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Sleeving - Custom Color Dye - Page 12

post #111 of 150
Thread Starter 
Another dye bath with heatshrink!

Ok. The test for today was to see if the volume, or amount, of dye that you put into the dye bath impacted results. So far, I've been holding that variable constant, and using about 3 tsp of dye in my 4 quart dye bath. This time, I created two different dye baths, and in the first I used just 2 tsp of dye, and in the second I used 6 tsp of dye. I also wanted to do a little bit of testing with a room temperature dye bath for some heat shirnk. Lets get on to the pictures, because you've seen all the setup before.

First, I like to show you the 4 pieces of sleeve altogether, and # them so we can do some comparison shots. From left to right, we have:

1) 2 tsp dye; 45 minutes of simmering
2) 2 tsp dye; 45 minutes of simmering and then 2 additional hours with no heat
3) 6 tsp dye; 45 minutes of simmering
4) 6 tsp dye; 45 minutes of simmering and then 2 additional hours with no heat


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It is clear right away that the 2 that have have more dye in the bath turned a darker color. Some comparisons:

This one below is #1 and #3....with the only difference being the one on the right (#3) has more dye in the bath

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This one below is #2 and #4....with the only difference being the one on the right (#4) has more dye in the bath

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So what can we glean from the volume of dye test? Well the dye bath that had more dye in it obviously got darker. Seems like a no brainer really. The other thing I see is that the dye bath that had more dye in it got more purple. I attribute this to the fact that the lilac dye takes to the sleeve much easier than the scarlet dye, and when I basically just double the mix I had been using, this weights it more heavily towards the lilac. Will need to adjust for that when I do my final bath.

Now....lets look at some comparisons of #1 and #2, with the only difference being that the one on the right soaked an additional 2 hours after I turned the heat off. I took my girlfriend to see MIB3 while they soaked, and I can highly recommend that movies. smile.gif Anyway....

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And here is #3 and #4, with the only difference being that the one on the right soaked an additional 2 hours after I turned the heat off.

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Although the one on the right is a TINY bit darker in each of the pictures above....the difference is very slight. This confirms the failure I had in my previous post where I tried the process without any heat at all, and it didn't work. The sleeve does not take the dye well without heat. In some previous tests we had also prove that there is a point where the sleeve has taken all the dye its going to take. I think this is pointing us toward an approximate dye time of somewhere between 45 and 60 minutes, with heat applied the entire time.

Now on to some really fun stuff. When I got back from MIB3, I had these two dye baths that were completely cool. I decided to throw two pieces of precut heatshrink in each of them, and just let them soak overnight. The heatshrink is not plastic, and therefore might be able to absorb some dye even when its not hot. And if I used a hot dye bath, it might go ahead and make the shrink react. Woke up the next morning to check on the shrink, and had great results! Here is the 2 tsp dye bath with the shrink:

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Here is the 6 tsp dye bath with the shrink:

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What you should be seeing in these pictures is that the heatshrink matches the sleeve EXACTLY! And....it has not reacted at all yet. It did not constrict and feels the same that it did before the dye bath. Here is a shot of both together:

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Well, I got a little over excited and geeked out a little bit, and went and grabbed some of my sleeving/wiring tools. I wanted to test and make sure the heatshrink would still work the same:

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Cut a short piece of wire:

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Crimped a pin on both ends:

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Put some shrink on, grabbed a lighter, .....and it worked!

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And here are a couple of final shots of it:

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411

So I'm more excited than I should be....but now I'm planning on dyeing some heatshrink for my current build also. Build log link in signature. This proves that whatever crazy color you come up with for your build, you can dye your sleeve, connectors, tubing and heatshrink to match it. That's pretty cool. thumb.gif

Have another test coming up where I use no dye carrier at all, and then I'm just about out of variables to adjust for these tests. At that point, I'll summarize all I've learned into a short guide. If you are getting a crazy idea to dye some stuff, throw some rep my way. Want to be able to trade on this site! tongue.gif
post #112 of 150
Wow, you actually managed to dye the heatshrink. This is a great discovery for the modding community, now we can have custom colored sleeve, connectors and heatshrink.
Although I am curious to see you dye more things. What about those the fan blades... biggrin.gif

When you have your guide ready it should be added as a sticky thread.
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post #113 of 150
Great work cant wait to see your rig all finished. Thanks for your time and effort you've took sleeving to a new level... teaching.gif
post #114 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmas View Post

Wow, you actually managed to dye the heatshrink. This is a great discovery for the modding community, now we can have custom colored sleeve, connectors and heatshrink.
Although I am curious to see you dye more things. What about those the fan blades... biggrin.gif
When you have your guide ready it should be added as a sticky thread.

Thanks Carmas, and I'm pretty pumped about the heatshrink also. I'll include some fan blades in my upcoming dye bath. As mentioned in previous post, I kind of botched up one of my sample Noiseblockers trying. The fan blades would have to be white, or very light, or clear.....I think, in order for the dye to take. Not sure if the grey on the GT's will impact color or not. I don't think anything with black blades will work. I have a white Nexus fan that I may try in next test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killermod1 View Post

Great work cant wait to see your rig all finished. Thanks for your time and effort you've took sleeving to a new level... teaching.gif

Thanks Killermod. I think its pretty cool, but I can also see how its not for everyone. Seems tailor made for a community like OCN though. smile.gif
post #115 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpachris View Post

So I'm more excited than I should be....

No you are not. You are doing the entire community a huge favour. Heatshrink and sleeving in every colour available. You should become an artisian on here. Sell dyed stuff in many colours. I applaud you thumb.gif
 
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post #116 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hukkel View Post

No you are not. You are doing the entire community a huge favour. Heatshrink and sleeving in every colour available. You should become an artisian on here. Sell dyed stuff in many colours. I applaud you thumb.gif

I've thought about that, but concluded that the dyeing process is one that is probably better done by the actual user of the product. There are so many subtle variations in color, that it would best be observed first hand and then have the ability to make minor tweaks to make it perfect. But I WILL make a fantastic guide so that if someone DOES want to try it, they can at least learn from my trial and error approach. I think I could give someone a good first start, and then they would have to tweak to perfection from there.

I appreciate the sentiments Hukkel!
post #117 of 150
Good sir, it is like every other thing in life. Some people do not WANT to do stuff themselves. They want to order it with no hassle. Even people will want to order it and then let someone else sleeve it. Or people that need a certain colour with a deadline.

If you get a RAL paintscheme from your local paintshop and put the RAL colours next to the sleeves everyone in the world can see what colour it is and what colour they want and order. You have done so much work trying and trying and taking photos. You know what dye and how much etc will make for what colour. I think you should post the guide AND become an artisian. Just like Lutro0. thumb.gif

BUT it is your life. Just saying ^^
 
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post #118 of 150
Bump for awesomeness.
post #119 of 150
Thread Starter 
Back with another dye bath and pictures!

I've been getting slowed up here in this thread because I'm busy on my summer build also (link in sig), but here is the next thing I wanted to test. To bring everyone to the same page, in a previous test the results indicated that adding LOTS of dye carrier (not the dye itself) to the dye bath lightened up the color a little bit. In that test I doubled the amount of recommended dye carrier, and got results that were a lighter shade than the control group. So the primary thing I wanted to test this time was whether or not you needed ANY dye carrier at all. The disperse dyes I'm using include use of the dye carrier in the instructions, but in a previous test I got better (darker and deeper) results by using a smaller amount of the dye carrier than I had been. Too much dye carrier made the results lighter than I wanted. The dye carrier is a thick milky white substance that clearly lightens the look of the dye in the bath....and the test showed that it also lightened the dye that took to the sleeve.

So...first I set up two dye baths, using the normal run-down of items you have grown accustomed to:

- 4 quarts water
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 4 tsp dye

and then the only difference between the two dye baths was the amount of dye carrier I put into each one. In the pot on the left, I used NO dye carrier, and in the pot on the right I used 2 tbs of dye carrier. Here is a picture of the setup:

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The 8 quart pans in back are for the dye baths. The smaller pots in front are what I mix the dye and dye carrier solutions in before adding to the dye bath. Well...I've got to put some "stuff" into each of the dye baths....right? So I chose the following items for each dye bath:

- 2 lengths of white MDPC-X sleeve
- 1 male white molex connector
- 1 female white molex connector
- 1 male white fan header
- 1 femal white fan header
- 1 length of tubing (its Tygon 3603)

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The reason I used two lengths of sleeve in each, is I planned to confirm prior findings about length of time in the dye bath. So, for each dye bath, I took one of the lengths of sleeve out after 1 hour, and left the rest of the items in for a full 2 hours. Wanted to see how much more the color changed after the first hour. Enough of the chit chat...lets get to the results.

First, here are pictures of all of the items that came out of each of the dye baths. The one below is the pot with NO dye carrier (henceforth "Bath A"):

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And the one below this is a picture of all of the items that came out of the dye bath with 2 tbs of dye carrier (henceforth "Bath B")

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There are some differences that are tough to see without getting closer. Now lets do the closer comparison shots.

Below, we have Pot A on the left (no dye carrier) and Pot B on the right (2 tbs dye carrier), for the sleeve that was in the dye bath for 1 hour:

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It's clear even in the picture that the one on the right is a deeper, darker, richer color. This indicates that you DO need at least some dye carrier, for MDPC-X sleeving. Below is a similar picture, but it shows the sleeve that was left in the dye bath for 2 hours. A on the left, and B on the right:

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Same thing in the picture above. The sleeve on the right (that had some dye carrier in the bath) looks deeper, darker and richer. I'm not a dye expert, but my understanding of the role of dye carrier is to "open up" the threads or filaments of some plastic material to make it more susceptible to accepting dye. So it won't impact all plastics the same....depends on the type of plastic.

Below is a picture of the molex connectors from A on the left, and B on the right:

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Here we see the exact opposite impact that the dye carrier had on the sleeve. A is darker and deeper than B. This is similar to the impact I was getting with sleeving a few tests ago when I used a LARGE amount of dye carrier in one of the tests. The dye carrier lightened the impact of the dye. Clearly these molex connectors are made of a type of plastic that requires no dye carrier in order to accept the dye. So adding dye carrier only serves to lighten the results (since it is a thick milky white substance).

The fan connectors are a similar story. Here is a picture of A on the left, and B on the right:

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For the tubing, I actually burnt one of the pieces that I guess sat on the bottom of the pan for too long without stirring. I didn't need to leave these in for two hours....because the tubing accepts dye quicker than any other plastic I've been testing. You can have good translucent results in about 20 minutes, and good opaque results in about 45 minutes. 2 hours was overkill....and the one on the right paid the price. A on the left, B on the right:

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Now lets move away from the comparison between Bath A and Bath B....and on to the closeups of the difference between the sleeve left in for one hour vs two hours. Below is a picture of both pieces of sleeve from Bath A, with the sleeve in for one hour on the left, and 2 hours on the right:

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and here is Bath B, with one hour on the left, and 2 hours on the right:

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In both of the pictures above, you should be able to see that the one on the right (2 hours) is slightly darker than the one on the left. But just slightly. This confirms what several tests have pointed to....You get most of the color change for MDPC-X sleeving in the first hour. Its different for every type of plastic though. I think my guide (yes...it's still coming) is going to recommend what appears to be a logical order of time and heat. You want to heat up your dye bath real hot and start with sleeving and connectors in the bath. Connectors can probably come out after 20 to 30 minutes (at least start checking), and the sleeving can probably come out after between 45 to 90 minutes. At this point...lower the heat dramatically, and put in your tubing for about 20 to 45 minutes. Then, remove from heat....and after dye bath has cooled, throw in any heatshrink you want to dye and leave it in the cool dye bath overnight. Ta-da. You've just dyed all your plastic components the same color with the same dye bath.

Those of you that have followed this thread for awhile will probably notice that the color in all the pictures above is NOT the crimson color I've been trying to obtain. i was running a little low on the lilac dye, so I used just the scarlet dye in these baths. I've reached the point where I think I can create the color I'm after fairly well.....so this was just a test to see if you could get by with NO dye carrier. The answer was....it depends on the plastic. MDPC-X sleeving.....no.....you want to use some dye carrier. Soft molex connector type plastic.......yes....you could get away with no dye carrier.

The next (and probably last) test I want to do is whether vinegar is needed at all for the types of plastic we are dyeing. In a previous test, I used A LOT of vinegar and noted that it turned the colors a brownish tint. So....too much vinegar is bad. The question I want to answer next is....is no vinegar also bad? Stay tuned.

I leave you with a link to a thread documenting my recent experience with Aqua Computer. I would suggest ordering from OTHER resellers instead of dealing directly with them. It has been a very trying experience. Link to thread.
post #120 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpachris View Post
Clearly these molex connectors are made of a type of plastic that requires no dye carrier in order to accept the dye.

I believe the material is Nylon 6/6 (polyhexamethylene adiptimide), just like most, if not all the Molex connectors we use. If you have the part number you can check yourself on Molex's website. It should be in the Notes of the Drawing (PDF) under Sales Drawings, 3D Models, and Brochures.

 

Some links on the material (from a quick Google search):

http://www.iplasticsupply.com/materials/nylon-polyamide-nylatron-mds-101-sheet-rod/

http://www.rusokr.com/items/4155

http://www.emcoplastics.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_ID=33&ParentCat=16

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon_6-6 (Not sure if it's the same thing)

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