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Old 10-30-2014   #21
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Default Re: Dust on black acrylic?

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Seems that theses brushes are still manufactured. Here are some of the specifications published by the manufacturer :

"StaticMaster brushes use the isotope Polonium 210. The Polonium depletes over time. It is recommended to replace the cartridge every 18 months. To ensure our customers get the longest use out of the devices all ionizing cartridges are made to order."

Ed
Very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Since I work at a nuke plant, maybe I should just bring some home. Haa.
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Old 10-30-2014   #22
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Seems that theses brushes are still manufactured. Here are some of the specifications published by the manufacturer :

"StaticMaster brushes use the isotope Polonium 210. The Polonium depletes over time. It is recommended to replace the cartridge every 18 months. To ensure our customers get the longest use out of the devices all ionizing cartridges are made to order."
Polonium 210 is almost a pure alpha emitter, with only twelve decays in a million emitting a gamma ray. The half-life of Polonium 210 is about tewnty weeks: at the end of each 20-week period, the isotope emits at half the intensity that it emitted at the beginning of the period. At the end of 18 months, which is about four half-lives, only about 1/16 of the original Polonium 210 is still around, the remainder having already decayed to (non-radioactive) Lead 208 and alpha particles, hence the periodic need to replace the cartridge.
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Old 10-30-2014   #23
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Default Re: Dust on black acrylic?

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Since I work at a nuke plant, maybe I should just bring some home. Haa.
I guess you can take some comfort in the fact that the dust doesn't fall off the plastic when you stand close to it.
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Old 10-31-2014   #24
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Since I work at a nuke plant, maybe I should just bring some home. Haa.
Good luck with that...

Polonium-210:a deadly element
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Old 10-31-2014   #25
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"StaticMaster brushes use the isotope Polonium 210.
Alexander Litvinenko says:
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Old 10-31-2014   #26
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Stef! I love your sign! I need one like that to hang over the table top that I use for food and beverage photography. I don't want anyone to eat the food or drink the beverages unless they are into floor wax on their apples. marbles in their soup, glycerin in their salads or soap suds injected into warm beer! Some wines do not photograph well so we add a red dye that is derived from arsenic. Well at least nothing is radioactive yet!

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Old 10-31-2014   #27
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Polonium210 is usually made by bombarding bismuth-209, but here is a diagram of other ways it can be made, i.e., radioactive decay sequences leading (eventually) to the formation of polonium-210.

Polonium-210:a deadly element
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Old 10-31-2014   #28
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I guess you can take some comfort in the fact that the dust doesn't fall off the plastic when you stand close to it.
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Old 11-03-2014   #29
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I bought black acrylic. Used it once, and hated the dust and little scratches. I painted the back of a sheet of glass black. Much easier to keep clean - and flatter. I thought there would be issues with double reflections, but others assured me it was not so. They were right.

I don't do much product work on black, but I have this that was shot on the glass.
Great idea!
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-03-2014   #30
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Come to think of it; there are many other materials, other than plastics and polymers that can be used to achieve black reflective or non reflective backgrounds. Black velvet or velveteen fabrics eat light like nobody’s business. Even folds in theses materials usually won’t show up because they will be way beyond the dynamic range of your camera's system, especially when the exposure is calculated for a lighter subject. If you want reflections you can use black mirror glass or ceramic tiles. Ordinary window or plate glass can be laid over velvet material or even seamless paper. Arborite, Formica or other brands of similar veneer material are available in various textures that are not as static generating when cleaned and can easily be formed into a cyclorama.

My problem with dust on acrylics and other plastic materials such as Lucite, Plexiglas, Lexan and other similar brands and formulations is when they are part of the product. Nowadays, plastic are used more and more for furniture, countertops, decorative surfaces, cabinetry and housings for electrical appliances, electronic equipment and instrumentation and even kitchen gadgets and toys. This is where the static arresting devices, special brushes, compressed air, anti-static cloths impregnated with various chemicals, humidifiers, wet newspaper, vaporizers and a lot of cussing and Photo-Shopping come into play.

I just finished a toy catalog job- lots of dark plastics- it was hell! I did enjoy shooting the Tonka-Trucks and the classic Tinker-Toys- nothin’ like good old metal and wood! Even with its dead flat finish, a plastic model of a Stealth Bomber attracted more dust that a vacuum cleaner- it was a nightmare!

Ed



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