Photochemicals and plastic cylinders

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Tony-S, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    I'm looking to purchase graduated cylinders. Does anyone know of reactivity problems between photo chemicals and polymethylpentene or polypropylene? They are a lot cheaper than glass (more durable, too).
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Those are what most people use, there's no problems at all. I've never used glass.

    Ian
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I have used clear "plastic" cylinders for measuring pyro. Also a similar but larger one for ammonium-citrate for platinum/palladium developer with no apparent problems. I have used the same "vinyl" graduate for other chemicals for over thirty years also with no problem. For the platinum/palladium emulsion chemistry I use glass pipettes -- separate ones for each different solution. The "plastic" type containers were purchased from photo supply houses and the others from Carolina Scientific. I believe those other than glass are polyethylene and some are probably clear acrylic.
     
  4. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I have about a dozen different sizes of graduated containers/cylinders/etc all plastic of one sort of another and they have worked well for me for a number of years. Glass is nice, more mad scientisty looking, but it makes me nervous. I've dropped (with wet hands) a container or two over the years and the broken glass scares me more than the spilled chemicals :wink:

    - Randy
     
  5. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    I always use two sets of clearly marked measuring cylinders, one set for alkali and one for acids. This is the way I learned it at photo school.
    This reduces the risk on contamination due to sloppy washing and, on the other hand, it saves a lot of water because now I just have to rinse the cylinder a little.
    Also, I can leave the right amount of liquid in the cylinder for the next batch of processing when I have a lot of work to do.

    Philippe
     
  6. DutchShooter

    DutchShooter Member

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    I use PET bottles, as they come in a wide variety of sizes. I mark them and use a specific bottle for one purpose only (I have two bottle (250mL and 500mL PET) which I only use for mixing developer, another 500mL PET bottle only for fix etc.).
     
  7. drazak

    drazak Member

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    Photo chemicals shouldn't react with plastic cylinders. The plastics that they're made of will only have issues with organic solvents, almost none of which are used in photography.

    Ben
     
  8. nworth

    nworth Subscriber

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    They are inert to anything I've found in the darkroom. The worry would be whether they wash out fully and cleanly. My experience is that they do, and no residue clings to the material. Even after several years mine are clear, clean, and functional - as good as glass. I haven't really abused them though - like heating developer that has been standing for two weeks in them. I rinse them well as soon as I'm finished with them.
     
  9. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Thanks all, looks like I'll go with plastic cylinders.
     
  10. photomem

    photomem Member

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    I know this is odd, but since my developing tank is 20 oz and I mix my chemicals 1 gallon at a time, I actually use a plastic measuring cup that I picked up at the grocery store. The markings are in bright red which stands out nicely when I am measuring. Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    I have a large and a small Paterson plastic, which I've had for over thirty years, and a large Durst plastic, which I've had for about a decade. The Patersons are for dev, the Durst for fix. The Patersons have now a network of fine lines mostly parallel to the length, which look like stress marks of some kind, and the plastic has now discoloured a little to a kind of dull greyishness. I'm not sure what causes it ; I don't do anything out of the ordinary like mixing hot solutions in them. My first Paterson cylinder did the same after a couple of years and I replaced it thinking breakage was imminent, but the replacement did the same ; yet the last three decades of regular use have been uneventful, the solutions mix fine, and there's never anything irregular in developments. I used glass measures for years during my laboratory days, and don't recall ever breaking one, but they're toughened low-expansion glass. I'd prefer glass if I could overcome the inertia of laziness to go and find some, but the plastic ones do the business, and I guess good enough is good enough.