Processing and Manufacturing Chemicals: Tips for Workplace Safety

How to Make a Rocket from Recycled Plastic Bottles

The latest craze sweeping school yards are plastic bottle rockets. These rockets can really fly and are often used by teachers for science projects. So, how do you go about making a rocket from recycled plastic bottles?

Here’s how.

What you will need

  • 3 large plastic bottles
  • craft knife
  • 1 sheet of foam core
  • epoxy glue
  • marker pens
  • shipping tape
  • spray paint

How to do it

  1. Remove all labels from the bottles, if necessary.  
  2. Cut off one third of one bottle along a straight line. You might find it easier to mark a line around the bottle first with a marker pen.  
  3. Place the cut bottle over the bottom of the whole bottle to form the rocket-nose cone. It’s important here that you keep the nose cone as straight as possible so that the finished rocket flies straight. Press the nose cone down firmly but carefully so that it stays in place but doesn’t crinkle.  
  4. Place some clear shipping tape around the seams of the nose cone and the second bottle, keeping the tape as smooth as possible.  
  5. Now make the fins for your rocket by cutting them from another plastic bottle. Make sure that the fins curve into the body of the rocket so that they fit well. To do this, split the bottle into three pieces, keeping the fins as equal as possible.  
  6. Place a small amount of epoxy glue into a dish and mix it with a scrap of foam core. Mark your rocket with your marker pen to show the position of the fins, making sure that they line up properly.  
  7. Glue the fins to the bottle one at a time, holding each one in place for a few minutes until the glue has set.  
  8. If you want to make the fins more stable, you can cut small triangular stabilisers and glue one to each fin to support it. This step isn’t essential, but it can help to make your creation more robust and less likely to disintegrate on impact.  
  9. Next, take small pieces of shipping tape and use them to bolster your fins and fin supports. The tape provides back-up to the epoxy glue and foam, making them less likely to come adrift when the rocket is in flight.  
  10. Now use the aerosol paints to decorate the rocket in any colour or colour scheme of your choice.

Your rocket is now ready for its maiden flight!  

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Plastic Packaging Manufacturer: Choosing the Best Company

Running a business entails making various decisions such as which plastic packaging manufacturer to hire. Plastic packaging often provides two essential functions which are the packaging of goods and carrying a business’s brand. Thus, it is essential to pick a manufacturing firm that understands the right impact that packaging should have on consumers. Just like there are different packaging containers, manufacturing companies are just as diverse. When selecting a company, be sure to go for one that has a broad understanding of making high-quality packaging products that consumers can appreciate.

Below are some ideas on selecting a plastic packaging manufacturer.

•    Collaboration and customization. A good plastic packaging company should understand that business owners are good at what they do, and sometimes they lack adequate knowledge on the graphic and casing properties of plastic packaging. Nonetheless, at times they bring in their ideas on how they want the packaging to look. Irrespective of any of the above cases, an ideal company should be able to incorporate a business owner’s ideas as well as work from scratch to deliver a product that appeals to a given business’s needs.

•    In-house design and engineering capability. Not all plastic packaging manufacturers have their dedicated design and engineering teams. As a result, such companies opt to outsource these services. The problem with outsourcing these talents is that a business may find itself on a long waiting list and the final product may not be as expected. Thus it is advisable to work with companies that handle such matters in-house using their people. Such a company enables a business owner or representative to work with the design and engineering teams having an opportunity to place their two cents in the process.

•    Environmental awareness. Non-biodegradable packaging products have become a major environmental problem. Thus, it’s important to check if the plastic packaging manufacturer provides recyclable plastic casing products. Consumers are becoming more environmentally cautious, and thus they tend to avoid materials that pose a danger to the environment. Thus, it creates a good impression with customers if a business uses recyclable plastic packaging materials as opposed to non-recyclable materials. Hence, when choosing a plastic packing company, make sure the plastic packaging they make is reusable.

•    Reasonable pricing. Some manufacturing companies opt to place their manufacturing plants in foreign countries where they can acquire both the raw materials and labour cheaply. Due to the highly reduced cost of operations, such companies tend to have competitive pricing compared to firms that manufacture locally.

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Dome Shelters: What They Are And Why You Need Them On Your Mining Site

The mining industry has unique needs when it comes to the construction of structures, be they work offices, workshops, processing areas or for other uses. The structures need to be highly flexible to the dynamic and harsh working conditions common in the sector. One such type of mining structure is dome shelters. Dome shelters are quite popular in the mining sector, so if you’re looking for mining structures, your consideration should start here. Read on to see why.

What are dome shelters?

Dome shelters are dome-shaped structures built by carefully bringing together a number of materials. They are commonly built using used shipping containers, metal fabricated dome frames and a canopy covers. As you can see, the materials are few and simple, yet strong, and highly durable. Each dome varies from the other in terms of shape, height, and span. These details will, of course, depend on your particular needs.

Why a dome shelter?

Dome shelters are a favourite type of mining shelter for a number of reasons:

  1. They are easy to set up.  They require little labour; a crane is mostly used to mount the containers and the canopy frames. The process takes very little time and is often completed on the same day.
  2. It’s a temporary structure. It can easily be dismantled, moved, and built on another site.
  3. It provides lots of space with lots of applications. Depending on the size of the canopy frame, a dome shelter can span over a large area, providing lots of usable space.
  4. Dome shelters are quite stable and secure. The containers provide robust walls and serve as anchor points for the canopy.  

Different applications of a dome shelter

As mentioned above, dome shelters are very flexible and versatile in their applications. They can be used for the following uses:

  • Recreational space to eat or relax in
  • Vehicle parking for staff transport or mining equipment
  • Vehicle and equipment workshop space
  • Living quarters for mining staff and/or support staff
  • Office space (in the containers)
  • Living amenities (in the containers)
  • Storage
  • Processing and manufacturing, e.g. analysing ore samples, sorting and sifting materials, etc

Different considerations to make when designing a dome shelter

  • No containers – side posts only (offers limited space).
  • One container tier – ideal for workshop applications (limited ground clearance).
  • Two container tiers or more – provides additional space for accommodation, office, storage, plus provides lots of vertical clearance for even the largest equipment.
  • Canopy: fabric (not waterproof), poly, PVC or canvas tarps (very strong and waterproof).

Needless to say, only use an experienced contractor to put up your dome shelters in order to ensure maximum safety and durability, as well as fast set-up times.

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Why Metal Fabricators Should Opt For the Oxy-Acetylene Welding Process

Welding is one of the processes by which metal parts are joined together in the fabrication process. There are several different kinds of welding processes that can be used, but one of the most commonly used processes in the metal fabrication industry is oxy-acetylene welding. Despite being one of the oldest welding processes, many welders continue to use oxy-acetylene welding because of the unique benefits it offers.

If you are new to the metal fabrication industry, here is a breakdown of some of the benefits associated with oxy-acetylene welding process.


The oxy-acetylene process is popular for its flexibility since it can be used to weld most types of metal materials. Aside from that, it can be used in different fabrication applications like cutting metal. All you have to do to switch to the cutting process is to replace the welding tip with a cutting tip. And, unlike Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, which can only be used indoors to shield the molten weld pool from reacting with elements in the atmosphere, oxy-acetylene machinery can be used almost anywhere.

Quick learning curve

For novice welders out there, oxy-acetylene is an easy-to-learn process. Unlike other welding processes like MIG, people can perform oxy-acetylene welding with a bit of practice and skill. The high-temperature flame used in the fusion welding process is directed by the power source (a welding torch), which performs practically all the work as it fine-tunes welding parameters to suit the requirements of different conditions. 


If you want a pocket-friendly welding solution, you had better opt for the oxy-acetylene process because the needed equipment generally costs less to buy as compared to several other types of equipment used to perform other welding processes. However, keep in mind that the amount of cost savings realised may differ depending on the model or brand of equipment you purchase.

Independent power source

Oxy-acetylene welding equipment gets power supply from external energy sources. The equipment comes with steel cylinders that contain a mixture of acetylene and oxygen gases kept under pressure. With these independent power sources, there are no worries about power outages in the mains electricity supply line disrupting the welding process.


Because they are relatively lightweight, oxyacetylene welding machinery tends to be more easily portable as compared to other welding machines available for use by welders. They can be carried on the back of a pick-up truck or even on a person’s back.

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Questions to Help You Get the Best Performance from Your Laser Cutter

Fabrication technology has advanced so much that many hobbyists can now afford to buy laser cutters. However, some of those hobbyists may get unsatisfactory results from their CNC laser cutting machines due to having limited knowledge on how to optimise the performance of that equipment. This article discusses some questions that will help you to get the best results from that newly acquired laser cutter.

Are You Cleaning the Cutting Lens Effectively?

The laser beam from your laser cutter reaches the material that you are cutting by moving through the cutting lens. Any dirt in that lens may affect the quality of the cuts that you make. It is therefore crucial that you keep the cutting lens clean so that you consistently have high-quality cuts during your DIY fabrication projects.

Effective cleaning starts with knowing the amount of dirt on the lens so that you apply the right amount of pressure as you rub in the lens polish. Buy a polariser (a device that you place under the lens so that any imperfections on the surface due to dirt are magnified) so that you can see the microscopic cracks caused by dirt. Use light rubbing motions as you apply lens polish in order to remove minor cracks caused by dirt. Use heavier hand pressure to remove more pronounced lens cracks. This method will ensure that your cutting lens remains clean since your cleaning activities will be guided by the magnitude of the dirt in the lens.

Is the Nozzle Centered?

The nozzle delivering the assist gas as you cut needs to be centered so that the resulting cut is straight. Each laser cutter has a specific procedure for confirming that the nozzle is centered. However, you can take an extra step and buy a magnifying light so that it is easier for you to see how centered the test hole that you have cut is. The magnifying light will also save you from straining your eyes as you check how centered the nozzle is.

Is the Light Focused?

Laser cutters operate by concentrating light rays onto a single mark. Effective cuts result from using a laser cutter whose beam is focused well. Confirm that the light is focused by performing the recommended test more times than the manufacturer advised. For instance, the manufacturer may have advised that you enter light focus settings into the controller once you look through the view panel and you see a thin line pointing at the material to be cut. Turn the light beam on and off several times so that you use the average settings that give you a thin line pointing at the material. You will notice that the cuts will be better after you have used settings taken from several focus tests.

Keep practicing how to use the tips above and you may notice a significant improvement in the quality of the cuts made by your CNC laser cutting equipment. Consult an expert for help in case you are unsure about how to implement the tips above.

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Easy Ways to Sort Your Scrap Metal before Sale

If you have a lot of scrap metal lying around and do not know what to do with it, resist the urge to dump it all in the trash to get rid of it. If sorted properly, scrap metal can be quite profitable, depending on the quality and the amount that you have in your possession. Always remember though that one of the biggest pet peeves for scrap metal recyclers is having to clean and sort your metal for you. That is why unsorted metal does not fetch much when taken for recycling. To begin the sorting, keep a magnet handy with you, as this will make it easier to identify different types of metals. Here are some easy ways to sort your scrap metal before sale.

Sort the ferrous metals from the non-ferrous metals

One of the easiest ways to sort ferrous from non-ferrous metals is by using a strong magnet. Ferrous metals are magnetic, hence, they will always get attracted to your magnet. Some of the ferrous metals that you may come across include steel, iron and more. Non-ferrous metals, on the other hand, include copper, aluminium and more. Once you have sorted them into these two broad categories, you can segregate your metals further.

Individually sort your non-ferrous metals

Once you have your two piles of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, it is time to start placing each individual metal type in its own pile. The different metals are typically identified visually at this stage. Some of the metals you may find include:

  • Copper: Typically found in cabling, piping and wiring. It is copper coloured.
  • Red brass: Appears to be a redder shade of copper. However, it is not a pure form of copper.
  • Brass: Typically yellow in colour.
  • Aluminium: A silver metal that is lightweight.

Individually sort your ferrous metals

After sorting your non-ferrous metals, you should now segregate your magnetic metals. Some of the metals you may have in your stock include:

  • Steel: Although this metal appears silver when new, weathered steel will typically be the colour of rust due to corrosion. Steel is also quite heavy compared to the other ferrous metals.
  • Lead: This metal will have a greyish appearance. In the event that you also have lead batteries, such as car batteries, categorise them in a separate pile altogether.
  • Tin: This lightweight metal is typically silver in colour. Tin is easily malleable and will bend if you apply pressure to it. 

For more information on scrap metal recycling, visit a website like

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Unique Corporate Trophy Ideas You Can Buy Online

If you are the owner of a business, or you are the office manager who is in charge of selecting trophies to hand out to workers who have achieved specific goals or are outstanding at their job, you have a lot of choices. To help you out, here are some unique trophies you can order online that are more distinct and creative than the standard trophies that most companies give to their workers.

Curved, Beveled Glass Trophy — This type of trophy is made of beveled glass cut from jade crystal that curves inward, giving the trophy a unique and non-traditional look that is eye catching. This type of trophy is freestanding, which means that it doesn’t rest on a pedestal, so it will stand up on its own power on a flat surface. You can etch whatever message you want into this glass trophy, and you can also create unique designs and patterns in the glass. You can also customise the beveled glass by adding a frosting that makes the glass opaque.

Cultured Stone Trophy — Cultured stone has the exact appearance of natural stone such as granite and marble, but it is composed of recycled stone and is much more affordable than natural stone. It is an example of an eco-friendly trophy that is becoming more popular as people endeavour to do more to protect the environment. One of the most unique cultured stone trophies is one that is cut from a slab of stone that is then etched with whatever award design, logo and lettering you want. For example, you can have bronze or copper lettering stamped onto the cultured stone to create a bas-relief effect in which the design and words project off the surface of the stone.

3D Lucite Trophy — Lucite is a clear, solid plastic that is made from the same type of material that is used for Plexiglas. You can make a 3D lucite trophy in which the design, logo and graphics are layered or embedded between sheets of lucite, which results in a three-dimensional trophy that stands out from standard trophies. You can create a free standing trophy that rests flat on a surface, or you can have the trophy mounted on top of a base or pedestal made out of lucite or another type of material such as cultured stone, acrylic or metal to create a nice contrast between the base and the actual trophy.

For more ideas, start looking at online trophy retailers. You should be able to find the perfect trophies to represent the hard work of the people in  your office. 

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