Retrobright ozone method

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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:01 pm

I took the parts out of the cleaner just and took a image.... It seems the plastic has lightened up a lot more than I had originally anticipated..

The mouse button seems to have some blooming, but I think the problem was it had flipped upside down and likely ended up with some hot spots from the heater element.. I guess the boiling effect may be helping things along.. So having a bubble tank may actually speed up the process..

I had also not realise that some of the water had actually evaporated, so the top of the mouse frame is actually a darker part which had not been exposed to much water as the rest of it... But this actually worked out good for a comparison to the original colour...

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So I will leave both parts out in the open the next few days and see if the things continue to lighten up as they did before....
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Re: Retrobright ozone method

Post by exxos » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:05 pm

So two months later...

The framework is clearly lightened up considerably than previously. Though I do not know why these did not brighten up as much as the ones previously..
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The button on the left was also just left out in our conservatory with the framework above, however that was in a plastic bag filled with ozone which I mostly remembered to redo once a week.. It did not seem to make any difference at all over the framework was just left out in the open.

The button on the right is the one which had been soaking almost continuously in ozone infested waters... Clearly that one has brightened up considerably more. I also think it is basically the original colour now going by the plastics hook parts.. There is some slight blooming there, could be that the water dried up couple of weeks ago so that was likely the cause..
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One thing I did just notice is that if we take the bottom of the button as original core, then it would seem there are actually different coloured plastics being used..

So while there is a noticeable difference between the left and right button (likely came from different mice) , the difference on the left button between top and bottom is not actually that much.. It does look like the plastic is discoloured, but I am not really convinced it is discoloured as much as it looks, and it is just the actual colour of the plastic.. So as such, assuming that, the left button almost cleaned up like the original colour.
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So I think basic conclusion is that if plastic is left in ozone infested waters for over a month, it will lighten up like new.. At least eventually.. After that, if left out in the open, the effect seems to continue where it will lighten up even more on its own..

In terms of sunlight and heat, at least out in the open, it does not seem to really make any difference.. The bottom which was in the ozone water was generally in warm water, because of the warmth in our conservatory, but overall I don't think it was much of a factor..

However going by previous results, the quickest effect was in my ultrasonic cleaner, where it was heated up and ozone was running as well.

So I would say the steps are to keep blasting the ultrasonic cleaner at a high temperature with ozone until the plastics look almost like correct colour. As to if the ultrasonics are running or not I have not experimented, but I did have the cleaner running a lot of the time during the initial treatment. I would assume the ultrasonics don't have much effect overall but I haven't experimented either way. I think the heat is the main factor with the ozone bubbling away in the tank. I think my tank was running around 70C with ozone running on and off during the day (likely actually documented this somewhere one of the above posts).

Then they can be simply left out in the open for another month where they will continue to lighten up. The effect may be speeded up if the plastic is left in soaking in ozone infested water.. But I am not really sure if it would speed things up much.. if anything.

The whole point of this experiment was to lighten up the plastic without using chemicals and to actually obtain the original colour without basically bleaching the plastic. The problem with peroxides is that it actually starts making plastics go white which is not the original colour of the plastics. With this method, the plastic seems to go back to the original colour and does not have the bleaching effect.

Final thoughts ?

Well obviously this process does work incredibly well, however, it is also incredibly slow. But the main advantage here is that it does not bleach the plastic to white and it pretty much uses nothing else but water, heat, and ozone. After initial treatment process seems to continue all by itself.

It would be interesting if a large heated tank could be constructed to enclose a entire case... Heated up to over 70C.. And have a huge ozone generator been continuously via long bubble bars.. Someone else can do that experiment :)
4MB STFM 1.44 FD- VELOCE+ 020 STE - 4MB STE 32MHz - STFM 16MHz - STM - MEGA ST - Falcon 030 CT60 - Atari 2600 - Atari 7800 - Gigafile - SD Floppy Emulator - PeST - HxC - CosmosEx - Ultrasatan - various clutter

https://www.exxoshost.co.uk/atari/ All my hardware guides - mods - games - STOS
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