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Experiment: Ant Keeping Materials Compatibility with Common Solvents (H2O, H2O2, NaClO)


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#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 21 2016 - 2:03 AM

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I decided to do a little experiment to see exactly what happens to different common ant keeping materials when soaked in water, bleach, and hydrogen peroxide. I soak most of my stuff in bleach-water, and I have seen what it does to some materials, and seen what it seemed to do to others, but now I'm going to find out for sure.

 

The main reason for this experiment is to see what happens to AAC and Hydrostone when soaked in these three different liquids. I know water slowly dissolves gypsum cements and some of the materials that make up AAC. It seems like soaking them in bleach-water dissolves them even faster. Some have suggested using hydrogen peroxide instead, so I decided to do this little experiment to see exactly how much and how fast each of these liquids dissolve AAC and Hydrostone. I cut the pieces of Hydrostone and AAC to exact sizes in weight so I can actually measure how much has dissolved.

 

I also decided to test out a few other materials including some plastics and sponges while I'm at it. I have noticed that my polystyrene containers seem to get weaker and more brittle when soaked in bleach-water for a period of time, but I'm not completely sure. Obviously I'm not testing the other materials out in water, because we already know water has no real affect on them.

 

AAC (Ytong) (2.9 g)

 

med_gallery_2_685_279097.jpg

 

 

Hydrostone (3.6 g)

 

med_gallery_2_685_825295.jpg

 

 

Polystyrene

 

med_gallery_2_685_724219.jpg

 

 

Acrylic

 

med_gallery_2_685_1003194.jpg

 

 

PLA and Kevlar

 

med_gallery_2_685_43054.jpg

 

 

Cellulose Sponge

 

med_gallery_2_685_241936.jpg

 

 

PVA Sponge

 

med_gallery_2_685_181212.jpg

 

 

The front two beakers contain the AAC and Hydrostone, and the back one has all the rest of the materials. Obviously as some of these materials dissolve, it is going to change the chemical makeup of these liquids slightly, so this is nowhere near precise. It's good enough to give us a basic idea of the affect they have though. The AAC and Hydrostone I did kept separate to keep that part of the experiment a little more controlled. I covered all the beakers with duct tape to keep the liquids from evaporating, and I'm keeping the whole experiment under a box to keep out any light.

 

med_gallery_2_685_719044.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_685_362383.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_685_812268.jpg


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#2 Offline FSTP - Posted December 21 2016 - 2:09 AM

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Very cool idea! This should be useful. But geese be careful with the H2o2 ! 


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#3 Offline dermy - Posted December 21 2016 - 2:15 AM

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35% Hydrogen Peroxide :o . Isn't that the stuff that will like fry your hair [I don't remember it's either it fries your hair or it bleaches it or both]. I wonder what will happen to the more Solid things like the Ytong and Hydrostone.....



#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 21 2016 - 2:20 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Within hours the cellulose sponge was completely dissolved in the bleach. No surprise there. I already noticed those sponges would end up like colored toilet paper when I left them in the bleach-water for a day. I also have already learned that kevlar breaks down in bleach too, so I had to stop soaking my kevlar liquid feeders in it.


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#5 Offline drtrmiller - Posted December 21 2016 - 4:47 AM

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Improved title:

Antkeeping Materials Compatibility with Common Solvents (H2O, H2O2, NaClO)
 
byFormica® is the manufacturer of the iconic nectar feeders and Sunburst Ant Nectar.
byFormica ant products always deliver consistent performance, convenience,
and reliability, making them among the most beloved ant foods and kit enjoyed by
ant keeping enthusiasts worldwide. For more information, visit www.byFormica.com.

#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 21 2016 - 6:57 AM

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The bleach is nowhere near pure as the molecular formula suggests, but I guess it's still better than my non-descriptive title.



#7 Offline sgheaton - Posted December 21 2016 - 7:12 AM

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Yay science. And doing it in a nice fashion a swell. Proud.


"I'm the search bar! Type questions into me and I'll search within the forums for an answer!"


#8 Offline T.C. - Posted December 21 2016 - 7:56 AM

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Nice experiment, I was actually wondering how some of these nesting materials would handle certain chemicals. You should pin this, it will come in handy, in the future. Or don't we have a "List of handy Links."  ?



#9 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 23 2016 - 2:24 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

After three days in the bleach...

 

The Hydrostone is completely disintegrating.

 

med_gallery_2_685_319212.jpg

 

 

The AAC is hardly affected at all. There's just a tiny layer of particles on the bottom of the beaker.

 

med_gallery_2_685_854915.jpg

 

 

The cellulose sponge is completely gone, hardly even leaving an orange tint to the bleach. The PVA sponge is slowly dissolving, looking almost like it's melting.

 

med_gallery_2_685_139369.jpg

 

 

After three days in the hydrogen peroxide...

 

The Hydrostone is hardly affected, with nothing but a thin layer of particles on the bottom of the beaker.

 

med_gallery_2_685_744750.jpg

 

 

The AAC is hardly affected either, also with just a thin layer of particles on the bottom of the beaker.

 

med_gallery_2_685_662123.jpg

 

 

The cellulose sponge hasn't changed much at all, but the PVA sponge is swelling up and looking almost like foam.

 

med_gallery_2_685_72800.jpg

 

 

The AAC and Hydrostone in the water show no visible changes.



#10 Offline FSTP - Posted December 23 2016 - 4:10 AM

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Some interesting reactions. After talking to some people I thought the hydro-stone would be complete liquid in all but the water. Good to see it kind of holding up, especially considering any normal cleaning application would not see these materials in contact with any of these solvents for this prolonged period of time.



#11 Offline benjiwuf - Posted December 23 2016 - 4:20 AM

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I'm also curious about what the ending concentrations are. Interesting reactions overall though.

#12 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 27 2016 - 8:16 PM

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The bleach made the tape no longer stick, so some of the beakers of bleach turned to salt water. I replenished all the solvents and put them in mason jars instead.



#13 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 28 2017 - 3:10 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

It's been two months now, so I think it's time for the results of this experiment. They're pretty interesting, and some of my suspicions were confirmed.

 

 

After two months in the bleach...

 

AAC (Ytong) (2.9 g): 2.9 g remaining (0% dissolved).

 

Hydrostone (3.6 g): 2.3 g remaining (36% dissolved).

 

Polystyrene: A little more brittle than usual.

 

Acrylic: A little more brittle than usual.

 

PLA: No noticeable difference.

 

Kevlar: Almost completely gone. Tiny remnants.

 

Cellulose Sponge: Gone. Dissolved.

 

PVA Sponge: Gone. Dissolved.

 

 

After two months in the hydrogen peroxide...

 

AAC (Ytong) (2.9 g): 2.8 g remaining (4% dissolved).

 

Hydrostone (3.6 g): 3.3 g remaining (8% dissolved).

 

Polystyrene: A little more brittle than usual.

 

Acrylic: A little more brittle than usual.

 

PLA: No noticeable difference.

 

Kevlar: No noticeable difference.

 

Cellulose Sponge: Gone. Dissolved.

 

PVA Sponge: Mostly gone. Looks melted.

 

 

After two months in the water...

 

AAC (Ytong) (2.9 g): 2.9 g remaining (0% dissolved).

 

Hydrostone (3.6 g): 3.3 g remaining (8% dissolved).

 

 

Hydrostone after soaking in bleach for two months.

 

med_gallery_2_685_630949.jpg

 

 

PVA sponge after soaking in hydrogen peroxide for two months.

 

med_gallery_2_685_1152894.jpg

 

 

Kevlar strings after soaking in hydrogen peroxide for two months.

 

med_gallery_2_685_354506.jpg

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Ytong is hardly effected by either of these fluids.

Hydrostone breaks down and dissolves a little bit in hydrogen peroxide and water, and very badly in bleach.

Plastic seems to get a little more brittle after soaking in hydrogen peroxide and bleach.

Kevlar breaks down and dissolves very badly in bleach, and is not effected at all my hydrogen peroxide.

Sponges of both types break down and dissolve very badly in hydrogen peroxide and bleach.

 

 

No more guessing; now we know for sure. :D


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#14 Offline Leo - Posted February 28 2017 - 4:01 AM

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nice experiments



#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 14 2018 - 3:29 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

It was suggested that I prove that Hydrostone actually dissolves, and doesn't just erode in water. After coming back here, I remembered that that was actually part of this experiment, and was proven to be true. Even still, since I have a giant brick of Hydrostone, I figured I would do a much larger experiment to test just that.

 

Here I have a 3270 g brick of Hydrostone.

 

med_gallery_2_685_236689.jpg

 

 

I will keep it in this tub of water for a few months, and then weigh it again once completely dried out. We'll then see exactly how much dissolves.

 

med_gallery_2_685_768124.jpg


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#16 Offline dermy - Posted February 14 2018 - 4:04 AM

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Where will you place the bucket? Are you gonna just leave it on the floor in the middle of the way for you to trip over?

 

Spoiler


#17 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 14 2018 - 5:51 AM

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Where will you place the bucket? Are you gonna just leave it on the floor in the middle of the way for you to trip over?

 

Spoiler

 

Most likely. :lol:


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#18 Offline noebl1 - Posted February 18 2018 - 6:54 AM

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@dspdrew I am a believer in hydrostone dissolving.  Here's from a nest with less than 1 year of well water going thru it from a sponge underneath:

 

 

EDIT:  Also crystals in random places all over the 3D printing nest area far away from the hydrostone; assuming some sort of wicking action.

ajvXX5B.jpg


Edited by noebl1, February 18 2018 - 6:56 AM.


#19 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 18 2018 - 7:47 AM

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Yup. Wherever the water is transferred, you will see the missing Hydrostone. Usually the other material will leave an imprint like in your picture.



#20 Offline Kevin - Posted February 18 2018 - 8:06 AM

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EDIT:  Also crystals in random places all over the 3D printing nest area far away from the hydrostone; assuming some sort of wicking action.

 

I have witnessed these crystalline structures on several prints before that have been grout-coated. White and very brittle, forms in clusters and turns powdery if you rub it between your fingers. I don't remember if someone has had an explanation for that before, but it would be interesting to find out what causes the crystals to form. 


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