Page 1

VIRGO-PLASTIC EXPLORING MATERIALITY & OPTIMIZATION OF FORM ZINA ALKHANI

[1]


[2]


VIRGO-PLASTIC EXPLORING MATERIALITY & OPTIMIZATION OF FORM AUTHOR : ZINA ALKHANI SUPERVISOR : MARCOS CRUZ STUDIO : C-BIOM.A MASTER IN ADVANCED ARCHITECTURE [16-18] BARCELONA, SPAIN SEPTEMBER, 2018 THESIS PRESENTED TO OBTAIN THE QUALIFICATION OFMASTER DEGREE FROM THE INSTITUTE OF ADAVANED ARCHITECTURE OF CATALUNYA

[3]


[4]


abstract The synthetic plastics we know today have been around for almost a century. They have been used for diverse applications of different scales due to their ease of manufacture, their capability of being molded, extruded, cast or drawn into filaments. But being from a non-renewable source, the rise in demand has lead to feedstock shortages and an increase in the price of petrochemicals. The uncertainty of sustainability and the environmental concerns of common plastics has driven manufacturers towards using ecological renewable resources. Virgo-plastic is an ecological material produced from natural polymers and binders that have an annual regeneration of biomass to achieve a potential material that can be optimized in material efficiency, form and structure, where the material properties are the design generators. Undertaking experiments of different compositions of polymer versus binder, as well as the addition of additives to enhance specific properties of the material, such as strength, flexibility and reaction with water and heat exposure. The insight into materiality and formation, is through parameters such as curvature, viscosity and shrinkage, that will in turn drive the form finding process and the transformation of this material into desired shapes through additive manufacturing and casting of the material. Can bioplastics be created without the use of chemically modified ingredients? Without any refinement? Nature can get away with using weak materials through anisotropy of material, geometry and structure. Through material-based computation, the same can be achieved when the geometry is informed by the material behavior and properties to become a material that can be applied primarily on an interior scale, such as wall tiles and furniture and eventually on an architectural scale, such as a primary or secondary skin of a space. [5]


[6]


KEYWORDS Ecological biomaterial Additive Manufacture Optimization Bioplastic viscosity tapioca anisotropy

[7]


[8]

PROJECT BY: ARIEL VALENZUELA, INES PEDRAS, JIHAN SHRAIBATI, MELISSA SHERROD, MOHAMMAD AKRAM KHAN, ZINA ALKHANI


PREFACE I have previously taken part in an intruductory studio; Anthropocene Landscapes, at IAAC with Claudia Pasquero and Carmello Zappulla. The studio’s mission was to investigate the city environment from an essentially non-anthropocentric point of view, as we believe that in a global world it is impossible to draw neat boundaries between nature and artifice, landscape and city, and ultimately between the biosphere and the urbansphere. I took part in a group project about bioplastics, which included the exploration of different recipes, integrating organic waste as a natural coloring, and to discover what that could add to the properties of the bioplastic itself. The project aimed to reconnect human-made activity with the natural world. Plastic is one of the world’s most versatile materials and has become an integral part of human consumption. However, conventional plastics typically made from non-renewable resources pose many environmental concerns. Bioplastic material behavior provides many aesthetic and structural possibilities, and is examined through experiments of varying parameters and reproduction. Our tests consist of cultivating differing pigmentations, drying techniques, and bubbling inductions to observe the best resulting parameters of color and physical consistency. A vital component of the project is in the production, which calls for social participation. By using common waste items, such as tea, wine, fruits, and vegetables, the community is given an opportunity to engage ecologically while simultaneously asserting the importance of a cohesive existence with nature. After taking part in that project, I still had much more curiosity to what else can be done with different bioplastics from different sources, undergoing different fabrication strategies thus my thesis research is an exploration of different compositions of polymer versus binder to achieve a potential material that can be optimized in material efficiency, form and structure. [9]


[10]


[11]


Acknowledgments I am exceptionally thankful for having Marcos Cruz as my supervisor, whom I have learned from immensely, to look at matters from alternate perspectives. I would also like to thank Maite Bravo and Mathilde Marengo for their theoretical support and advice, as well as Kunaljit S.Chadha, Sujal K.Surech and Sheikh Rizvi Riaz for their robotic and fabrication support. I am eternally grateful for my colleagues in this studio, who have been very helpful along the way.

[12]

`


[13]


[14]


table of contents Abstract .............................................. 7 Keywords ............................................ 9 Preface ................................................ 10 Acknowledgments ............................... 14 Introduction Plastics ............................................... 16 Plastics Timeline ................................. 20 Color and Design ................................. 22 State of the Art ................................... 28 Elements of Bioplastic......................... 32 Research Map ..................................... 34 Materials & Methods Chia ..................................................... 36 Tapioca ............................................... 48 Form Exploration.................................. 58 Curvature Geometry............................ 62 Fabrication strategies ......................... 72 Anisotropy .......................................... 74 Anchor Studies ................................... 78 3d Grid Deformation ........................... 82 Spring Effect ....................................... 84 Table / Robotic Fabrication ................. 92 Conclusion........................................... 108 Bibliography......................................... 111

[15]


[16]


[INTRODUCTION]

PLASTIC IS A MATERIAL CONSISTING OF ANY OF A WIDE RANGE OF SYNTHETIC OR SEMI-SYNTHETIC ORGANIC COMPOUNDS THAT ARE MALLEABLE AND SO CAN BE MOLDED INTO SOLID OBJECTS.

//MOLDABLE //DURABLE //LIGHTWEIGHT //HEAT RESISTANT //WATER RESISTANT //LOW COST //COLOR //TRANSLUCENCY

The synthetic plastics we know today have been around for almost a century, they have been used for different applications of different scales due to their ease of manufacture, their capability of being molded, extruded, cast or drawn into filaments. They are low-cost, lightweight, durable, and generally resistant to water and erosion, and can be produced in diverse colors and translucencies, which is what made them gain popularity. They are a major part of our daily lives, a key enabler for sectors such as packaging, construction, transportation, healthcare, electronics and more. However they are considerable contributors to global climate change. Being from a non-renewable source, the rise in demand has lead to feedstock shortages and an increase in the price of petrochemicals. One of the principal advantages of plastics is that they are durable, but the greatest percentage of plastics produced are for temporary applications, it is consumed so quicly, yet it is so permanent, resisting natural biodegradation processes, with most plastics having a life span of more than hundreds of years.

“ While delivering many benefits, the current plastics economy has drawbacks that are becoming more apparent by the day. After a short first-use cycle,95% of plastic packaging material value, or USD 80–120 billion annually, is lost to the economy. A staggering 32% of plastic packaging escapes collection systems, generating significant economic costs by reducing the productivity of vital natural systems such as the ocean and clogging urban infrastructure. The cost of such after-use externalities for plastic packaging, plus the cost associated with greenhouse gas emissions from its production, has been estimated conservatively by UNEP at USD 40 billion, exceeding the plastic packaging industry’s profit pool.” [1] Bioplastics are not a new phenomena, before the 1900’s plastics were produced from natural resources. The uncertainty of sustainability and the environmental concerns of common plastics contaminating the world, has driven manufacturers towards finding ecological renewable resources. EVOLUTION OF PLASTIC

NATURAL PLASTIC MATERIAL

CHEMICALLY MODIFIED NATURAL MATERIALS

COMPLETE SYNTHETIC MOLECULES

//CHEWING GUM //SHELLAC

//NATURAL RUBBER //NITROCELLULOSE //COLLAGEN //GALALITE

//BAKELITE //EPOXY //PVC

[17]


[PLASTICS TIMELINE]

History of plastics , showing an application timeline from the 1900s to present day. ( Based on data collected from the British Plastic Federation)

[18]

EARLY SYNTHETICS, CASEIN, BAKELITE, UREAS

PLASTICS AS AN INDUSTRY

PLASTICS IN WAR

1900-1929

1930-1939

1940-1949


TEXTILES, FASHION, TOYS, DOMESTIC USES

COLOUR AND DESIGN

HIGH PERFORMANCE PLASTICS

NANO TECHNOLGY, AIRBUS A380, IPOD

1950-1959

1960-1979

1980-1999

2000-2010 [19]


[COLOR AND DESIGN ]

COLOUR AND DESIGN

1960-1979 HAUS-RUCKER-CO VERNER PANTON

[20]


In the age of Verner Panton there was a great explosion of use

or breaking down organic matter into nutrients that can be

of plastics in design, bringing forward creativity of soft,

utilised by other organisms. Using a renewable source from

lightweight, tactile architecture in different gradients of color

nature , that returns to nature, is the future of the materials that

and opacity. Plastics were seen as the magnificent solution in

will be surrounding us, leaving the permanent, and approaching

design ingenuity, but unfortunately this excitement wore off.

the temporary that is yet to be renewed.“Using the creative

Verner Panton, is considered one of Denmark’s most influential

potential of earthly matter, evolution has worked out methods

20th-century furniture and interior designers. During his career,

for survival and development that greatly exceed the brief

he created innovative and futuristic designs in a variety of

experience of mankind. These methods are based on smooth

materials, especially plastics, and in vibrant and exotic colors.

processes and are the opposite of our ‘permanent’

His style was very “1960s” but regained popularity at the end of

constructions.” [2]

the 20th century; as of 2004, Panton’s most well-known

Virgo-plastic is an ecological material exploring combination of

furniture models are still in production.

natural polymers and binders that have an annual regeneration

How can plastics be redeemed in design? The reincarnation of

of biomass to achieve a potential material that can be optimized

plastics as bioplastics, the revival of an imposing source of

in material efficiency, form and structure. Can bioplastics be

creativity and possibilities. What would change in terms of

created without the use of chemically modified ingredients?

design in architecture? What are the challenges in the material

Without any refinement? Undertaking experiments of different

properties? When is it superior to normal plastics and when is it

compositions of polymer versus binder, as well as the addition

inferior? If it is structurally, an incapable material and degrades,

of additives to enhance specific properties of the material. The

how can it be manipulated to achieve innovative designs and

insight into materiality and formation, is through parameters

applications?

such as curvature, viscosity and shrinkage, that will in turn drive

Biodegradation is part of the earth’s natural life cycle, the

the form finding process and the transformation of this material

breaking down of organic materials by biological means,

into desired shapes through additive manufacturing and casting

mainly by microorganisms, it is nature’s way of recycling waste

of the material.

[21]


“Nature makes materials, and so do we. But Nature’s materials are very different from ours. “ [3] Nature can get away with using weak materials through anisotropy; directional dependency, of the material, geometry and structure. Through material-based computation, the same can be achieved when the geometry is informed by the material behavior and properties. In this research, Virgo-plastic aims to become an optimized, organic, biodegradable material that can be a pplied primarily on an interior scale, such as wall tiles and furniture and eventually on an architectural scale, such as a primary or secondary skin of a temporary space. As well as, to open up doors for further research on ecological materials, their fabrication methods and applications. “Three-dimensional (3D) printing is becoming an increasingly common technique to fabricate scaffolds and devices for tissue engineering applications. This is due to the potential of 3D printing to provide patient-specific designs, high structural complexity, rapid on-demand fabrication at a low-cost. One of the major bottlenecks that limits the widespread acceptance of 3D printing in biomanufacturing is the lack of diversity in “biomaterial inks”. Printability of a biomaterial is determined by the printing technique. Although a wide range of biomaterial inks including polymers, ceramics, hydrogels and composites have been developed, the field is still struggling with processing of these materials into self-supporting devices with tunable mechanics, degradation, and bioactivity. “ [11] Additive manufacture of virgo-plastic, is the final aim of this thesis, bringing forward solutions to design problems when it comes to using biomaterials in interior and architectural applications.

[22]


[23]


[END OF THE PLASTICS ERA]

[24]

[OCEAN PLASTIC - PARLEY]


“EVERY PIECE OF PLASTIC EVER MADE IS STILL WITH US, IN DIFFERENT FORMS, YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT THIS IS A SUPER STAR FAILURE, WE MADE IT, WE CREATED THIS CELEBRITY OF DOWNFALL, PLASTIC IS A PROBLEM” CYRILL GUTSCH. “[PLASTIC] IS A DESIGN FAILURE—JUST ALIEN MATTER THAT SHOULDN’T BE ON THIS PLANET.”

[25]


[BIOPLASTIC - STATE OF THE ART]

[26]


MIT Media Lab - 3D printed Chitosan based Biomaterial The Water-based Digital Fabrication Platform offers a new perspective on water-based manufacturing combining an age-old crustacean-derived material with robotic fabrication and synthetic biology to form constructs that utilize graded material properties for hydration-guided self-assembly. Piel Vivo - IAAC Programming material intelligence using food waste deposition to trigger automatic three- dimensional formation of material that is printed using six-axis robotic extrusion the future of food waste. In this system, gelatin-based bioplastic is supplemented with granular organic matter from food waste such as ground coffee and orange peel. [27]


Zbigniew Oksiuta - Spatium Gelatum Involved in creating an innovative form of art called bio art or biotech art which lies somewhere between art and biology and makes use of the latest developments in biotechnology. “Though we continue to build tools, machines and houses that remain as dead objects, for the last half a century we have begun to better understand the biological processes of life: the flow of matter, energy and information. This wisdom will one day allow us to create objects, machines or architectural structures not only from dead materials such as metal, concrete or plastic, but also through growing them in biological ways. Soon we will be able to create a new ‘replicator’ that will open the way for a new evolution – a hybrid between nature and culture occurring at speeds previously unheard of.” Igor Siddiqui - Protoplastic Protoplastic stages simultaneous encounters between high and low technologies, renewable and non-renewable resources, as well as between permanence and disposability. The goal was not to invent a new material; rather, it was to take something that already exists in the world and modify it enough to be able to figure out the limits of its aesthetic behavior. Bioplastics have many of the same properties as synthetic plastics: fluidity and malleable transparency, for instance. They also have a similar look to their often-toxic predecessors. [28]


ITKE - Arboskin The spiky modules used to build this curving pavilion in Stuttgart, Germany, are made from a bioplastic containing over 90 percent renewable materials, it is called Arboblend and is produced by German firm, Tecnaro, by combining different biopolymers such as lignin, a by-product of the wood pulping process, with natural reinforcing fibres.

Marilu Valente - Bioplastic Morphologies Explores bio-based materials as an alternative to the commonly used construction materials. Experiments of elongating the viscous material, reveal an interesting form configuration that has inherent structural properties. The rules defining the the material configuration are coded into a script to digitally replicate the shape. The structural performance of the shape opens the opportunity for many applications. Large Scale 3D Printing, design is inspired by the manipulation of plastic material. The self-organisation of the material is what made the design look the way it does. Following the concept of “Form follows the material�. [29]


[ELEMENTS OF BIOPLASTIC]

BIOPPLYMER

PLASTICIZER

ADDITIVES

//STRENGTH, THE BACKBONE OF THE PLASTIC

//BINDER , FLEXIBILY AND STRENGTH

//ADDING QUALITIES OR ENHANCING PROPERTIES

ELEMENTS OF BIOPLASTIC

//STARCH //GELATIN //AGAR //CASEIN

//GLYCERINE //SORBITOL

//VINEGAR //FIBRES

“CAN BIOPLASTICS BE CREATED WITHOUT THE USE OF CHEMICALLY MODIFIED INGREDIENTS?”

[30]


A PLASTIC MATERIAL IS DEFINED AS A BIOPLASTIC IF IT IS EITHER BIOBASED, BIODEGRADABLE, OR FEATURES BOTH PROPERTIES.

//BIOPOLYMER

+

//PLASTICIZER

+

//ADDITIVES

This thesis is multi-layered, the primary layer is the material and its composition, exploring the combination of natural polymers and binders that are from a renewable source, through which material properties and behavior become the design parameters generating the secondary layer which is form finding, while the tertiary layer is finding the fabrication process that is best suitable for this material and its final application. Part of the challenge of this research was to let go of the most widely used ingredients in existing bioplastics or bioplastic researches such as gelatin, glycerine and sorbitol, to experiment with other natural sources and explore the possibilities these sources might give birth to. Therefore my focus was on experimenting with starch-based polymers such as corn starch and tapioca starch with different natural binders

such as chia mucilage, arabic gum, honey and sugar. The fact that these materials are edible, might receive criticism, because using what is edible as a material can be seen as a waste. Plant, animal, and mineral matter have dependably been consolidated into man-made developments, yet infrequently do we understand these immediate associations rarer still do we view architecture to be edible. The advantages of synthetic polymers are obvious, including predictable properties and uniform production, therefore better control on the final product, nevertheless, they are quite expensive. While natural polymers that are inherently biodegradable can be promising candidates to meet different requirements. Nonetheless they are unpredictable and at this stage suite customized production which in turn is expensive. Working with materials that have an unforeseeable outcome require a lot of analysis on the way the material behaves, and how to take advantage of that behavior or how to compliment it. Starch is becoming a promising candidate for developing sustainable materials. It is regenerated from carbon dioxide and water by photosynthesis in plants. Owing to its complete biodegradability, low cost and renewability.

[31]


[RESEARCH MAP]

//RESEARCH PROBLEM -ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT (PLASTIC CONTAMINATION) - NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES OF COMMON PLASTICS

//BIOPLASTIC

//ELEMENTS OF BIOPLASTIC

A PLASTIC MATERIAL IS DEFINED AS A BIOPLASTIC IFIT IS EITHER BIOBASED, BIODEGRADABLE, OR FEATURES BOTH PROPERTIES.

THE REFINEMENT OF ELEMENTS,FROM BEING COMPLETELY ORGANIC,THEREFORE AFFECTING ITS NATURE OF BIODEGRADIBILITY

GELATIN

POLYMER GLYCERINE SORBITOL

BINDER

CORN STARCH TAPIOCA

CHIA MUCILAGE ARABIC GUM HONEY SUGAR VINEGAR

ADDITIVES

[32]


//STRENGTH-FLEXIBILITY TESTS POLYMER VS BINDER

EXTRUSION

//SYRINGE TESTS

//MATERIAL GRADIENT //CURVATURE BASED GEOMETRY

APPLICATION

GEOMETRY

CASTING

//MATERIAL BEHAVIOR TESTS

//WALL TILES //TABLE

ADDITIVE MANUFACTURE ON MOLD

MATERIAL VISCOSITY

//ANCHOR STUDIES CONTROLLING MATERIAL

[33]


[CHIA]

//SALVIA HISPANICA, COMMONLY KNOWN AS CHIA, A SPECIES OF FLOWERING PLANT IN THE MINT FAMILY, LAMIACEAE.

[34]


[35]


[CHIA MUCILAGE]

[36]

Glycerol and Sorbitol are both used in the food industry, as well as, in medical, pharmaceutical and personal care applications. Being humectant, meaning that they are hygroscopic substances used to keep things moist. As plasticisers, they interact with the biopolymer to make the bioplastic flexible and strong. rather than hard and brittle. “Salvia hispanica L. is an oilseed commonly known as chia. It was one of the main crops of the pre-columbian cultures, being exceeded just by the corn and beans. The whole and ground chia seed was used as food, but moreover through pressing, oil was obtained, which was subsequently used as base for face and body paintings. The Aztecs received the chia seed as an annual tribute from the people under their domain and was

The extraction of mucilage is a process of extended immersion, stirring, drying and filtering. The technique of extraction seemed to be a simple one, but it wasn’t, it was very hard to extract. The mucilage creates a very strong bond creating a linkage between the seeds, that is difficult to separate. After many failed attempts to filter the mucilage, by sifting, the first experiments were done with the chia seeds and their mucilage, without separation, mixed with cornstarch. The naturally dried samples were very weak, similar to a biscuit or a cracker, the baked sample was stronger, but it was hard to the extent that it is brittle. What happens is that when the seeds dry out, the water that was previously absorbed evaporates, so the

given to the gods as an offer in religious ceremonies.”[4] When chia seeds are placed in water, the seeds excrete a mucilage that surrounds the seeds, this viscous substance creates a strong bond with neighboring seeds. Chia mucilage research has been taking place for its potential application in food and pharmaceutical industries, to take advantage of its humectant properties and nutritious quality. After dispersing chia seeds in water, and analysing it viscous quality, it was seen as a potential binder for Virgo-plastic.

viscous material the was the from the oil seed, excreted when in contact with water, is counteracted by the level of dryness in the seeds. Since having the seeds in with the mucilage wasn’t effective, the trial of grinding the seeds before placing in water took place, the result is an impressive viscous mixture, but yet again, the filtering process wasn’t a success, even when ground, the seeds still have a strong bond, so the next series of experiments was with the viscous mixture including the ground seeds. But those as well did not have successful results.


// WET STATE

// NATURALLY DRIED

// BAKED

[37]


[MATERIAL EXPERIMENTS]

// // // //

[38]

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR

// // // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR 10G VINEGAR


// // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR

// // // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR 10G VINEGAR

[39]


[MATERIAL EXPERIMENTS] CHANGING FACTOR : CORN STARCH

[40]

// 100ML WATER // 10G CHIA MUCUS // 10G CORN STARCH

// 100ML WATER // 10G CHIA MUCUS // 20G CORN STARCH

// 100ML WATER // 10G CHIA MUCUS // 30G CORN STARCH

// // // //

// // // //

// // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 10G CORN STARCH 10G VINEGAR

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G VINEGAR

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 30G CORN STARCH 10G VINEGAR


CHANGING FACTOR : CHIA MUCUS

// 100ML WATER // 10G CHIA MUCUS // 20G CORN STARCH

// // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G VINEGAR

// 100ML WATER // 20G CHIA MUCUS // 20G CORN STARCH

// 100ML WATER // 30G CHIA MUCUS // 20G CORN STARCH

// // // //

// // // //

100ML WATER 20G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G VINEGAR

100ML WATER 30G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G VINEGAR

[41]


[MATERIAL EXPERIMENTS] CHANGING FACTOR : CORN STARCH

[42]

// // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 10G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR

// // // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 10G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR 10G VINEGAR

// // // //

// // // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR 10G VINEGAR

// // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 30G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR

// // // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 30G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR 10G VINEGAR


CHANGING FACTOR : CHIA MUCUS

// // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR

// // // // //

100ML WATER 10G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR 10G VINEGAR

// // // //

// // // // //

100ML WATER 20G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR

100ML WATER 20G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR 10G VINEGAR

// // // //

// // // // //

100ML WATER 30G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR

100ML WATER 30G CHIA MUCUS 20G CORN STARCH 10G SUGAR 10G VINEGAR

[43]


[MUCILAGE EXTRACTION]

The extraction process requires further research, it was not explored thoroughly due to different factors mainly time,but there is still potential in it. There are two extraction processes, including cold and hot immersion of the chia seeds. The addition of NaOH (sodium hydroxide) and HCL (hydrogen chloride) seem to have an important role in the extraction process, as those were not added to the experiments that took place in the attempt to extract chia mucilage. Different ratios of seed to water, as well may affect the yield of mucilage. “Samples of 10 g of whole seeds were placed in a 1L beaker and distilled water was added in 1:20, 1:30 and 1:40 proportions. The pH was adjusted and maintained at 4, 6 and 8 through continuous adjustments using 0.2 M NaOH or HCl solutions and the temperature during extraction was maintained at 4, 40 and 80 ± 1.5 °C using temperature controller. The mixtures were stirred with a magnetic stirrer and hydrated for 2 hours. Then the aqueous suspension was spread on a drying tray and exposed to temperature of 50°C for 10 hours. The dried mucilage was separated from the seed by rubbing over a 40 mesh screen, and the weight was recorded.” [5]

[44]


//IMMERSION [COLD]

//IMMERSION [HOT] (80 C  ; water; 2 hr; pH 8.0; 0.2 M NaOH)

(27 C; water; 2 hr; pH 8.0; 0.2 M NaOH)

//STIRRING

//STIRRING

(Magnetic 2 hr)

(Magnetic 2 hr)

//PRESSING

//DRYING

(27C, 313 kgf/cm^2)

(Oven 50C)

//DRYING

//FILTERING

(Freeze-drying, -50 C; 100mmHg)

(Sieve, 40 mesh)

//HER

Flowchart for extraction and characterization of chia seed mucilage (MHE mucilage hot extraction, HER hot extraction residue, MCE mucilage cold extraction, CER cold extraction residue [5]

//HER

//MHE

//MHE

//YIELD MUCILAGE (%)

//RHEOLOGICAL BEHAVIOR (Flow Behavior Index, Viscosity and Sweep Frequency)

[45]


[TAPIOCA]

//TAPIOCA IS A STARCH EXTRACTED FROM CASSAVA ROOT, MANIHOT ESCULENTA.

[46]


[47]


[TAPIOCA STARCH]

[48]


Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root through a process of washing and pulping. The wet pulp is then squeezed to extract a starchy liquid. Once all the water evaporates from the starchy liquid, the tapioca flour remains. Alternatively, cassava flour is the whole root, simply peeled, dried and ground. Starches in essence are carbohydrates, known as polysaccharides; multiple molecules of sugar. For commercial use, they are derived from a variety of cereals such as rice, wheat, sorghum, corn and tubers like potato, tapioca, sweet potato and so on. Internationally popular forms of starch are mostly derived from corn and tapioca due to their ease of availability. Starch production does not only belong to the food industry, it has other industrial applications such as papermaking, corrugated board adhesives, clothing starch, as well as the construction industry and more. At this stage of the research, the focus became on tapioca as the biopolymer, and the search for the best binder between chia mucilage, arabic gum, honey and sugar. Using vinegar as an additive, since starch dissolves better if a small amount of ions, electrically charged particles, are present in the mixture; the polymer molecules become disordered more easily and the resulting samples are significantly improved.

[49]


[BINDER EXPERIMENTS]

//100ML WATER //15G TAPIOCA // 5G VINEGAR

[50]

//100ML WATER //15G TAPIOCA //5G VINEGAR //5G MUCILAGE

//100ML WATER //15G TAPIOCA //5G VINEGAR //5G ARABIC GUM


In these series of experiments, the best results were found when the binders were honey and sugar, giving strength and flexibility, rather than being hard and brittle. Acting like sort of the glue of the mixture, since sugar is much more abundant than honey, it became the binder of choice for the Virgo-plastic mixture. //100ML WATER //15G TAPIOCA //5G VINEGAR //5G HONEY

//100ML WATER //15G TAPIOCA //5G VINEGAR //5G SUGAR

[51]


[52]


At this phase, the material is starting to meet the necessary standards of strength and flexibility. There is an admirable aesthetic, in its translucency and liquid-like visual properties. But working with such organic materials, has a drawback, which is that the material tends to practice shrinkage and curvature, therefore whatever sample or shape that is cast the end result is unpredictable, and does not follow the shape of the mould it was cast in. The basic samples that were a square of 10x10 cm, all deformed and curved, where the corners would either curl inwards or outwards. Therefore, that is a main parameter that affects the design stage. Here comes a better understanding of why producers choose to chemically modify materials to create plastics, with unreliable outcomes, it is hard to have uniform production of products. The aim here is to customize design, but first, there should be an understanding of how the material behaves, and how to counteract its behavior to reach the desired shape, the curvature and the shrinkage are the main parameters that are put into consideration when designing .

[53]


The two fabrication methods that were experimented with in this research are casting and additive manufacture. The moulds for casting were created by cnc-ing foam boards, while for the extrusion, the initial tests were done with a syringe manually. For the extrusion, the most important property in the material is the viscosity. These tests were done with the proportions that were successful in the initial casted square samples, but when extruded those proportions were not successful, the viscosity of the mixture was low, therefore, when extruded the the cylindrical lines of extrusion become planner. The solution for this was doubling the amount of tapioca, so the ratio of tapioca to water changed from 15 : 100 to 30 : 100, which improved the viscosity drastically. This also later improved the level of deformation in the initial casted square samples as well, since there is less water content, in the drying process, the shrinkage was much less.

[54]


//100ML WATER //15G TAPIOCA //5G VINEGAR //5G SUGAR

[55]


[FORM EXPLORATION]

[56]


An essential part of this studio was form exploration of different geometric systems. The first series of patterns were inspired by nature, and also an attempt to recreate Vernor Panton’s tactile, interior tiles, in a biomimetic nature with different iterations. These were cnc-ed into foam boards, with positive and negative moulds for casting the material, each with a different customized form, following the same concept of pattern but with changing parameters such as depths and densities of the points of protrusion. With the ease of digital fabrication, it is easier to achieve an escape from uniformity to diversity and customization. The base of these semi-sphere samples has a diameter of 15 cm. The first three-dimensional tile iterations were generated with the concept of reaction diffusion, while the second series of iterations were based on an array of points and divisions.

[57]


[FORM EXPLORATION]

[58]


[59]


[CURVATURE GEOMETRY]

[60]


The second series was of a collection of interior tiles, inspired by the curving nature of the material itself in the drying process. The scale of these samples is 50 x 50 cm. Different iterations of depths and densities, also cnc-ed on foam boards to create positive and negative moulds for casting. These could be applied in interior areas as space separators or dividers, in an aesthetic and functional manner, giving a semi-private relation with its surroundings, taking advantage of the tactile form as well as the organic translucent quality of the virgo-plastic tile.

[61]


[CURVATURE GEOMETRY]

[62]


[63]


[64]


[65]


[FABRICATION STRATEGIES]

CASTING

// NEVER DRIES, SINCE IT IS NOT IN CONTACT WITH DIRECT AIR.

[66]

LAYERING

// SHRINKAGE CAUSES THE SURFACE TO CRACK.

EXTRUSION

// SHRINKAGE ALONG THE LINES, LESS CRACKING SINCE IT IS NOT A SURFACE AND THE SPACES BETWEEN THE LINES ALLOW THE MATERIAL TO DRY OUT FREELY.


When going up in scale, the drying process of the material, faced some complications. At a small scale, the basic square samples that were 10x10 cm, took about a day or two to dry, but those were in contact with natural air. The 50x50 cm curved samples with negative and positive moulds, didn’t dry at the same rate, the reason is that they were not in direct contact to natural air, however, there was small perforations for the drying process, but those weren’t enough, the result was that after a week, the curved samples were not fully dry, and there was cracking due to its inconsistent drying process of the material. This is why the layering process was then tested, which was done by applying thin layers waiting for them to dry and then applying another layer on top and so on,

to give a chance applying another layer on top and so on, to give a chance for the layers to dry. What happened here was that by the time the first layer is to a certain extent dry and it was time to apply the second, the first layer was practicing shrinkage, therefore causing the surface to crack. Which lead to the dependance on the third process of extrusion on the mould, where shrinkage occurred along the lines of extrusion, therefore it practiced less cracking, since it is not a surface, the spaces between the extrusion lines allowed the material to deform freely, and the drying process was at the same rate of the previous basic samples of 10x10 cm, since it was in direct contact with natural air, and the perforations allowed the air to flow through the samples.

[67]


[EXTRUSION ON MOLD]

[68]


[69]


[ANISOTROPY]

In the article Programming Matter, Oxman explains ‘Digital Anisotropy’ which is defined as directional dependency. “Biological materials are both structural and functional, with different scales for different roles, nature achieves such integration by varying the material’s properties and introducing in it directional (structural) changes relative to the structural, mechanical and environmental functions required. This ability is termed anisotropy.” Therefore functionally graded materials can be functionally gradient through geometrical, structural or material anisotropy. The concept is inspired by nature’s strategy where form generation is driven by maximal performance with minimal resources.

[70]


HOW DOES NATURE GET AWAY WITH USING WEAK MATERIALS? NATURE ACHIEVES AN INTEGRATION BETWEEN STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL PROPERTIES BY VARIATION IN THE MATERIAL ITSELF, AND INTRODUCING IN IT DIRECTIONAL CHANGES RELATIVE TO THE STRUCTURAL, MECHANICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FUNCTIONS REQUIRED. THIS ABILITY IS TERMED ANISOTROPY; DIRECTIONAL DEPENDENCY. CLASSES OF ANISOTROPY

GEOMETRICAL

STRUCTURAL

MATERIAL

[71]


[ANCHOR STUDIES]

[72]


To create structural directional dependency, the next anchor studies where necessary, to understand how there can be some sort of control over the curvature behavior of the material. The logic behind these geometry tests, is the concept of grid spreading and grid pinching. The anchor points are either the points of concentration of the extrusion lines or they are acting as repelling points where the extrusion lines do not pass through. The result was that these samples curvature levels were majorly minimized and the grid held the whole sample together, acting like a weaving technique, giving greater strength than the previous tests.

[73]


[ANCHOR STUDIES]

[74]


//100ML WATER //30G TAPIOCA //5G VINEGAR //5G SUGAR

[75]


[76]


[77]


[3D GRID DEFORMATION]

After testing extrusion grids on planar surfaces, and understanding how to have greater control with the anchor studies, testing extrusion grids on a three-dimensional form came next. By extruding lines in a grid manner on a semi-sphere, which is removed once the material drys up, to give a three dimensional form, without the need of using excess material with additive manufacture. Rotating the sample, helps in the visualization of the first attempt of designing a table.

[78]


The result after the sample dried, obviously included cracks along the lines because of the uniformity of the grid, and the rigidity of the inner semi-sphere, leaving no space for the material to deform freely in the drying process, so ideally following the anchor studies, those should be applied also when extruding to create a three dimensional form, to give more distance and space for the deformation to take place without cracking the whole prototype.

[79]


[SPRING EFFECT]

[80]


After the series of experiments, tests and analysis of the geometries that best suit the material’s behavior, it is now understood how to treat the material. When extruding straight lines the materia curves and bends, due to the shrinkage that occurs when the water is being evaporated from the mixture in the drying process. To counteract this behavior, the concept of the spring effect is born at this stage, the deposition of the material is in curved lines rather than straight ones, to allow some length for the deformation of the material. Similar to the successful anchor studies shown previously, the lines of extrusion when released from grids and linearity, gave prosperous results.

[81]


[TABLE ]

After succeeding in understanding how to treat the material in a way that compliments its behavior, the next step was to design a table and go up in scale to see what happens. When moving from one scale to a larger one, through the research, at each stage some parameters were changing such as the time of the drying process. Moving from manual extrusion to robotic extrusion will also to new discoveries in term of the material. The realization of how the fabrication strategy may always affect the quantity and the quality of the material in use.

[82]


[83]


[84]


The concept of the table design is based on an extrusion of different layers on top of a number of moulds, that when put together build up the whole table. These moulds are cnc-ed foamboards. After the material dries, the moulds can slide out and be removed, as they are coated with a lubricant material, and both sides are open to access removal of these moulds. After removal these moulds can be reused, if there was the will to produce another table. These different layers of extrusion hold the whole table together once the material is dry, and they are desposed in a way to interlock the different levels of the table together.

[85]


[86]


[87]


[TABLETOP]

//LAYER 1

[88]

//LAYER 2

//LAYER 1+2


The base, which is actually the table top (after fabricating the whole volume is flipped) consists of two opposing layers. all the extrusion are made in one direction, but the curvature of the geometry, allows different layers to interlock, when extruded on top of eachother. Since the material is starch-based, wet and sticky when extruded, it is able to glue itself to other lines of extrusion intersecting it. On this base the first mould will be placed, to start the build up of the rest of the table.

[89]


[90]


[91]


[TABLE LAYERING]

[92]

//MOULD 1 [LAYER 3,4]

//MOULD 2 [LAYER 5,6]

//MOULD 5 [LAYER 12,13]

//MOULD 6 [LAYER 14,15,16]


//MOULD 3 [LAYER 7,8]

//MOULD 4 [LAYER 9,10,11]

//MOULD 7 [LAYER 17,18]

//MOULD 8 [LAYER 19,20,21]

[93]


[94]


[95]


[INTERLOCKING LAYERS ON MOULD]

After the first mould is placed on the base, two layers are extruded as well, designed in a way to interlock as the layers in the base did. These layers create the bed for which the next mould will be placed and so on. In some areas of the table, the amount of layers enforcing the shape reach up to four or five layers.

[96]


//LAYER 3

//LAYER 4

//LAYER 3+4

[97]


[98]


The diameter of the nozzle used on the kuka robot here is 8mm, which is larger than the the diameter used in the manual extrusion tests, since the final object is of a larger scale, which is 90x70x50 cm. During the first trials with the robot, the material did not have a constant consistency, so even when the feeder was given a contant pressure, the material was coming out patchy and discontinuous with different speeds. The right consistency and viscosity was achieved by adding a small amount of polyvinyl alcohol to the original mixture of water, tapioca, sugar and vinegar. Polyvinyl alcohol is a water-soluble synthetic polymer. It has the idealized formula [CH2CH(OH)]n.

//100ML WATER //30G TAPIOCA //10G SUGAR //5G VINEGAR //5G POLYVINYL ALCOHOL

It is used in papermaking, textiles, and a variety of coatings. It is white (colourless) and odorless.“PVA is nontoxic. It biodegrades slowly, and solutions containing up to 5% PVA are nontoxic to fish.� [6] The addition of this ingredient improved the quality and consistency of the material drastically, giving a uniform flow of material, with the aid of constant pressure applied to the feeder, which moves the material through the nozzle, for it to be extruded at a regular speed.

[99]


[TABLE LAYERING]

[100]

//MOULD 8

//MOULD 7

//MOULD 4

//MOULD 3


//MOULD 6

//MOULD 5

//MOULD 2

//MOULD 1

[101]


[102]


With the rise of temporary furniture, sophisticated, customized designs can be done for interior spaces, but instead of throwing away old furniture or interior objects that will stay with us but for no use, just useless pollutants, by using materials, such as virgo-plastic, our furniture can biodegrade and go back to its origin; nature, in an ongoing cycle.

[103]


[TABLE RENDERS]

//FRONT VIEW

[104]

//SIDE VIEW


//TOP VIEW

//CLOSE UP

[105]


conclusion Virgo-plastic is exploring the possible applications of organic, biodegradable materials. It is just a start to learning to use more environmental friendly materials, and slowly replacing our materials with ones that live, die, and are reborn again. Escape from the uniform materials that we are used to using, they might be reliable at first, but through time, they aren’t. Why do we want our materials to be so durable to the extent that they become immortal. As humans and organisms, live and die, the materials that surround us, that are an extension to our bodies, our shelters, our daily used objects should die like we do. Plastics have caused us much more harm than good. Finding combinations of natural biopolymers and binders, with further tests and research, these could be adapted to other applications that surround our daily life, ranging from objects of a smaller scale to architectural applications of a larger scale, as part of a material system. Where the behavior of these natural materials with the environments surrounding it can produce responsive architecture, adapted and optimized to its location of application and its user’s needs. Bioplastic is a material where there is a wide scope of possibilities, but in comparison to normal plastic there are limitations which haven’t yet been discovered how to resolve. The challenge here is if they should actually be resolved material wise through enhancement or if design can breach the gap of refinement of the material, keeping the material completely ecological, the same way ”nature gets away with using weak materials.” [3]

[106]


[107]


[108]


bibliography [1] Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2016). The New Plastics Economy – Rethinking the future of plastics. [2] Oksiuta, Zbigniew. (2009). Breeding the Future. [3] Taylor, David. (2010). Some of Nature’s Little Tricks. [4] Muñoz, L.A., A. Cobos, O. Diaz, and J.M. Aguilera. (2012). Chia Seeds: Microstructure, Mucilage Extraction and Hydration. [5] Tavares, Lucas Silveira, Luciana Affonso Junqueira, Ívina Catarina de Oliveira Guimarães, and Jaime Vilela de Resende. (2018). Cold Extraction Method of Chia Seed Mucilage (Salvia Hispanica L.): Effect on Yield and Rheological Behavior. [6] Hallensleben, Manfred L. (20000. Polyvinyl Compounds, Others. [7] Hensel, Michael., Achim. Menges, and Michael. Weinstock. (2006). Techniques and Technologies in Morphogenetic Design. [8] Oxman, Neri. (2012). Programming Matter. [9] Thompson, D’Arcy Wentworth. (1915). On Growth and Form. [10] Retsin, Gilles, Manuel Jiménez García, and Combinatorial Toolpaths. (2016). Discrete Computational Methods for Robotic Additive Manufacturing. [11] Guvendiren, Murat, Joseph Molde, Rosane M.D. Soares, and Joachim Kohn. (2016). Designing Biomaterials for 3D Printing.

[109]


[110]

Virgo - Plastic  

Virgo - Plastic Exploring materiality and optimization of form Zina Alkhani IAAC - Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalunya MAA02 -...

Virgo - Plastic  

Virgo - Plastic Exploring materiality and optimization of form Zina Alkhani IAAC - Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalunya MAA02 -...

Advertisement