Marbles for oxygen displacement

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by David Lyga, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I regularly use glass marbles in clear, plastic juice containers to displace the empty air space (with either BW or color developer) and the result is literally indefinite preservation of developer (as long as the solution is fully up to the rim of the container). These bottles are really airtight (like glass) but I am wondering if, in this high tech age with miracle plastics, there are lighter 'solutions'.

    Plastic packing peanuts I fear are not fully impervious to chemical saturation. Do you know if this is true or do you know if there are other, even 'creative' ways for such physical displacement? I already know about the method of spraying anti-oxydent and do not wish to employ that method. The marbles work great but the bottle becomes quite heavy when full of marbles. (For really small quantities I use tiny 50ml liquour bottles that I find sometimes on the streets.)

    Thank you for any info you can impart. - David Lyga.
     
  2. Diapositivo

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    You could find plastic bottles for mineral water, carbonated drinks etc. in PET (or PETE, is marked as plastic #1) and also find bottle caps in the same material. This plastic is not permeable to oxygen. You can squeeze the bottles to let the air out.

    An alternative could be the Kaiser "bellows" bottles, but due to their shape they appear to be not easy to clean thoroughly and in any case the bottle is compressible only up to a certain amount. Mineral water bottles are more compressible. You could even mix the two criteria, when the bottle is squeezed a lot, in order not to squeeze it too much (so that it remains standing on its base, for instance) you might insert some marbles.

    Fabrizio
     
  3. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Yes, Diapositivo, the plastic is the same whether for water or juice, but the 'squeezability' of these bottles is rather limited and can crimp and even damage the bottle if done to excess. But, you are correct, limited squeezing is OK with these. (This type of plastic is really a major improvement against the older, brown plastic bottles which 'breathe'.) - David Lyga
     
  4. jeffreyg

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    Consider getting amber glass pharmacy bottles that hold 16oz. After mixing your gal. of developer fill the smaller bottles which often have graduate indicators. No need for marbles that need cleaning and storage. Label and date the bottles which being smaller are more easily kept in a cool dark area. You might even find a pharmacist who has some empties that would otherwise have been discarded. Uline sells them 12@$1.75 and I would guess that a scientific or container supply in Philadelphia would also have them.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  5. David Lyga

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    Thank you, but glass, for this purpose, is no better than the convenient brittle, plastic bottles, Jeffrey. This plastic bottle is available in 500ml or even 300ml, so pint size glass that you mention is not 'better'. Even with your advice the airspace would still be there as the solution is used. Even though I posted this in BW (because so many more eyes read this forum) my concern is primarily with the more vulnerable color developer. As I already stated, marbles and the plastic bottles allow me to keep the developer literally indefinitely. I am looking for an alternative to the glass marbles (in terms of a lighter material). Thank you. - David Lyga
     
  6. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    500ml plastic water bottles run $1-2 for 12 on sale complete with water compared to $1.75 each plus shipping for glass ones. That works out to 1/10 the cost and the plastic ones are squeezable. There is no need for amber bottles for storing chemistry unless you are putting the chems in a sunny shop window. :smile:
     
  7. jeffreyg

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    If you could find hollow plastic balls of the size that would fit your bottles you could reduce the weight. I use the amber glass bottles with B&W chemistry that lasts at least six months although I most often use it long before that. I've had the same bottles for more than thirty years.

    Jeff
     
  8. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    AHH, the hollow impervious balls or (other configurations small enough to fit in the mouth of the bottle) would be ideal, Jeffrey. I just wonder if anyone can be more definitive as to an actual, practical substance that is not chemically reactive. - David Lyga.
     
  9. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Hollow balls won't work, they will float right out thru the opening. Solid pete plastic balls might work, their density would be around 1.4 gm/ml. That should be dense enough for most photo chemicals.
     
  10. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    David,

    Check with Hartford Technologies 1(860)571-3602.

    Jeff
     
  11. jeffreyg

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    Even if the balls float the purpose is to take up volume with minimal weight. By floating when the bottle is inverted to pour they would not roll to the mouth of the bottle.

    Jeff
     
  12. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Thank you both. Maybe there are others who would also like to receive this interesting 'forum information'. - David Lyga.
     
  13. Steve Roberts

    Steve Roberts Member

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    I use hollow translucent plastic balls that were sold some twenty-plus years ago in photographic stores for precisely this purpose. They do float, but that's not a problem as they're unable to force their way out of the narrow neck of a soft plastic bottle. I normally start by just squeezing the bottle for the first third of the developer, then start cramming balls in. It then just requires a strategic finger over the top of the container when pouring developer.

    On the subject of floating balls (pause for Carry On style sniggers), I'm reminded of a story told to me by my mother. Apparently during World War Two some kind of flying boat crashed on landing in Plymouth Sound. It seems that to minimise problems with leakage and accidental holing the buoyancy floats were filled with ping pong balls or something very much like them. Consequently thousands of the things were released into the sea and kept turning up on the local beaches for weeks afterwards, leading to a ping pong craze among the local kids.

    Steve
     
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  15. Mainecoonmaniac

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  16. Sirius Glass

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    I tried this with 1" glass marbles in a one gallon developer bottle. Towards the end the bottle got really heavy! Then I switch for several sizes of collapsable bottles.

    Steve
     
  17. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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    This website looks interesting -> http://www.cicball.com/

    Polypropylene would do the trick, and they say, "Order by the trial pack, carton, bulk pack or truckload."
     
  18. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    The wine bladders are great. A good friend of mine uses them with fantastic success, as they are air tight and collapsible. Great suggestion!
    One example of chemistry stored was the illusive Edwal 12. A group of photographers used that developer collectively to compare results and ideas. When that project stopped, the developer was stored, and a year later, without use or replenishment, was as active the day it was put in its container. A practical example that shows they really do work.
     
  19. scheimfluger_77

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    What would be the problem with obtaining a small cylinder from your local medical gases supplier and keeping it filled with nitrogen? Spray it into the top of your bottle when closing.
     
  20. Bob-D659

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    Cost of the bottle and regulator. :smile:
    Although that is what I and others here do use. Welding gasses are much cheaper than medical grade.
     
  21. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

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  22. grahamp

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    The best approach with any displacement method of excluding air is to decant into the next size smaller bottle as soon as the solution volume has been reduced enough. Even a pint bottle mostly full or marbles weighs a lot, and the surface area of the balls retains a lot of solution. A funnel with a gauze or grid insert helps to catch escaping marbles when pouring :cool:

    I have seen people insert a plastic bag into a partially full chemical bottle and then use a funnel to fill the bag with plain water and displace air. The bag is then just rubber-banded over the neck of the bottle. Alright for a couple of days, but not a trick for long term use.
     
  23. Mainecoonmaniac

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  24. heespharm

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    I've always used the pharmacy glass bottle (i get them free from the pharmacy i manage) and then displaced the air with duster spray..... I've kept d76 fresh for well over a year and the c41 for about a year... The glass bottles are superior in the fact that they are better at keeping air out and light out too.... The plastic bottles made for photochems that I filled at the same time didn't last half as long....

    The best part is that air weighs way less than marbles ;-)

    This is just my personal experience...
     
  25. jeffreyg

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    Dittos (again) for the glass pharmacy bottles. I have used the same bottles continuously for forty years without a problem and they are as good as new. Even half full the chemistry has lasted several months with no problem. I normally use my chemicals before they would have a chance to expire. The price was right (free) from my friendly pharmacist.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  26. Scheimpflug

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    Are you looking for a specific "better" solution on the principle of the thing, or does Jeffrey's proposal (with your plastic bottles) genuinely not fit your needs? :confused:


    The benefit of the small bottle method is twofold:

    * You can mix a gallon of chemicals, and put it into eight small 16-oz or 500ml bottles, filled to the top (no air) for storage. The one bottle in use will always have some air space, (see #2 below), but the others will not. So when you exhaust one bottle and move on to the next, and the next, and the next, it is always a fresh bottle - not an oxidized bottle that you've been using and exposing to air the whole time.

    * With small bottles, for that "in-use" bottle that isn't full, you can continue to use your glass marble displacement method. Since the bottles are small, you can do this without accumulating the excessive weight that you would if you were using larger bottles, which is apparently the problem you are trying to solve... and you can always step that last bottle down (to a 300ml or smaller) at any point as well to use fewer marbles.