Material Testing; Processing
~50 Styrene containers were gathered from colleagues, faculty, and friends in varying conditions. Each was washed twice with soap and water for sanitation purposes, then cut to isolate strips, the curved edges, and the flat top and bottom. Prototypes of weaving concepts were made, which was helpful to identify the worst strategy of packing insulation. Moving forward, this helpful exercise showed that the best way to pack in insulative material would either be carefully fitting in squares/a consistent shape that locks in tightly together, or simply shredding and brute-forcing them together tightly. Below are two examples of the weaving concepts tested. The issue with weaving is the extreme spatial inefficiency, and the skilled labor necessary to construct such a shape in the first place (in addition to the brittleness of the material causing pieces to crack continuously.)
Moving forward with the construction of panels, it was decided to test two different scales of processed styrene. Using mandolin, in place of a shredder, to produce 1/6ft^3 of shredded styrene to fill our testing slab made of a fine mesh sewn closed. This was a relatively fast process that could be easily automated in an industrial setting.
In addition to the shredded styrene, the styrene was processed into panels as the clamshells allowed. This produced a significant amount of waste due to the edges of the containers (which was used to make the aforementioned shredded panel.) The panels were then layered in a chicken wire testing panel, overlapping to prevent major air gaps. Processing these in this way could be automated, but would require some agility and intelligence in the machine, as there are different sizes and styles of clamshells.
Some fitting errors were found in the initial construction of the box. These errors were believed to have occurred in the digital modeling; as intersections of materials are difficult to spot in Rhino 6. A rough-in was made by removing material, as each piece ended up being too big. Additionally, from the recommendation of critics, investigations were made into the different ways to hold the material in place either before or instead of insertion to the S.I.P. to maximize efficiency in the testing process, and reinforce the argument for styrene as an insulation material,
Control Strategy - The DHT11 sensor measures temperature (and humidity) in the measuring and heating chamber. Both arduino are housed in custom 3d-printed housings (models at the end of this page.) The heat source (heat lamp) is affixed in another custom housing to minimize thermal bridging where possible. The power source for the heatlamp will be an adjacent power strip, and the laptop will power the two arduino. The computer will be running script to output data into the serial monitor, which after testing will be put into an excel spreadsheet using the collumn separator tool, and parced into graphs for analysis.
Note: Used Male-Female Wires instead of using Male Wires with Breadboard