How to make plastic from milk or Galalith

figures made with Galalith or milk plastic This experiment it is tremendously simple. Although what is actually formed is not a plastic, but casein, a milk protein, but the result of the experiment looks like a plastic ;) Someone is calling it Bioplastic.

As a curiosity, comment that this substance was patented in 1898 and that years later Coco Chanel I would use the «milk stone»Or Galalith for their Fantasy jewels.

Other names given to Galalith are: Galalite, milk stone, milkstone.

Ingredients

We need:

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  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 teaspoons of vinegar
  • food coloring (optional)

Step by step recipe

Now we must heat the milk but without letting it come to a boil. Once hot we pour it into a cup or bowl.

We add the vinegar and stir for 1 minute.

It is done!! We pour the milk into a colander and we keep the dough that has formed.

Now it only remains to shape it or put it in a mold and leave it for a couple of days to cool.

But following her does not achieve good results, at least not those expected to obtain a jewel for Coco Chanel.

First test doing Galalith

polymer obtained from milk, formed by casein

I've been testing the recipe for the Galalith or milk plastic and the results have been a bit disappointing.

It is clear that by tuning the process and hitting the key, or the trick, we can get interesting pieces, but for the moment it has not been like that.

The recipe has been commented. I have heated the milk and before boiling I have put it in a glass, I have put food coloring in some cases and then the vinegar. Lumps form almost instantly, flocs from a paste that is casein.

This must be strained. If we use a normal strainer, a lot of casein is wasted. Better to use a Chinese strainer, one of the cloth ones that will retain much more quantity and also allow us to better expel the water.

Coloring with food coloring works well. Of course, leaving it in a mold is not enough.

The pieces in which we have simply deposited the plastic have ended up brittle. Like the one in the picture.

piece of galalith without pressure

On the other hand, in pieces where I have applied some pressure, the results have been much better.

how to make milk plastic well

And especially this piece

galalith or plastic for jewelry

A rigid and light plastic remains. After a week it still exudes "oil" but although it still gives a feeling of fragility, something could already be done with this quality.

In my pieces the smell of vinegar has remained, possibly due to abuse, the Galalith is supposed to be odorless

For future experiments

Points to improve in the following tests:

  • better isolating the water from the casein and applying pressure to the pieces.
  • Try using lemon juice instead of vinegar as discussed in this Instructable
  • use formaldehyde to finish the part and see what happens

Properties of casein

Casein is insoluble in water and acid, although contact with them or alkalis can cause cracking. It is odorless, biodegradable, non-allergenic, antistatic, and virtually non-flammable (it burns slowly and brilliantly in air, but extinguishes upon removal of the source of the flame. It burns with the smell of burning hair).

History

galalith or milk stone

Sources and references

18 comments on "How to make plastic from milk or Galalith"

  1. Hello good, I wanted to tell you that I have just done the experiment I still do not have the results, but when I have them I will write you again, this time it is to tell you that this experiment appears in many books in English, in Spanish I only found the post as which is here. In the versions that I have seen, they heat the milk (without boiling) they go round and round, there are those who add the vinegar little by little and those who make it one, the fact is that the milk is "cut" creating lumps, these are They have to strain, BUT better use a cloth or a filter to remove as much liquid as possible, make the shape with the dough (casein) that remains in the filter (manually or mold) and leave in a warm place, Some people leave it on the radiator, I don't know if baking will work @ _ @ For the colors it is SUPPOSED to use copper sulfate, sodium hydroxide, etc (here is a doc, but it is in English): http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/mpugh/Experiment%2011.pdf (google translator?) and a video that maybe clarifies a minimum: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/310971/how_to_make_plastic_at_home_from_milk/ I hope I have been of help to you, since I see that there are many doubts and sorry if not. A cordial greeting.

    Reply
  2. Well, how annoying to see the photo of the Galalith talks and not get it ¬ ¬. I did not have the patience to let the "plastic" set for two weeks, I left it for about three days, it is also necessary to clarify that the mold I made was quite thick (about 2cm) when I got tired I baked it at the lowest temperature, a short time and interrupting the process, as if it were a natural heat or that of a radiator, but the result was ... a strange cookie, as is, with its internal air bubbles included, it did not look like plastic anywhere and it is very annoying that it did not I find no data better exploited. Sorry for the useless help. Greetings

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  3. too easy…. If you don't want it to break, you have to weight it 20kg / cm2 and let it dry for as long as possible 

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  4. Dear brother,

    Could you tell us What is needed to build a small factory cards Galalith?

    You know some things about him?

    With gratitude,

    Marco Antonio
    Brasilia-Brazil

    Reply
  5. I did it with several types of milk and the one that worked the most for me was with soy milk and they also have to wait 2 days of rest

    Reply
  6. Gentlemen: What you have been doing is the same as making cheese, since casein is the main component of cheese plus the natural fat of milk, so it is biodegradable and looks like plastic. Greetings to all.

    Reply

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