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Topic: Inquiring minds want to know... at what temperature does Barbie melt?  (Read 11145 times)
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Subversive
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« on: September 08, 2006 08:04:16 AM »

This is not just a sick mind at work... I want to decorate a figure I'm making, which started out as a Barbie, with polymer clay, and I'm trying to figure out if I have to bake the PC pieces separately or if I can bake them in place.  Various sources give various temperatures at which PVC softens and/or melts... anyone tried this?  I think the body would be safe at PC curing temps (my convection oven runs at right around 280 F), but the head is softer and might collapse.
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« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2006 10:36:38 AM »

Interesting question. Wink Makes me want to experiment myself.

Are the pieces going on the head or just the body?  If you are not putting anything on the head, just take it off for the baking.  Come to think of it...I would probably not put the head in anyway because of the hair.  I imagine the hair would either melt quickly or catch on fire.
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« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2006 10:45:48 AM »

the  hair  will melt!!!!   we  used a  barbie in a attempt to  criplle her........   not  ill trying to  show a  child that  not all dolls are  perfect  either.  we  put her in on 250 and  watched  careflly  till we  thought she  was  soft  enough to  bend the  legs outa  whack.... hair  melted her to the pan.... we were so  busy watching the  legs teh hair  didn't  come to  mind  and that  was only about 3  minutes into the  process.......   pop the  dolls  head off for  sure !! if you will  try baking her.
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« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2006 01:03:08 PM »

This Barbie is already hairless, so that's not a concern, but unfortunately the head has already been fastened in place Sad  I think I may have to sacrifice a Barbie for the good of the cause (OH NOOOOOO!!!!)  Will report back on my findings.
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2006 02:50:17 PM »

thanks!
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« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2006 11:54:01 AM »

Yeah, it's true that different plastics have different softening and melting points, so one part could be different than another. 

Your convection oven is just a tad on the hot side for polymer clay unless you're using Kato brand polymer clay, but a lot of plastics will begin to slump if bare even at 225 or over.  You can always try to protect the parts you're not covering to moderate the temp there though, and be sure and make the clay for the parts you're covering reasonably thick which will also moderate the temp actuallyl reaching the doll.

You could also use a heat gun on just parts of the clay/doll (outside an oven) to cure the clay, but you'd need to hold the gun at a certain distance for the right time to be sure the clay is thoroughly cured.

Of course, you can always form the clay parts on the doll, let the clay firm up (wait some hours, or refrigerate or freeze a while), then carefully remove and bake them--with supports if necessay to hold thin parts.... then glue them back on later.

Check out these pages at my site for all kinds of info about baking polymer clay, making clothing, etc. for figures, and techniques for "covering" various materials (like plastic) with polymer clay:

baking
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm

http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/covering.htm
(...under the main "Plastics" subcategory)
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpting_body_and_tools.htm
(...click on "Clothing")

And here are some sites for "customizing" Barbies/etc. in general:
http://members.xoom.com/_XMCM/LDSmith/Tips1~1.html
http://www.blupest.com/customvisions/index.shtml
http://www.fantasydollsbyd.50megs.com/new_page_14.htm

P.S.  There's another issue with plastics and polymer clay in addition to baking.  Many plastics can be eaten into by the plasticizer in raw polymer clay if they're left in contact with it over time (some will even "fog" permanently from very little contact).  So don't wait more than a day or so to bake any clay after you've put it on the doll.


HTH and if you have more questions about using polymer clay, ask them over in the new polymer clay boards so we'll be sure and see them Grin!
http://tinyurl.com/6fu2u  &  http://tinyurl.com/pmztt


Diane B.




« Last Edit: December 15, 2008 02:02:41 PM by batgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
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Subversive
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2006 09:54:10 AM »

OK, in the interest of science  Roll Eyes I took a Barbie apart and put both her body and head in the oven at 300F (the highest temp I think anyone would be baking polymer clay) - at the end of 5 min. everything looked fine.  However,  at the end of 20 min., surprise!  head still looked fine, if maybe a little soft, but -- the body was melted.  Shocked  So there we have it, friends and neighbors - you can't bake PC embellishments right on Barbie.  I think I may just mold the piece to the doll to get the positioning right and then remove it and use some sort of support to hold the piece in the same position. 
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Diane B.
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« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2006 10:29:21 AM »

Quote
OK, in the interest of science  . .
 

Thanks, Subversive!!  I'll add that info to my website.

You did use a higher temp than most polymer clays need (265-275) though, and that could have made a critical difference since many plastics begin having problems at around that range.  So it's still possible that adding a thick layer of clay over even plastics which slump at lower temps will protect them just enough to prevent the slumping, esp. at the minimum times needed (that's the way it works with plastic film canisters, e.g.), while possibly also protecting the bare parts with other things (like in a pile of baking soda, etc.), but definitely more experimentation there than most people will want to do unless they're really into doing production work, I'd think!


P.S. Anyone who finds out more in the future, please report also! TIA Grin



Diane B.

 
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008 02:01:39 PM by batgirl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
jloveg
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« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2006 02:26:08 PM »

thanks!!!
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BlankGirl
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« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2007 06:40:07 PM »

I have a question about barbies. i want to melt the barbie but still have some parts raised. anyone have any ideas?
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I paint these little pictures with a temporary poison. each one just like the other. i wonder why i even bother.
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