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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Syracuse, NY (upstate)

    Default So Hot the Styrofoam Melted!

    So over the last couple of weeks I've been building a solar wax melter based mostly on the plans found here on the Bee Source website. It's a bit wider than the plans (28 inches) so I can fit a queen excluder inside, but about the same length as the plans (33 inches)". The glazing is polycarbonate sheet material like used for greenhouses . I tested the unit last week without any insulation and the wax melted rather well so I was looking forward to seeing how well it worked with insulation. This past weekend I installed 1" rigid polystyrene insulation (pink Owens-Corning Foamulary XPS) which cost $20 at Home Depot. Today I tried it again with the insulation. When I checked it at the end of the day the rigid foam insulation had melted, bowed, flattened, etc. It was as if someone had taken a blowtorch to it. I also had placed a small all Styrofoam cooler inside that held the wax filter. It totally collapsed and is now the consistency of an old piece of drywall. I plan to post photos of all once the project is completed.

    While I didn't have anything to record the temperature, the spec sheet put out by Owens-Corning says the material "STARTS to soften" at 220 degrees F. Regular Styrofoam is reported to start softening at 212 degrees F, so the temperature was something considerably higher than 220 degrees F.

    Today's temperature up here near Syracuse, NY was just shy of 90 degrees F.

    Last edited by ekrouse; 08-08-2012 at 07:18 PM. Reason: added information

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Kingsville, OH

    Default Re: So Hot the Styrofoam Melted!

    Now that's hot. My wax melter is wax inside a bucket inside a black garbage bag, and now in the picked up.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA

    Default Re: So Hot the Styrofoam Melted!

    Is it possible to get too hot?

    Also, Ben... Isn't it best to keep it in sunlight for bleaching? The "pickup truck" method (I hope it's a black pickup? ) seems just one step shy of "tossing everything in the oven set to warm..."

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