2. Methods

2.1 Equipment List

  • identical picture frames (3)
  • Fine mosquito net (1)
  • Spoon (1)
  • Basin that can fit the frame (1)
  • Blender (1)
  • 80 gsm paper (60 pieces)
  • weights (50g each) for testing paper strength (20)
  • 4 tablespoons of cornstarch dissolved in 1 cup of cold water  then added to 3 3/4 cups of boiling water, cool before using
  • fabric (preferably felt or flannel) big enough to cover the entire frame
  • hair dryer to speed up drying process)

2.2 Diagrams of experimental setup  

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Figure 1: Experimental setup used to make the recycled paper

2.3 Procedures
  1. Stretch wire mesh very tightly over picture frame and staple it or nail it to the edges.
  2. Clean up the paper. Remove plastic, staples and other contaminants.Tear the paper into small pieces.
  3. Soak 20 pieces of paper in a bowl or cup with 600ml water to cover the paper for 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Blend the paper with the blender. Aim to get the pulp so that it's similar to the consistency of watery oatmeal.
  5. Fill your basin about halfway with water.
  6. Add the pulp to the basin and stir.
  7. Stir 30ml of liquid starch into the pulp mix.
  8. Immerse the frame in the mixture. Place your frame into the pulp, screen-side down, then level it while it is submerged. Lightly move it side-to-side until the pulp on top of the screen lies fairly uniformly flat.
  9. Slowly lift up the screen from the basin until it is above the water. Drip-drain it over the basin. Wait until most of the water has drained from the pulp. If the paper is very thick, remove some of the pulp from the top. If it is too thin, add some more pulp and stir the mixture again.
  10. Remove excess water from the paper. After you've lifted the screen out of the basin, gently place a piece of fabric on top of the "paper" in the frame. Use the fabric to press out as much water as possible from the other side of the screen.
  11. Gently press out any bubbles and loose edges at this point and then lift the fabric out of the frame once the paper is more dry. The wet sheet of paper should remain on the fabric. Place another piece of fabric on top of it and gently press. This will make the resulting paper smoother and thinner. Leave the second piece there as it dries.
  12. Peel the fabric off the frame slowly.
  13. Set the paper out to dry. Take the piece of paper and lay it out to dry on a flat surface. Speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer on the low setting.
  14. When the sheet of paper is thoroughly dried, gently peel off the fabric.
  15. This piece of paper will be Paper A.
  16. Repeat the above steps to make two additional sheets. The second batch of paper pulp must have 60ml of liquid starch in it. This will be Paper B.The third batch must have no liquid starch added to it. This will be Paper C.Each batch must consist of three papers.

  1. Cut each sheet of paper into identical sized paper strips.
  2. Hold both the ends of the paper and hang a string at the middle of the paper to hang the weights on.
  3. Put weights on the string till the paper tears. Record number of weights placed on the paper up to the moment it tears. Repeat the experiment three times to get an average number of weights it can hold before it tears.
  4. Repeat steps 18 and 19 for Paper B and Paper C.

2.4 Risk Assessment and Management  

getting cut by scissors
watch out and not put fingers there
getting burnt by iron/hairdryer
use iron and hairdryer carefully with adult supervision
getting cut by staples/etc during cleaning process
Use gloves to protect hands
accidentally dropping weights on self and hurting our feet
handle weights carefully
wear covered shoes

2.5 Data Analysis

Adding liquid starch to recycled paper helps prevent ink from soaking into the paper fibres. By preventing ink from soaking into the paper, it makes it easier to write on the paper using ink without tearing it, and hence this may mean that adding starch would make the recycled paper stronger.

  1.  Tabulate the data in a table (See Table 1) and calculate the average number of weights each sheet of paper could hold.
  2.  Plot a bar graph of the number of weights(y-axis) in relationship to the amount of impurities present in each paper (x-axis)
  3.  From the graph, we would expect the number of weights the papers can hold to increase as the amount of liquid starch in the paper increases.

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