Friday, March 7, 2008

Little plastic particles, big rivers.


The plastic media we use for the Emriver model comes from post-industrial recyclers. It's used as an abrasive to do things like take paint off airplanes.

Getting it in certain colors, or color-coded by size, was a joke to them. Like asking for only the Budweiser cans from an aluminum recycler.

We have their attention now, though, and are moving towards the holy grail of media color coded by size. And density. And a few other things, like shape and surface texture.

We take those little sand and gravel particles in rivers for granted. Try making hundreds of millions of them in specific shapes and colors. On a budget. There are 10,000 of those Bud cans in a handful of material.

These little plastic particles, used by the Corps of Engineers to model big rivers, are in the news. Lots more in the coming weeks, but for now, Nicholas Pinter, a friend of ours at SIUC in Carbondale, is making news.

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