More dyeing results!
This round was intended to test three different things.
First, I decided I wanted to alter the amount of the "dye carrier" that is added to the dye bath. For all of the tests I've done so far with the disperse dyes, I've stuck with 2 tablespoons added to about 4 quarts of water. Best way to see if the amount creates an impact is to take it to the extreme. So I'm going to put together two separate dye baths, where the only difference is the amount of dye carrier. In one bath I'll 1/2 the amount, and only put in 1 tablespoon of dye carrier. In the other bath, I'll double the normal amount, and put in 4 tablespoons of dye carrier.
Secondly, I wanted to see if length of time in the dye bath impacted results significantly with the disperse dyes. So far, I've been leaving them in for 45 minutes with the disperse dyes. For both of the dye baths described above, I'm going to put in one length of sleeve for 20 minutes and another for 2 hours. That should tell us if more time makes it darker.
Thirdly, I'm going to continue tweaking my custom dye mixes in search of the perfect crimson color for my soon to start OU themed build. From prior post, Mix #3 was the closest to date, but had a touch too much purple in it, and could stand to be darker. Mix #4 will be 3 tsp of scarlet and 1/16th tsp of lilac. No red mixed into this one.
Enough of the chit chat.....lets get to the pictures. Here are two dyes I'm using this time, along with the dye carrier:
Here is a shot of my two dye baths going, and my mixing bowls on the front burners. The big pots in back are the full dye baths, and the pots in front are where I separately mix the dye, and the dye carrier, before adding it to the dye baths. The items to be dyed only go into the big pots of dye bath.
Here are the items going in the pots today. Not a great shot because of the light reflection, but they are all white. I'm only testing with MDPC for now, since that is what I've decided to use in my build. And as past tests showed, it took the dye much better than the FTW sleeve. I'm also throwing in some tubing to test along with some molex connectors:
Here is a big family shot of all the items out of the dye baths. Start with this, and then I'll do closeups of the comparable ones.
Now lets use this next picture to identify the sleeve lengths, and refer to them by number for the rest of the post. From left to right:
1) 4 tbs dye carrier; 20 minutes of time
2) 4 tbs dye carrier; 2 hours of time
3) 1 tbs dye carrier; 20 minutes of time
4) 1 tbs dye carrier; 2 hours of time
And here is the same order (1, 2, 3 and 4) with the powder coating sample that my CaseLabs TH10 is being finished in:
Now here is a shot of 1 and 3. Both of these were in a dye bath for 20 minutes. The only difference is the amount of dye carrier that was added to the dye bath:
Interestingly, the dye bath that had the most dye carrier....is the lightest shade. Similar results for 2 and 4, shown below. Both of these were in a dye bath for 2 hours. The only difference is the amount of dye carier that was added to the bath.
I'm a little surprised at these results. But from what I've read about dye carriers, different materials need them to different degrees. Don't confuse the dye carrier with the actual dye. If you look back a few posts, I had a shot of the dye carrier, and it is a milky white opaque liquid. I think by having too much dye carrier in the dye bath, it was simply diluting the color of the dye down because of all the white. But clearly I'm getting darker colors with only 1 tbs of dye carrier in the bath, instead of 4 tbs. Good to know. My next test will probably see if any dye carrier is needed at all with the sleeve and connector parts I'm dying.
Next is a shot of 1 and 2 together, along with the molex connectors. Both of these sleeves (and connectors) had the same amount of dye carrier in the dye bath (4 tbs). The difference is that #1 was in for 20 minutes, and #2 was in for 2 hours. I put my powdercoating sample behind it for grins:
Clearly got darker from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Here is #3 and #4. Again, they have the same amount of dye carrier (1 tbs), and the only difference was #3 was left in for 20 minutes and #4 was left in for 2 hours:
Same result. Leaving the items in longer, makes them darker.
Now, how close did I get to my perfect crimson color for the build with Mix #4?
Pretty darn close! The sleeve is actually almost perfect. That is Mix #4, for 2 hours, with 1tbs of dye carrier. It looks almost identical. The connectors and tubing that were part of that same batch, were actually a little bit darker than I would like them. Those types of plastic are taking the dye more quickly than the sleeving is. So I've got a little tweaking to do....but I'm really almost satisfied.
For those that are thinking...."why doesn't he just buy red sleeving?", I've got the picture below to show you. Red MDPC-X on the left....and on the right is the white MDPC-X with my Mix #4 dye job.
The pre-bought red MDPC-X is not even close to the crimson color I'm seeking. I could settle....but why? This is fun!Today's Summary Conclusion and Next Steps
We learned the amount of dye carrier makes a difference. More dye carrier does not make the sleeve accept more dye....it just lightens the color due to its milky white opaqueness. At least this is true with MDPC-X sleeve. So I would suggest starting with less, and adding it only if you want to lighten the color without changing the tint. I'll test to see if any dye carrier is required at all, as part of my next dye bath.
We also learned that the longer you leave the items in the dye bath, the darker they get. There is probably a limit to how dark they will get, and my guess is that they had already reached close to their peak darkness sometime prior to the 2 hours. I'll test this in a future dye bath where I leave in sleeves at 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours and overnight. Find out the reasonable range of times that impact darkness.
We also learned how BEAUTIFUL the University of Oklahoma's colors are, and got caught up in the legend of the greatest team in college football history. Well.....at least I did. You should have least learned that Mix #4 was my closest match to date for OU crimson.
In an upcoming dye bath test, I also plan to test if varying the amount of dye impacts results. I've been using about 3 tsp of dye to 4 quarts of water in all of these disperse dye tests. Lets mess with that ratio and see what the results are.
All in all....I've probably only got a handful of tests left to do. I've actually already started putting together a "guide" on how to do this, and will be posting that soon. The guide will just focus on the steps, and will have lots of pictures and maybe video. Readers won't have to suffer through all my trials and tribulations, like the readers of this thread have. I'll post a link to it from this thread when its done, so subscribe here if you want to make sure you see the guide when done.
One last thing. You didn't think I'd let you out of this post without another personal pic, did you? Really? You don't know me at all. Here is my daughter in a karate tournament last month down in Dallas, TX. She took second place in weapons for 10 year old recommended black belts. Don't mess with her.