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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000249.txt from 1997/09

From: Roger Garrett <>
Subj: Re: ending the GreenLine plastic/composite thread
Date: Sat, 6 Sep 1997 13:06:07 -0400

What the below says so well is great! What is ommitted and is important
to note is that most other plastic clarinets are not Composite
Plastics.....therefore, the instrument Buffet has come up with is
remarkably different from a standard plastic clarinet that does not have
the wood chips/dust etc. as part of its material. Most people will agree
that the material itself is important in providing a resonating
chamber....and the Composite Plastic quality is much closer to a wood
clarinet in this regard than other plastic clarinets.

Roger Garrett

On Sat, 6 Sep 1997 wrote:

> To put to rest this silly subject, I have compiled some raw data for those of
> you who are in the dark about plastics/composites. As I stated before, there
> are many types of plastics, to name a few: thermoplastic (very broad),
> phenolics or laminates, acrylics, composites, polycarbonate, etc. In order
> to stay away from writing a plastics manual, I'll focus on composites and
> what some of you deem as plastic - thermoplastic (ABS).
> A composite plastic is made up of one or more filler materials, and a
> synthetic resin or binding agent. In order to create a composite plastic, a
> resin binder, added with a filler such as wood chips, paper, metal dust,
> carbon fiber, fiberglass, etc., is applied under heat and pressure and is
> transformed into a solid mass. The name of this chemical reaction is called
> polymerization. Even though it may have many properties (ex. GreenLine has
> carbon fiber, polycarbonate, wood dust, resin binder), it becomes a new
> material - a COMPOSITE PLASTIC. Therefore, it no longer has the same
> properties of grenidilla but has properties of its own. Different mixtures
> produce varied results but defining characteristics of composites and/or
> phenolics (laminates) are density, heat resistance, and hardness/strength.
> A thermoplastic is a heat sensitive (varying degrees), injectable plastic
> used in a wide variety of applications. Just look around the house and
> you're bound to find dozens of thermoplastic products. For example, shampoo
> bottles, computer housing, cd box, pen casings, etc. By changing the
> properties of thermo, different results will occur (i.e. -hardness, heat
> resistance, tensile strength, flexibility, etc.) defining characteristics
> of thermoplastic are light weight to high strength ratio, varying
> flexibility. ABS is a commercial name used in many applications - your
> computer casing is thermoformed ABS, the Saturn automobile "polymer panels"
> are a thermoformed plastic.
> In conclusion, the term "plastics" is extremely broad and is not limited to a
> few materials and cannot be judged by looks or external characteristics
> alone. The GreenLine IS a plastic -a COMPOSITE PLASTIC - and possesses
> properties of its contents, but is not wood. Plastics used in most
> applications are not affected by temperature changes (the weather) hence,
> will not crack unless physically done so. The reason why the GreenLine
> apparently sounds the same as the wood model is that the two are manufactured
> utilizing the same dimensions (bore, tonehole placement, fraising, etc.).
> Buffet hasn't developed a new and ingenious product but have just
> re-designed a composite plastic using their waste material.
> I have personal opinions on lots of stuff but the above is purely factual
> data. I have found most people on this list are intelligent and speak
> knowingly about subjects they are familiar with. For those who told me I was
> "shooting my opinions off" and for others who came up with their own wacky
> opinions on plastic, this is for you!!!!!!!!

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