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  • Retr0bright

    Last year I pickup up a tiny 30watt Mitsubishi servo and drive from a guy in Singapore. Looked pretty ratty in the photo but it was cheap. I got it and it was ugly. Whatever it was in must have had a whole lot of UV light as the plastic has turned really brown from the bromine flame retardant used in the plastic. You see this in a lot of old electronics, especially stuff that has been in the sun. The bromine disassociates from the molecules is is normally bonded to and works it's way to the surface.

    Over the past couple years collectors of electronics have developed a recipe that has been called "Retr0bright", it is in it's simplest form high concentration hydrogen peroxide and a catalyst, TAED (Found in OxyClean). I made a version that used 35% H2O2, Xantham Gum, and Glycerine to make a gel. This is mixed with OxyClean and water to activate it and painted on the plastic. UV light does the last part and gets the reaction going, for this I used a super-powerful LED based UV light made by Phoseon.

    It works! After about 6 hours under the light and several applications of the stuff the plastic was much closer to what it looked like originally. More info on this stuff can be found here:

    Some pics:

    IMG_6323 by macona, on Flickr

    IMG_6324 by macona, on Flickr

    IMG_6325 by macona, on Flickr

    IMG_6326 by macona, on Flickr

  • #2
    Interesting project. Seems the UV+bromine has turned plastic (ABS?) really brown, and back again, UV and H2O2 will bleach white plastic. TAED (Tetraacetylethylenediamine) seems an important ingredient for bleaching. There's also TAED, for "Test d'aptitude aux ├ętudes dentaires (TAED)",
    in Canada, but AFAIK it doesn't bleach teeth, even false teeth, but who knows, it might also work with RetroBright, blinging really brilliant white teeth :-)