.au/prod...i-action/vanish-napisan-oxi-action-inwash-gel

    According to this document I found it's composition consists of "<10% Hydrogen Peroxide". Could be a good alternative, easy to apply, easy to find gel?

    http://www.rb-msds.com.au/uploadedF...h) OxiAction Intelligence Gel-v4-D0218015.pdf

    Good to know. :thumbup: I was thinking along the lines of maybe a clear plastic container and punching tiny holes to allow any air to escape? Not sure just yet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  12. HyRax1

    HyRax1 ¡Viva la Resolutión!

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    Going to make some Retr0bright myself for the first time this weekend to treat my Amiga's and C64's.

    I acquired some 35% Hydrogen Peroxide which is obviously too strong so I'll need to dilute it by about 50%.

    I'll be using the UV light method rather than the sun since they're cheap to buy.

    The laundry additive will be Vanish Oxy Action with Napisan (powder).

    Should be a fun weekend! :)
     
  13. callan

    callan Member

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    Good luck!. How did you score the peroxide, if I may ask?

    Callan
     
  14. HyRax1

    HyRax1 ¡Viva la Resolutión!

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    I paid a visit to Newton's Pharmacy on York St (Sydney) opposite the QVB.

    EDIT: Nov 2013 - a better place I found is this one who sell creme 12% peroxide in one litre bottles for about $3-7 each, making the job easier since it's already in a creme form for you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  15. datfreak

    datfreak Member

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    After doing this process, would using a silicon type spray (polydimethylsiloxane / Armorall) give a thin coating that could slow down future oxidation?
    Or would this make the plastic too glossy?
     
  16. HyRax1

    HyRax1 ¡Viva la Resolutión!

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    From what I've seen, adding a protective coating tends to add a shade of brown to it again. I wouldn't do it.

    All you have to do is look after the plastic in future, ie: don't store it without it being bagged or boxed away from light.

    My Amiga 1200 only has yellowing on one side of it - the side that was coincidentally sticking out of the box it was stored in, exposed to light. Its yellowing is also mild as it's always been stored indoors - never in the garage, so I'm satisfied that I'd only have to Retrobright it once every 20 or so years which isn't asking much.

    EDIT: That reminds me - I saw a thread on the English Amiga Board or Amibay (can't remember) of a German bloke wanting to sell his entire collection of Amiga gear including disks and magazines. He had painstakingly stored all of them in sealed bags in tens of banana boxes. All his Amiga's and monitors were in pristine condition - not a shred of yellow on them, and they were not Retrobrighted at all, simply because they were stored away from light.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
  17. qwertylesh

    qwertylesh Member

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    Would UV have caused the bromine surface consolidation in the first place though?

    Wouldn't it just not reoccur after a while since the treatment to the plastic is gradually bleached completely from it? that was my presumption.

    I bought my ingredients btw, I got hair bleach (peroxide @ 10%) and oxy action. Im waiting on some VG to make a gel, then on a good clear morning, I'll give it a go :D
     
  18. HyRax1

    HyRax1 ¡Viva la Resolutión!

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    I used Coles corn flour to make the gel side of it - worked a treat - added a small amount into the peroxide (undiluted) and mixed it up - gelled up pretty quickly through stirring without needing to heat it up, then added the mixed warm water with dissolved Oxy-Action powder to it and stirred it in which liqufied the lot again so I had to add a touch more cornflour to re-gel it.

    And just get a desk lamp and a party blacklight globe from Bunnings - better than trying to rely on the weather to be right.
     
  19. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    I thought I should let you guys know I tried the Oxy Gel I mentioned in my last post and the results were not bad considering the intermittent sunlight on Sunday. I used the Sard Wonder OxyPlus Gel which contains 59g/L of Hydrogen Peroxide (it comes in a 1 litre bottle) and the same Woolworths Boost I've used previously which has 35% Sodium Percarbonate.

    To keep it as a gel consistancy I found I had to use the entire 1 litre of the Sard Wonder Gel for one heaped cap of Woolworths Boost. Anything less and the powder made the gel very watery.

    I tried the keys again and I left them out in the sun for about 4 hours and the liquid got nice and warm and foamed up just like I've heard the regular retrobright mixture does. I could see a definite whitening of the keys but again the intermittent sun and not being about to direct constant UV light over the entire surface (especially something as small as keyboard keys) meant it wasn't an even bleaching. But it was much better than other attempts with the powder alone.

    I think I'm onto something with this mix but I can definitely say a UV lamp is a must if you want great results. :thumbup:
     
  20. qwertylesh

    qwertylesh Member

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    nice sunny day in melbourne, doing all my plastics today :D
    I havent gone to get a uv lamp, I intend to eventually though.

    Will take before and after pics :D

    --

    Here they are! Trolly sun hid himself away just as soon as I began applying the Gel ಠ_ಠ
    Still got some UV exposure, and the other upside is I have proven my mixture wont Bloom or damage my plastic badly :D
    The NES came up fantastic, the old timey Sharp clock on the other hand needs a really good second application.
    =
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013

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