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.
- 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
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.
On the other hand, in pieces where I have applied some pressure, the results have been much better.
And especially this piece
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).