Q: Ideas for a simple way of making paper mache-Granules? Topic is solved

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Orngrimm
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Q: Ideas for a simple way of making paper mache-Granules?

Post by Orngrimm »

As some of you may know, i own some and love to use small camping wood-stoves based around gasification. Now, as i know, wood pellets are also a good fuel in those litte powerhouses... But i want to try to use paper mache pellets. I dont think they will be super good (as they have very low energydensity) but hey... DIY and for the sake of it! :mrgreen:

Now, of course i could buy a bag of paper kitty litter... But c'mon! DIY!
So: Do you know if a simple way of turning paper mache into wood pellet sized granules? I could squeeze the water out and break /crumble it up over a sieve to dry out, but this would make propably quite irregular sized granules i suppose.
So any ideas on a method or tool to transform wet or dry-ish paper mache into regular-ish sized granules?

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Downunder35m
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Re: Q: Ideas for a simple way of making paper mache-Granules?

Post by Downunder35m »

Last time I tried I used a cheap meat grinder, came with a convinient "noodle" attachment....
Meaning it had a outer plate with fewer holes that were bigger together with the standard one.
And with that came a screw on "blade" that rotated with the shaft to cut the "nodles" into small pieces.
I worked reasonably well but the pellets were rather fragile until dried up.
I have to admit though that I did not bother that much to reak up the fibres in the bucket to get a really fine slush - I still had little chunks left.

What might bring some improvement :
Using a single or double rod outlet with rods in the diameter of the pallets.
For burning I would go in the range of 12-155 with aluminium piping.
Two or three heating wires wrapped around the pipe with tiny holes in the areas between to let the steam come out.
Does not need to get fully dry, just enough to provide a better compression and binding to help it stay stable.
Of course it really helps to use a motor attachment or motorised grinder ;)
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Re: Q: Ideas for a simple way of making paper mache-Granules?

Post by Orngrimm »

I dont really like to buy a meatgrinder of sorts just for this experiment... I was hoping for a more DIY-solution ;)

But i am thinking about a little 3D-Printed constraption of sorts...
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Downunder35m
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Re: Q: Ideas for a simple way of making paper mache-Granules?

Post by Downunder35m »

$20 for a cheap one and if no good for your paper still great for making barley and other bait for fishing ;)
But if you want to go DIY, how about this:
Take a sturdy pipe of around 100mm in diameter.
Preferably metal or high pressure PVC if you want to go cheap.
End cap with holes the size you want for your pellets.
Drill fine holes in the lower part for excess water to run out.
Use a car jack, hydraulic press or long srew to push you shlush through and collect the paper strings coming out.
Still, unless you have the pipe and cap already it is more expensive than a meat grinder ;)

Not sure if the compression factor is big enough to get a firm enough product out but:
Did you consider a screw-ball-former contraption already?
You know, similar to how glass marbles are made....
But also a bit like these scroll type water pumping rods.
A lead type "screw" inside a tube leaving only a tiny gap.
The "thread" would have to shrink towards the output in terms of the internal diameter/space.
If my theory is correct than the friction along the tube would cause the paper sluh to be transported down and compressed along the way, while forcing the excess water out through the gap.
You would need a feeding funnel similar to a meat grinder, located at the thick part of the screw, preferably with a plunger to press the slush in.
In PETG it should be sturdy enough so you can use slow drill to power it.
Wouldn't produce pellets, more blobs though, but you could add a tubular outlet to fix that.

Last but not least and only good for a small scale test: chaulk gun ;)
Use an empty cartride and drill some fine holes around the bottom.
Fill you your paper slurry and place in the gun.
Cut the nozzle straight for your desired pellet diameter.
I find it useful to get a good impression on how the consistency of a paper slurry relates to the required pressure.
but if you only need a few kg of pellets and have a TV in the garage or so....
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Jack A Lopez
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Re: Q: Ideas for a simple way of making paper mache-Granules?

Post by Jack A Lopez »

There is more than one way to push dough through a die, e.g. a plate with some holes in it.

The most simple one of these, I have seen, is the "Play-Doh Fun Factory."

A good picture of this toy is included in the Wikipedia article for "Play-Doh." I will just link directly to the picture page.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Playdoh.jpg

The user loads in the "Doh" in small batches. Then he or she pushes down on the lever, and this drives a piston that forces the Doh through the die. The Fun Factory comes with an assortment of dies, for extruding different "fun" shapes.

The machine the professionals use, I think, is called a "Pellet Mill"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pellet_mill

The Wikipedia article mentions "large-scale" and "small-scale" pellet mills, but it is lacking in pictures, with only 2 pics for the whole article, at the time of this writing.

The picture of the "screw-type pellet mill" is curious. It looks simple, but at the same time it looks like it could only make one pellet at a time.

On Youtube there are videos made by companies selling pellet mills, and a few home-made versions of the same thing, like this one, with a flat die plate.




I also found this page,

https://www.pelheat.com/flat_die_pellet ... esign.html

which describes this kind of pellet mill, in more detail.

My intuition is telling me that success will depend on understanding how much mechanical work, in joules, as integral(F*dx) or integral(P*dV), is needed to make a single pellet. It likely varies a lot, depending on the character of the dough.

I mean, if you are contemplating a low powered machine, I think that necessarily means a die with fewer holes (or fewer holes in use at any given instant in time), and making pellets more slowly.

Also I thought I would mention a similar meme I have seen, called "biomass briquette" with simple (or complex) home-made machines for fabricating the same. I think the word is French, for "small brick." Come to think of it, I don't know the etymology for the word "pellet." But somehow I know "pellets" are smaller than "briquettes." Maybe because I have seen pictures of both.

Regarding "briquettes", the videos or tutorials I have seen, show people making wet slurry from water plus paper, or dead leaves, or similar things. Then compressing the slurry into small bricks, which pushes out large amounts of water at the same time.

I guess if you were making briquettes (rather than pellets) for your small stove, you would have to size them to the dimensions of your stove, and only one or two, or some small number, would actually fit inside the stove. The link below is a search for, "how to make biomass briquettes"

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=how+to+make+b ... tes&ia=web
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