PLA Moisture Removal and Use

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PLA Moisture Removal and Use

Postby orkboy59 » 2015-Aug-Fri-13-Aug

I did a search but could not find a lot on this. I have some PLA that has been sitting out for a while and I know it has absorbed enough moisture to cause it to pop as it goes through the extruder and has caused a few nozzle jams. It has been sitting in a storage container with some moisture remover for about two weeks. What is a good timeline to leave it in there before it becomes usable?

Thanks,

Conan
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Re: PLA Moisture Removal and Use

Postby bbrown64 » 2015-Aug-Tue-05-Aug

I cannot find the video to show you how to make a storage container for your rolls of filament. However, I can provide a list of what is needed to use a 5 gallon bucket as a storage container that is humidity controlled. All items can be purchased through Amazon.
1. The Gamma Seal Lid http://www.amazon.com/The-Gamma-Seal-Li ... a+seal+lid
2. Eva-Dry Dehumidifier E333 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000H0XFCS/ref ... a+dry+e333
3. La Crosse wireless thermometer and humidity gauge http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000EM ... ge_o08_s00

I can store up to 4 rolls of plastic in a 5 gallon bucket with this set up. This setup keeps the plastic at a steady 20-23% humidity.
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Re: PLA Moisture Removal and Use

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Aug-Wed-14-Aug

Crystal kitty litter contains a fair amount of silica gel, which is likely the prime ingredient in the Eva-Dry. A couple cups of that in an open container (think cottage cheese container) would work just as good as the expensive dehumidifier gadget, and you'd have nearly the whole bag left over for a refill. Just don't let the cat find it. I use 18 gallon storage totes with tight fitting lids.

It was discussed in the forum some time back. The 8 pound (that's weight, not GB currency) bag of Fresh Step Crystals I have is just under 15 bucks at Sam Walton's Emporium. Must have gone up, I remember it as around 10 bux.

The wireless humidity gauge is a nice touch, although (if you care to measure it; I don't) a cheap dial humidity gauge in the container would work. Wouldn't have near the coolness factor.

That lid is pretty spendy; you can get the bucket, lid, and have it full of joint compound for less than that. You'll score more points with your SO when you fix all those dings in the walls. Otherwise drop by a construction project near quitting time and ask if you can have some of the empties. For a 6 pack or two you could likely come home as many as you can carry.

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Re: PLA Moisture Removal and Use

Postby frankv » 2015-Aug-Wed-16-Aug

You can get cheap digital temp+humidity sensors for $2-$3 on AliExpress.
[Edit] Better yet... for $1.50 or so you can get a dial hygrometer which doesn't need batteries.

I don't think you need to get a fancy super-tight-seal lid. There isn't going to be much air transfer between the inside and the outside... probably a bit of cardboard covering the top would be just fine.

FWIW, I have a rectangular plastic storage bin that's about 600x400x500mm, with a clip-down lid. This is a bit more convenient than a bucket (which I previously had) because you don't need to take all the reels out to get the bottom one. It holds about 10-12 reels. IIRC, I got two of these for $10. I think maybe an "under-bed" storage box that was (say) 220mm deep inside would be even better. Hang it on the wall, put some shelves across it, hinge the lid from the top.

I have the same kind of electric dehumidifier which I keep in there.

You can dry out your PLA in your household oven... IIRC set the oven to 70C and leave for a few hours.
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Re: PLA Moisture Removal and Use

Postby calica » 2015-Aug-Sun-17-Aug

I'd like to know some guidance on how long PLA will take to "dry out" in a <20% RH environment?



I think we can all agree a controlled container is important but opps happen. :-). The plug it in to renew is a neat feature. I just ordered one to replace my microwave to renew setup.
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Re: PLA Moisture Removal and Use

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Aug-Thu-16-Aug

calica wrote:I'd like to know some guidance on how long PLA will take to "dry out" in a <20% RH environment?

I think that'll depend on just how wet it is. If you're adventurous you can find directions (forum and internet search) on how to dry it out in a low temperature oven to have some without waiting. I wouldn't use the whole spool the first time, just in case your oven temperature's off and you end with something you can post on the "First Blob" subforum.

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Re: PLA Moisture Removal and Use

Postby Mooselake » 2015-Aug-Thu-16-Aug

frankv wrote:You can get cheap digital temp+humidity sensors for $2-$3 on AliExpress.
[Edit] Better yet... for $1.50 or so you can get a dial hygrometer which doesn't need batteries.

Thanks for the suggestion, Frank. I ordered 3 of the non-electric kind off eBay, spent $1.28 US (including postage) each to get ones with 7.5cm dials, curious to see (you can't improve what you can't measure...) just how much the kitty litter is dropping the humidity.

We need to run a humidifier a good part of the year in Mooseville, when the outside temps are well below freezing. Summers are pretty humid, though, so the filament boxes still desiccants to stay dry.

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