Wheatgrass Health Benefits – What's in Wheatgrass and What Health Benefits Does it Have?

There are a lot of vitamins and nutrients that makes wheatgrass a super-food. Here's what's in wheatgrass and what you can expect it to do for you.

Chlorophyll

Because chlorophyll has almost the same molecular makeup of hemoglobin, it promotes hemoglobin production and acts as a "blood food" to keep your blood healthy.

Vitamin B12

Assists in forming myalin (the covering around nerve cells that helps nerves to function properly) Also, B12 helps in forming blood cells. Vitamin C – Protects against complications of the flu and common cold. Helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. Also, Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system.

Vitamin D

Has shown to protect against the development of cancer. Helps prevent and has been know to reverse the effect of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin D also helps the body to absorb calcium, promoting stronger bone structure.

Magnesium

Helps the body to absorb potassium and calcium. Magnesium is know as "food for muscles" and also helps to promote healthy cardiovascular system.

Iron

Promotes the delivery of oxygen to vital tissues and organs, helping to increase energy levels and overall health.

Selenium

Assists in thyroid function and plays a role in a healthy immune system. Creates antioxidants that fight free radicals that come from alcohol, tobacco smoke, fats, and pollutants in the air.

The benefits of wheatgrass can be taken advantage of by drinking fresh wheatgrass juice, wheatgrass tablets, or mixing powder with water and drinking it.

On top of the above health benefits, wheatgrass actually helps promote healthy bodily processes.

Gymnastics Grips – What Dowel Grip Size Does Your Gymnast Need?

Gymnastics grips are extremely important when it comes to a gymnast's uneven bar success. One thing more important than the gymnastics hand grips themselves is the fit. If the gymnastics grips are too big or too small they are worthless and will do their job unnecessarily!

In order to get the perfect fitting gymnastics grips you need to know the gymnast's grip size. You can ensure you get the correct grip size very easily; all you have to do is measure!

When you begin to measure for dowel grips have the gymnast make her hand straight. Take a ruler or tape measure and measure from the bottom of the palm (where the wrist and hand meets) to the very top of the middle finger (do not include finger nails, which should not be there anyway). Make sure you measure the underside of the hand, not the front. The measurement should be in inches. Once you get the final measurement all you have left to do is pick out the brand and style of gymnastics grips you want. Go to the sizing chart, look at the different grips sizes and select what grip size matches your measurements. Make sure you double check the grip size you selected.

Both hands should be the same size but on rare occasions I get a gymnast who has one hand that is significantly bigger than the other. If this is the case, you will need to measure both hands and buy two different size dowel grips that are the same brand and style.

Security Into The Future

Mobile phones, fax machines, personal computers, PDA's, the Internet and DVD players – these are just some of the items we have come to take for granted in our daily lives. Items which just twenty years ago, would have been the stuff of science fiction – in the same realm as laser guns and teleporters. In fact, given the rapid rate of technological development which has occurred over the last twenty years, one can not help but wonder where we might be ten years from now.

The security industry, like so many areas of society, is currently experiencing a massive transformation as many of the traditional analogue technologies with which we have become so familiar give way to the digital revolution. IP cameras and increasingly sophisticated digital recording systems have, in just three short years, rendered tape and coax based systems obsolete while innovations in the field of biometrics are threatening to replace even the most advanced access control and identification systems. In fact, so rapid is technology developing, that in many instances, new and cutting edge technology is often superseded by even newer and better technology before it even makes it off the drawing board. Given this state of affairs, we though it may be fun to take a speculative look at the varieties of new developments currently being reviewed with a view to better understanding what the security industry might look like in year 2015.

For the betterment of society they say gizmos and gadgets are being made, but kept secret from the general public – that is, until now. In the new age of information, accessing he kinds of information once hidden from public view can now be found in the sprawling and never ending labyrinth that is the Internet – one need only know where to look.

Fluid Lenses

Imagine a fully functional varifocal CCTV lens, which incorporates no moving mechanical parts, is not digital and still has the ability to zoom. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of this lens, however, is that it is roughly the size, height and width of typical shirt button. While it sounds amazing, that is exactly what researchers at Phillips Research are currently working on.

Genius in its design, the FLUID FOCUS SYSTEM mimics the human eye in almost every way, even down to the movement and texture of the lens. This amazing lens is able to zoom and focus thanks to a breakthrough process known as electrowetting.

Electrowetting is the process of manipulating the shape of the lens via the application of an electric field across a special hydrophobic coating on the outside of the lens.

The lens consists of two types of fluid, one fluid is electrically conductive while the other is non-conductive. When an electrical charge is introduced to the fluid in the lens, the fluid reacts, creating surface tension, which bends the sidewalls of the lens. This in effect allows the lens to be made either completely flat (no lens affect), or into a concave shape for zoom and focus.

Switching over the full focus range is obtained within a 10 milli-second period. The lens is DC powered, consuming an amazing.01 of a volt near zero usage, the lens itself is shock proof and able to be operated over a massive temperature range and has also been testing executing over 1 million focusing operations with out any optical loss at all.

The Fluid Focus Lens may play a major role in the development of future generation of miniaturized digital cameras and security cameras – especially the hidden kind. Schematic cross section of the Fluid Focus lens principle.

When a voltage is applied, charges accumulate in the glass wall electrode and opposite charges collect near the solid / liquid interface in the conducting liquid. The resulting electrostatic force lowers the solid / liquid interfacial tension and with that the contact angle and hence the focal distance of the lens. (C) To (E) Shapes of a 6-mm diameter lens taken at different applied voltages.

Researchers show the miniature variable lens and the camera that contains it Bionic Eyes (Vision Prosthesis Project)

Australian inventors say they will soon be looking for volunteers to start human trials of a 'bionic eye'. The device consists of a silicon chip inserted into the eyeball and a pair of 'camera glasses' worn by users. Images from the glasses are broken down into pixels, which are then passed to the tiny chip, which acts like a retina.

The chip simulates the images and transmits a message to the retinal cells along a series of small wires. The reports indicate that tests on animals have so far been successful and designer Gregg Suaning of Australia's University of Newcastle now wants to begin trials on a group of approximately five human volunteers.

Mr Suaning says volunteers must be profiled blind, as people with partial sight will be excluded because of the potential risk of visual damage. Mr Suaning has been working on the project for five years. "The principle of a bionic eye is very similar to that of the bionic ear. It is a silicon chip, which decodes the radio signals and deliveries simulations. broadcast images into the body. The process can be likened to a radio station that only has a range of 25 millimetres. "

A separate processing unit makes 'sense' of the camera images by looking for certain features, such as doorways of light. Current technology means the unit is only able to send 10×10 pixel images, but Mr Suaning hopes this will improve with time. "In the near future, I would expect the bionic eye to advance to a stage of improving the human eye's capabilities."

Imagine a being able to replace damaged eyes in law enforcement officers, soldiers or security personnel with a combination bionic eye retro fitted with the fluid lens technology. Such a process might enable the recipient to zoom their vision in and out in a similar manner to a 60 mm lens. Just imagine the applications for law enforcement, military and security use.

Smart Bullets

If you think bionic eyes are impressive are impressive, what about "smart bullets". Researches at the University of Florida have developed a "smart bullet" which, once fired at a target, can wirelessly transmit data back to either the shooter or a designated receiver. The projectile, created at the University of Florida in Gainesville, USA, is a mere 1.7 centimetres in diameter and can be fired from a gas powered paint ball gun.

The front of the bullet is covered in an adhesive polymer that sticks to the target. Inside the projectile is a sensor, a tiny wireless transmitter and a small battery. The "smart bullet" is reportedly able to transmit a range of information over distances of up to 70 meters. The projectile is also reusable, as it is propelled using compressed gas contained in the gun and not the traditional gun powder.

The US firm Lockheed Martin, who has provided funding for the project to date, are interested in developing a version containing a miniature sensor capable of detecting traces of the explosive TNT. The idea would be to fire the specially configured "smart bullet" into a trashcan or other object to detect traces of TNT, negating the need for bomb detection experts to wear vast amounts of bomb detection gear or place themselves in potentially dangerous situations.

A smaller unit could easily be fitted into an aluminum walking stick as an example, with an internal gas cylinder and small firing button. This wlaking cane could then be used to fire a "smart bullet" containing a tracking device onto the clothing of a surveillance target. The target would feel akin to a mosquito bite in the middle of their back.

However, surveillance teams would then be able to track the target via a wireless PDA, perfect for Private Investigators, government agencies and law enforcement groups.

Compressed Air / Paint Ball Gun / Smart Guns

From smart bullets to smart guns. Imagine a firearm with no moving mechanical parts which is capable of switching between lethal and non lethal types of ammunition at the flick of a switch and which can determine whether or it is in the possession of an authorized user.

As fantastic as it sounds, this is exactly what Metal Storm have developed with their new O'Dwyer VLe (Variable Law Enforcement) handgun. The technology behind the VLe represents a radical departure from conventional ballistics systems, in that it is based around a 100% electronic operating system. Advanced weapons systems such as the VLe, based on Metal Storm technology, are therefore not bound by the limited performance parameters imposed by a reliance on traditional mechanical parts.

At the core of the technology is a projectile design, which enables multiple high-pressure projectiles to be stacked in-line in a barrel, and then electrically fired in sequence. In turn, multiple barrels can be grouped together to form compact weapons systems of unparallel performance.

Metal Storm technology has no moving parts, no separate magazine, no ammunition feed or ejection system and no conventional cartridge case. With Metal Storm, the only thing that moves is the projectiles – all operating components are electronic.

Each bullet in the stack is separated by a propellant load, which is electronically ignited. When the first bullet in the stack is fired, the following bullet expands and 'locks' in the barrel, preventing high pressure and high temperature 'blow-by' which causes unplanned ignition of the following propellant load. When the following bullet is then fired, the pressure behind it causes it to 'relax' adequately to fire. This process is repeated as the bullet train is progressively fired.

The relating method for a particular system will depend on the nature of the system, and also on the preference and requirements of the user. For instance, in the four-barred military handgun, which is being developed as the next generation VLe handgun prototype, a multi-shot cartridge containing six or seven bullets is being designed. This cartridge, which would look something like a disposable pen, would insert into each barrel in similar manner to a shotgun cartridge.

However, there are a number of available citing alternatives for the VLe which may also suit particular police or military circumstances. Rather than relying on each of the four barrels having a separate multi-shot cartridge, some operators may prefer a single block of four multishot cartridges constructed as one larger replaceable 'cartridge' containing, for example, a total of 24 bullets.

Other operators may prefer to have individual single-use lightweight preloaded polymer barrels which clip into place to tailor a weapon to a specific task. For instance, such clip-on barrels could be provided in a range of calibers, types andities so that a police officer can select and rapidly assemble barriers which contain all lethal rounds, or a mixture of lethal and non-lethal rounds.

The unique Metal Storm design also provides to its user the ability to choose between firing the bullets one at a time at regular intervals or at variable rates of fire ranging from slow to very rapid. Users can vary the rate of fire simply by selecting and adjusting an electronic controller. In a multi-barrel weapon, the user can select any or all barrels to fire any number of rounds at any available selected rate.

In a conventional mechanical weapon, there are a number of mechanical actions, which must be completed between each firing. These actions set an upper limit on the rate at which the weapon can operate. For instance, some mechanical Gatling gun type weapons can fire up to approximately 6,000 rounds per minute for limited periods. In Metal Storm weapons, the elimination of mechanical processes has claimed in demonstrated burst rates in excess of one million rounds per minute from a 36- barrel weapon.

Another of the many benefits of the Metal Storm technology is its reliability over conventional mechanical weapons systems. Mechanical weapons, because of themovement, wear and operating stresses on the operating metal components, are expected to experience mechanical failure of some sort, such as jamming, after a calculated average number of firings. This rate of failure is termed the 'mean rounds between failure'.

As Metal Storm weapons have no mechanical components, they are less likely to jam. However, while the weapon may not jam, there is still a certain amount of concern regarding what might happen the power supply in an electronic weapon fail.

After all, no matter how well maintained a weapon might be, it must be expected that when the battery will fail. Therefore, ensuring a reliable power supply is a significant consideration. For this reason, the VLe handgun is being developed to include a slide device, which can be operated to generate and store electrical energy to enable the weapon to operate even if a battery is not installed.

Due to the electronic operation of the VLe, designers have been able to integrate a form of access control. The prototype VLe featured a 64 digit electronic keying system, which limits firing access to only authorized persons wearing a dress ring which conceals a miniature transponder. Developed by a US company, the keying system can activate the weapon in just a few milliseconds. This system can also be adjusted so that user groups can be designated, allowing groups of people, such as in special operations teams and Special Forces, to operate each other's weapons while preventing the weapons from being used by opposing forces. Metal Storm is currently working with companies around the world to enhance the reliability and usability of this feature through the possible use of biometrics.

Palm or fingerprint readers built into the grip of the weapon would allow an authorized user to activate the firearm in a fraction of a second by simply taking hold of it.

Non-Lethal Alternatives

Future development of the VLe handgun is planned to include a multiple barrel configuration and to provide to users the option of firing either lethal or non-lethal rounds. Based on preliminary discussions with police departments, this represents a highly prized feature which is seen to offer increased options for law enforcement officers involved in 'stand off' situations with criminals. In a four barrel configuration, an officer could carry lethal ammunition in two barrels and nonlethal ammunition in the other two, switching between the two types of ammunition as circumstances dictate, greatly increasing his / her use-of force options and reducing unnecessary deaths.

Some of the different types of ammunition Metal Storm systems may use could include lethal rounds but also non-lethal payloads, including rubber bullets and expandable bean bags as well as miniature cameras, tracking devices and so on.

Some of the other systems the VLe could support include an on-board information storage system for increase accountability, a friendly fire system and tracking capabilities. The information storage system would enable an officer to download information from their weapon to a computer detailing, if the weapon had been fired, by what it had been fired, where and when it was fired, how many shots were fired and what type of ammunition was used.

What is the Best Barbecue Book?

There are a lot of books claiming to be the Best Barbecue Book in the world. But while most books only have recipes and some only have tips on how to make the perfect barbecue, there are a few that combine both plus more additional information packed into one neat volume. The Best Barbecue Book should not only include tips and recipes but it has to also be a comprehensive guide to everything that is related to barbecue.

The following is a list of the top four books that we think deserve to be called, “The Best Barbecue Book.”

1. Peace Love And Barbecue by Mike Mills

Presented in scrapbook form with stories and photographs from travels across America in search of the best barbecue that the country has to offer, this book earns the title, “The Best Barbecue Book.” It is a loving tribute with a multitude of delectable recipes, new techniques and classical styles of cooking, and a cornucopia of stories and photographs that make this a comprehensive guide to everything that there is to know about barbecue. This book is a must-have for foodies and barbecue aficionados.

2. Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country by Lolis Eric Elie with photographs by Frank Stewart

This book is the result of a cross-country trip that Lolis Eric Elie and Frank Stewart took towards the wonderful world of barbecue. This isn’t focused on barbecue alone; it is about the people and the places at the heart of it. With excellent recipes and fascinating profiles of the true blue fans of barbecue, Smokestack Lightning is the definitive representation of the heart and soul of barbecue.

3. Where There’s Smoke, There’s Flavor: Real Barbecue – The Tastier Alternative To Grilling by Richard W. Langer

This is a detailed guide to the basics of smoke cooking, which, according to author Richard W. Langer, is the secret to cooking a great barbecue. “Low heat, a long time, and lots of smoke – those are the keys to a good barbecue.” This book features plenty of mouthwatering recipes as well as traditional and contemporary approaches to barbecue.

4. Smoke & Spice: Cooking With Smoke, The Real Way To Barbecue by Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison

Culinary experts believe that smoke-cooked barbecue is the way to go when it comes to real barbecue. This book is based solely on smoke cooking. It includes easy-to-follow recipes, various cooking techniques, and even information on what equipment to use.

These books do not take the fun away from cooking and instead, allow even first-time cooks to experience the joy and learn the art of cooking barbecue. Any one of these books deserves to be called “The Best Barbecue Book.”

NFPA70E, Arc Flash And Safe And Efficient Thermography Practices

What is an Arc Flash?

An arc flash is like a bolt of lightening that occurs around energized electrical equipment. It can occur spontaneously and is often triggered simply by the movement of air when an electrical enclosure is opened. The NFPA has recognized the significant hazard of arc flash and is attempting to protect workers via the latest implementation of NFPA 70E-The Standard for Employee Safety in the Workplace.

About 10-15 serious arc flash incidents occur in the US each day. Most causes of arc flash are operator induced.

Most technicians who routinely work around energized electrical equipment are familiar with arc flash-having seen it first hand. It is thought of like a major automobile accident: no one really expects it to happen to them, so people have a tendency to drive with significantly less caution than they should. So it is with arc flash, only worse. Similar to driving you can make a mistake, or you can be doing everything right when someone slams into you.

Specifically, what is an arc flash?

An arc flash is electric current flowing through an arc outside its normal path where air becomes the conductor of high thermal energy (5000ºC %2B) and generates highly-conductive plasma. An arc flash will conduct all available energy and generate an explosive volumetric increase of gases which blows electrical system doors off and potentially generates shrapnel.

What are the causes of Arc Flash?

An arc flash occurs when the gap between conductors or conductors and ground is momentarily bridged. There is always a trigger event which almost always involves human intervention. Typical causes and contributing factors include:

  • Accidental contact with energized parts
  • Inadequate short circuit ratings
  • Tracking across insulation surfaces
  • Tools dropped on energized parts
  • Wiring errors
  • Contamination, such as dust on insulating surfaces
  • Corrosion of equipment parts and contacts
  • Improper work procedures

An arc flash is electric current flowing in an arc outside its normal path where air becomes the conductor.

The vast majority of arc flash faults occur when the door is open or being opened. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) is the author of NFPA 70, also known as the National Electric Code (NEC). This paper is not intended to provide a comprehensive review of the information available in the code, but merely to highlight some of the information that may be related to thermography.

NFPA 70E is the standard for safe electrical work practices.

The NEC is an electrical design, installation and inspection standard. It does not specifically address topics like electrical maintenance and safe work practices. A national consensus was needed for safety while working around live electrical equipment. NFPA 70E is the standard for safe electrical work practices. NFPA 70E addresses four specific topics: safety related work practices, safety related maintenance requirements, safety requirements for special equipment and installation safety requirements. NFPA 70 suggests that a Hazard/Risk analysis must be conducted prior to working on electrical equipment. The core of the analysis is based on shock and arc flash boundaries which must be done by a qualified electrical engineer.

Shock Hazards, Flash Hazards and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Selection

Prior to beginning work around live electrical components, an Energized Electrical Work Permit must be obtained and should include but not be limited to the following:

  • A description of the circuit, the equipment to be worked on and the location
  • Justification for why the work must be performed in an energized condition
  • Description of the safe work practices to be performed
  • Results of the Shock Hazard Analysis
  • Determination of the Shock Protection Boundaries
  • Results of the Flash Hazard Analysis
  • The Flash Protection Boundary
  • Identify the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required to safely perform the assigned task
  • Means employed to restrict unqualified personnel from entering the work area
  • Evidence of completion of a job briefing
  • Energized work approval from responsible management, safety officer and owner

Prior to working with live components, the correct Personal Protective Equipment and safe working practice must be determined.

NFPA 70E allows for an exemption to the safe work permit for qualified personnel who are performing tasks such as testing, troubleshooting, voltage measuring, etc. so long as they utilize safe work practices and the proper PPE. Prior to working with live components, the correct personal protective equipment and safe working practice must be determined by carrying out a Shock Hazard and a Flash Hazard Analysis. A Shock Hazard Analysis will determine the voltage to which personnel are exposed, boundary requirements and the proper PPE necessary to minimize the possibility of shock to personnel. The shock protection boundaries are identified as limited, restricted, and prohibited for the distances associated with various voltages.

Unqualified personnel should be notified and warned of hazards by qualified personnel when working at or near the limited approach boundary. When an unqualified person must work inside the restricted boundary, it is important that they be further notified of the risks and hazards and continuously escorted by a qualified person. Under no circumstances should they be allowed inside the prohibited boundary. It is important that a Flash Hazard Analysis be conducted in order to protect personnel from being injured by an arc flash. The analysis will determine the Flash protection boundary and determine the proper PPE. In so doing, the Flash protection boundary is calculated at the distance from energized parts where a burn will be “recoverable” (2nd Degree) and “incurable” (3rd Degree). The guidelines dictate that the Flash protection boundary for systems that are 600 volts or less be 4′ for clearing times of 6 cycles (0.1 second) and available bolted fault current of 50kA or any combination not exceeding 300kA cycles. For all other clearing times and bolted fault currents, the flash protection boundary is normally determined based on the calculated incident energy of an arc fault taking into account system voltage, available current, and clearing time (where incident energy is the measure of thermal energy at a specific distance from the fault). Where it is not possible to perform these analyses (or they have not been performed), NFPA 70 provides guidelines (NFPA 70 Table 130.7-C9a) that can be used to determine the required PPE based on the task conducted. In lieu of a Flash Hazard study, selection of PPE by task is normally allowed. However, for tasks not listed in the table and for clearing times different then those listed there, a complete Flash Hazard Analysis is required. Using Flash Hazard Analysis or Task Risk Assessment, the following table can be used to identify the correct PPE:

Thermography Inspection Practices Infrared cameras have been used to identify problems in electrical systems for many years. Problems in electrical systems manifest themselves by connections and conductors becoming overheated as the result of increased resistance, the result of loose or corroded connections, or load imbalances. An infrared camera can readily identify these problems in a thermal image and is an excellent method for identifying failing or problem components prior to a failure. A failure can disable an electrical system and cause significant lost production, equipment damage and bodily injury. Insurance companies use infrared electrical inspection to help determine risk profiles and rates for industrial customers. More recently, thermographers have found that they can use IR to prevent and predict failures to help further reduce down time equipment failure and increase overall safety.

Often, during thermography inspections, panel covers are removed and subsequently replaced, a method that conflicts with the requirements of NFPA70E.

Like visible cameras, infrared cameras require a direct-line-of-site view of an object. In most cases surveys are hampered by cabinet designs that obscure the target components being inspected and thermographers are put at risk by having to open cabinets or doors in an attempt to gain access to the internal components. IR surveys of electrical systems are best conducted when the system is under heavy if not peak electrical load, which requires the thermographer to perform the inspection in and around live electrical components. Typically, electrical system covers are removed during thermography inspections and subsequently replaced. This working method conflicts with the requirements of NFPA 70E.

Recommendations of NFPA70E as they relate to Thermography Inspection

NFPA 70E recommends that only “qualified” personnel be allowed to perform work inside the flash protection boundary. Thermographers must be accompanied by “qualified” individuals if they intend to have panel covers removed. Both the thermographer and the additional person should be in full PPE. One way NFPA 70E determines Hazard and Risk and the required PPE is based on the activity that you are conducting around the equipment. Risk potentials are determined on a scale from 0-4, where 4 indicates the highest risk potential. For example, removal of a bolted cover on 600V equipment carries a hazard/risk classification of 3 and that goes up to a rating of 4 on voltages greater than 600V. As this work occurs within the Flash Protection boundary, the appropriate PPE must be worn. The required minimum PPE for Hazard/Risk Classification 3 work is to withstand 104.6 J/cm², and the required minimum PPE for Hazard/Risk Classification 4 work is to withstand 167.36 J/cm². As much of the work performed for an IR inspection requires removal of bolted covers, this would be the PPE that is required.

Infrared Windows: Eliminate the Controllable Risk

The first rule in any risk assessment is to eliminate the risk if possible. Infrared Windows eliminate many of the risks associated with live inspections since they enable an infrared camera direct view of live electrical components without the need to open electrical enclosures. They provide an excellent means of accessing electrical equipment efficiently and safely. In addition, a second qualified technician is not required to open and unbolt enclosures. An IR viewing window is basically an infrared transparent material with a holder/mounting body. Thermographers may even decide to not use a window when inspecting energized components at some distance from the cover and use a protective grill in place of a window. The grill must be IP2X certified (the grill size must offer protection against foreign objects with diameters larger than 12mm). This method can significantly reduce the window cost and also has the additional benefit of allowing ultra sound inspections of the electrical switchgear. However when using grills, operators will be exposed to live electrical components and they must wear the appropriate level of PPE identified from the Arc Flash Hazard Analysis of the switchgear. Infrared Windows eliminate many of the risks associated with live infrared inspections since they enable an infrared camera direct view of live electrical components without the need to open electrical enclosures. The optics holder design depends upon a number of parameters: the field of view, equipment lens and window size are all functions of the design and must meet all the parameters that the thermographer requires before a holder is manufactured. Also, a protective cover should be included in the design as crystals are very expensive and in some cases, extremely fragile. Infrared Windows are available in multiple sizes and can be custom made to retrofit dead fronts on distribution and isolator boards. The larger the size of the window, the greater the field of view one can see with their IR camera.

Considerations in Installing Infrared Windows

To correctly install infrared windows, the targets that require inspection must be identified. Typically, traditional surveys only look at the bolted connections within the switchgear. These are generally considered to be the “weakest points” or “points most likely to fail.” These may include:

  • Cable connections
  • Bus Bar Connections
  • Isolator or Circuit breaker connections

The formula for calculating the field visible through an Infrared Window is: FoV = 2 x tan (angle/2) x D, where FoV is the width of the object area that will be viewed, the “angle” is the angular field-of-view of the camera, and “D” is the distance from the camera (ostensibly the window) to the objects being viewed. Once a decision has been made about what objects are to be inspected through the infrared window, the number of windows and appropriate size must be determined as well as where they need to be installed to ensure best coverage (and therefore maximum efficiency). The size of the infrared window will depend on several factors, including the infrared camera’s clear aperture, its ability to focus on close objects, its ability to be placed as close as possible to the window, the camera’s angular field-of-view and the amount of manipulation is possible with the camera when viewing through the window. An important consideration is how the infrared camera can be manipulated when looking through an infrared window. A high degree of manipulation can have the effect of increasing the size of the inspection area by up to a factor of 3. This means that if the object under observation is 12 inches across, depending on several factors, it is possible that a window diameter of 4 inches (for IR window size calculation purposes) can still be used if the operator manipulates the camera from left to right or up and down.

The required size of the window will depend on the following:

  • the size of the objects to be viewed and their distance from the panel cover;
  • the infrared camera’s angular field-of-view and clear aperture;
  • the camera’s ability to focus on close objects and to be placed close to the window.

Typically, infrared cameras have a horizontal field of view of 25°. Those infrared cameras that offer a wide-angle lens option (for example 50°) permit the user to have a substantially wider field of view, resulting in an increase in viewing area through the same infrared window size. This can be a great advantage in certain situations, reducing the size and possibly the number of windows. Other useful infrared camera features are close focus capability, small lens diameter resulting in a small clear aperture, motorized focus (eliminating the need to get fingers on the lens focus ring and moving the camera away from the window) and a chassis design that facilitates movement at the window such as an articulating camera head that allows the user to look into windows above eye level or at near floor level.

The View through an Infrared Window

An infrared window allows a camera operator to inspect the inside of an electrical cabinet to check the physical condition of the components that you have chosen to inspect. As with traditional thermographic inspections we can see temperature differences very clearly. You need to have the confidence in the infrared windows that you are using. They are designed to allow infrared energy to transmit through them at a known transmission rate; therefore, if there is even a slight temperature difference you will be able to see that with your IR camera, and be able to record images for the IR inspection program.

Considerations for Installing Infrared Windows

Installing an infrared window requires cutting holes into very expensive switchgear. Therefore, it is very important to be very sure that they are installed in the correct location and that the switchgear ratings are not degraded in any way. Before installation, the following factors need to be considered:

  • NEMA or IP rating of the switchgear and IR windows: Remember to never install an IR window of a lower rating than the rating of the switchgear.
  • Test Certifications: Ensure that the IR windows have been tested and approved by the certification bodies as the switchgear for which they are intended (i.e. UL, IEEE. Lloyds).
  • Internal obstacles: Before removing internal Perspex/Plexiglas covers or cables, ensure that the local safety manager’s approval is sought first. In some cases you may not be able to totally remove the covers and may only be able to modify them by drilling or punching holes to retain the IP2X requirement for some switchgear.
  • Explosion Ratings (if applicable): Some panels are positioned in intrinsically safe areas and as such can never be modified in the field.
  • Dielectric Clearances: Where IR windows use grills or inspection orifices, they must comply with IP2X (13mm 0.5″), and clients must be made aware of the safe dielectric clearances for the type of switchgear that they intend to install the window into. The table shown at the left (from IEEE C37.20.2 table A.3) specifies minimum distances from live components, and it is recommended that these be considered as a standard for grills/inspection orifices.

When using Infrared Windows, it is important to correct for the transmission specification of the window and the emissivity of the component that is to be inspected through the IR window. One way of correcting for the effects of the window is by adjusting the camera’s emissivity value for an object of known temperature until the camera’s reading is correct. For objects at the same ambient temperature and emissivity, the new emissivity value can be used.

When using Infrared Windows, it is important to correct for the transmission loss of the window and the emissivity of the component that is to be inspected through the IR window.

Another way of using IR windows is to prepare all components that are to be inspected so that they have the same emissivity (for example, with electrical tape, emissivity paint, IR-ID Labels). In this case, all components being inspected will have the same transmission rate and emissivity readings; consequently, the results gathered will be far easier to compare.

Can IR Windows Carry a Generic Arc Rating?

Electrical switchgear takes on many different shapes and sizes. The surface areas and volumetric elements of the cabinets are different with each model, type and rating. Each cabinet is subjected to the testing that is laid down by the certification bodies such as UL, IEEE, etc. This test is completed on the cabinet assemblies and not the components that make up the assembly. Electrical cabinet designs and dimensions are infinite, and we therefore CANNOT or MUST NOT use the data from one cabinet design for another design unless they are identical in every way. This is why components never carry a generic arc rating and must be subjected to industry standard tests to confirm that they conform to the minimum required level of mechanical strength and environmental properties for the electrical cabinets and assemblies which they are going to be fitted into.

Conclusion

Because of the frequent occurrence of arc flash in industry, it is extremely important to be aware of the risks associated with inspection of high voltage switchgear and related items. Concerns about operator safety due to an arc-flash event are causing inspectors to adopt new practices in accordance with NFPA 70E, the standard for safe electrical work practices. Shock and Flash Hazard analyses are required in many situations. Personal Protective Equipment recommendations are also available. One new common safety practice involves the use of infrared transparent windows which eliminate many of the risks associated with live infrared inspections since they enable an infrared camera to have a direct view of live electrical components without the need to open electrical enclosures.

Sinus Drainage

Sinus drain is basically the over production of mucus and blockage of the sinuses that is caused by irritation of the nasal lining. What happens during this process is that as an irritant like dust or pet dander enters the nose defences try to get rid of the irritant by releasing histamines, which end up worsening the condition rather than solving it. Irritants or allergens are not only natural; these can also be from man-made things like cigarettes, pollution and so on.

The inflammation in the sinuses does not only cause blockage but it can also leave individuals with headaches, body aches and post nasal drip from the inability to drain.

Causes of sinus drainage

There are with no doubt adequate reasons how sinus drain is caused but the one reason is that the body produces a large amount of mucus every single day and this mucus has to exit the body at some point. Now if the nose is blocked there's no other way for the mucus to exit rather than down the throat. Here are a few common reasons for the cause of sinus drainage:

  • Having an allergy to common allergens like pollen, mold, dust
  • Being excessively exposed to bacteria or viruses when you have a weaker immune system
  • Accidentally hurting the nose structure and passes
  • Having nasal growths like nasal polyps or tumors

How to avoid getting sinus drainage

Below are precautions that can be taken in the avoidance of sinus drainage.

  • Limit your chances of getting the common cold by keeping a healthy immune system
  • It is difficult to just quit smoking but you have to try your best especially if your health is in questioning
  • Treat all kinds of respiratory infections properly by visiting a doctor about effective treatment
  • If you suspect that allergies are the problem, get yourself to an allergy specialist.
  • Live a healthy life, be aware of the environment you are in and drink lots of water!

Treating Sinus Drainage

There are many ways of treating this kind of sinus problem. One could choose to go all natural or medicated, at the end of the day it is merely about what the patient is best capable with and how serious their sinus problem is.

Generally, sinus drainage medication involves the following:

Nasal sprays or nasal decongestants: These are a great way to get rid of a blocked sinus fast but they should not be used consistently and for too long otherwise they cause an aggravation in initial symptoms.

Sinus medication: As mentioned before there are different kinds of this medication, and it reduces inflammation and helps with the draining of mucus. These may take up to three days to completely relieve symptoms.

Hydration: One can not emphasize enough on how important it is to stay completely hydrated while you have a nasal blockage. Hydration can achieved through drinking herbal teas, chicken soup and so on.

You can get to a point wherey your sinus blockage is so bad that only surgery can help you. This is usually at the stage of chronic sinusitis.

Determining the Timber of Antique Furniture Without Damaging the Finish

A major problem in restoration and preservation is that many people insist on scratching or scraping an area on a piece of furniture to try to ascertain its timber, removing the finish, being it painted or disguised under many layers of old finish and waxes, prior to purchase. A small, good quality torch to inspect the undersides of a piece will often reveal more than scraping or gouging the outside surface, enlightening you as to its timber composition (without, of course, it is veneered). By inspecting the article in such a manner you will also reveal the general quality of cabinet work instead of causing irreversible damage. This kind of damage, more often than not, is done to furniture that the offender does not own – thereby spoiling it for someone else.

More annoying than sand in your togs is the person who lakes out their car keys or pocket knife and scrapes away at a piece of furniture, whether it's painted or polished (usually on the most obvious places), and even when raw timber is revealed they do not know what they are looking at. If these people knew what they were doing I am sure that they would not commit these vandal-like acts.

These situations often get me into trouble because I usually tell the offenders that I am interested in purchasing that item (even if I am not) or give them a tongue lashing only to he told them that it's going to be sanded anyway. This is not necessarily so, as a good restorer can save even the most heavily painted articles along with most of the timber patina and some of the old polish. Sometimes I am told to mind my own business. Well, this is my business and the ramification of this supposedly innocent scrape is an obvious blemish on a sometimes important piece of furniture.

This happens almost always at auctions – even vendors will sand part of one leg or an area on a convenient spot to display the timber. When restoration is carried out, however, the sanded area will stand out like a sore thumb after the rest of the leg or area has been stripped. I also find very disturbing the fact that on very rare occasion do these people actually put their money where their actions lie and purchase the item they defaced.

Learn More About Teak Lumber

Teak wood is continuing to gain popularity as more people realize the many benefits that teak products have to offer. Teak decking and furniture are highly accredited for their unique beauty and impressive durability, but to truly appreciate the wood, it's necessary to understand where it comes from. Knowing about the history and the ethical dilemmas involved in teak wood, will help you to make an educated purchase.

Teak History
Teak lumber comes from the tropical hardwood tree known as Tectona grandis, native to Southeast Asia. The wood is cultivated in various places around the globe, but about one third of the total production comes from Burma. Historically, teak has been used most often for outdoor furniture, boat decks and other goods that are often exposed to harsh weather conditions for long periods of time.

"Conflict Teak"
Today, Teak lumber that comes from Southeast Asia's tropical forests has been labeled by some as "conflict teak" due to its contribution to deforestation and aid to a corrupt government. The sale of lumber and precious stones are typically used by the Burmese government to fund its operations. Since 1962, this government has been led by a military junta that is notorious for its numerous human rights violations. Because of this, the United States Treasury Department has banned the direct importation of teak wood from Myanmar (Burma). However, this has not kept the wood from being sold indirectly in the US marketplace. Because of rumors of the greater durability of Burmese "conflict teak," (compared to plantation teak) it stands in high demand despite the ethical and environmental issues involved. A more environmentally friendly option can be found in the renewable teak plantations that are mostly located in Latin America.

Plantation Teak
As an eco-friendly (and more economic) alternative to "conflict teak," plantation teak is cultured on the sustainable plantations in Central and South America. Since many areas in these regions provide similar weather and soil conditions to Myanmar, the sustainable teak can be grown without the use of artificial fertilizers or irrigation. Contrary to some rumors, plantation teak is just as durable and almost indistinguishable from Burmese teak. Not to mention, it costs significantly less than the wood imported from Asia due to its close proximity to the United States.

Now that you know the history of teak lumber and the ethical controversies involved in purchasing from the depleted forests in Southeast Asia, you can make an educated decision about where to purchase teak wood for your next big project.

How to Windsurf – Lesson 5 – Planing

Plowing through the water with our big windsurf board will start to become boring sooner or later. What we really aspire to is experience the thrill of gliding over the waves.

What is planning?

Planing is when the trailing edge at the back of our board does so with a laminar flow rather than a turbulent one. To put it another way, when we are sailing over the water like a speedboat instead of pushing through it like a barge.

How to start planning

We start off standing upright on the board, making sure we do not bend our knees. Bending our knees will just make our weight be a drawback rather than a benefit by weighing down the back of the board rather than leasing back to use the power of the sail and turn it into forward motion.

Now we need to simultaniously (or in quick succession):

Bear away from the wind so that the relative wind increases and we have the full surface of the sail available to turn into motion. At the same time we want to lean our body back, into the wind, as far as we can to get our body as horizontal as possible. This does two things. Firstly it allows you resist the pull of the sail and secondly it allows us to push forwards (rather than down) on the board to make it accelerate. To get our body in this position we need to push the mast away from our body by leaving the shoulders back and keeping the front arm straight. while we do this we close the sail to get as much power into the sail quickly but gradually.

It is important that we push our hips forward so that our front ankle, front knee, hips and shoulder are all in one line and keep it stiff. If we do this we can make use of all the wind power of the sail .

Once we are planning we must keep an eye on the correct angle of attack of the sail . I insist, keep your body "stretched" (as in straight) so that you can continue to push as horizontally as you can with the front foot.

The only variant to our sailing post is when we are sailing upwind in which case we will do three things: shift our weight from the back foot on to the front foot and put pressure on the mast-foot while leaving the sail to the back of the board. The weight on the front foot avoids the board from getting a spin out, the pressure on the mast-foot keeps the wind force transmitted into the board and the sail retaining back mains the correct angle of attack on the closed reach ..

The Front Porch

As a young child, I remember my grandparents reliving tales of the Front Porch. It was a gathering place for all the community. As the sun began to set on the weekend, families came – by foot, or horse or model T. There was a division of seating by age and gender. The young children sat in circles on the floor, playing marbles or jacks. Depending on the season, the women sat on swings and snapped beans, shelled peas or cracked pecans while the men discussed the weather, the crops and the stock market (4 legged stock, that is). Young couples, such as my parents, found shadows on that Front Porch to court and possibly steal a kiss.

As if on an internal clock, all activity stopped on the Front Porch when the window to the parlor was raised and the radio turned up. The toils of everyday life were put aside as the airings of Groucho Marx, Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly and Jack Bennny transported them to a lighter time. Pallets were laid down for the children; cigars were lit and lemonade served as the adults sat quietly listening to every word of the Fireside Chat. My mother to the day she died, remembered the exact moment when FDR spoke of “the date which will live in infamy”. Those words changed not only the direction of the country; but also, the dynamics of the Front Porch in that small rural community in Western Kentucky. I have two uncles buried at Pearl Harbor. The traditions shared from that Front Porch are very personal to my family.

Through the years, activities on the Front Porch have certainly changed. Horses and Model T’s gave way to bikes, and personal cars and skate and hover boards. As a young mom, I sat on the porch swing savoring my last cup of coffee as I watched for the school bus. Years later, I anxiously listened for the sound of a car to come up the driveway and the final good night kiss from my daughter’s beau.

The radio is serious now, as in Sirius. Televisions are as large as your imagination and with programs that defy imagination. Entertaining is often potluck but fortunately time honored recipes are still shared from family cookbooks. Lighting is solar or LED rather than by kerosene lanterns. Music is shuffled on your iPod playlist and controlled with Alexi. There is still division of seating by gender and age. The young ones are glued to their smart phones and take selfies to share on social media. The women share weight loss and fashion secrets; but not too many. Men whisper about their jobs, the stock market and their libido.

I’m nostalgic tonight. My mother just passed from this earthly life. She would have been 97 in a few weeks. She kept a journal for the past 77 years. I’m sitting on the Front Porch swing reading her entries and reminiscing. There is no TV on; not even the radio. My dog looks at me with concern and confusion. Do I wish for days when life was simpler and people kinder. Perhaps. As in the days of my grandparents, the Front Porch is still the first room of my home. I take comfort in that as I wait for my family to gather. The Front Porch was where she loved to sit the last few years to watch “the passing”. We will honor her passing as we remember my mom – Meme.

The Best Way to Grow Your Own Backyard Pea Plants

Pea plants are a good choice if you are looking for an easy vegetable to cultivate. They were on the first vegetables to be cultured. Pea plants mature quite quickly and are well worth the time and effort you put into growing them. Many varieties exist including snow peas, shelling peas, snap peas and sugar pod peas.

There are a variety of pea plants available, and they are often sorted by size. Tall varieties grow up to five feet, semi-dwarf varieties grow between two and four feet, and the dwarf kind reach no more than two feet.

Many varieties are ready for harvesting once the peas have grown inside the pod. This can be determined by gently squeezing the pod to feel the peas inside. Keep in mind the pea themselves are not the only edible part of the plant. The leaves and vines can be included in stir-fries to create delicious cuisines.

Starting a pea plant

When you are considering starting this vegetable in your garden, you may do so once the soil can be worked. If started when the ground is too cold, the plant may not show growth until the soil has warmed up. Pea plants do not grow well in wet or cold conditions. Look to maintain a soil PH 6.0 to 6.5. This range provides the best soil conditions for rapid, healthy growth.

To assist the pea plants into becoming tall and strong, provide them with some form of support they can wrap their vines around. Fencing, mesh, or a trellis will work just fine. You can make use of almost anything sturdy and tall. If you are planting more than one pea plant, plant them in rows that are three to four inches apart.

Cheap Flooring That Looks Great in Any Room

When you redo a room, you may be surprised to find that flooring is often the most expensive part of the job. This does not have to be the case. You can find alternatives to high dollar flooring that will not break the budget, while still looking great.

Do not go with the usual standards of hardwood or ceramic tile. Your best flooring choices include cork, concrete, and bamboo flooring. All will look great in any room of your home, and you can save your money for furnishings and other room accessories. No one will ever suspect that you did not spend a fortune.

Cork flooring is softer than tile and makes you feel like you're walking on air. As an alternative to traditional flooring, cork will not only help to keep the noise level down in a room, it will also help to insulate the area. This cheap flooring can be stained, or you may choose to leave it in its natural state.

Whichever way you decide to go, people will be impressed with your floor, and never guess that it was both inexpensive to purchase and to install. You can select tiles or planks, depending on your decor. Either way, you will save a great deal of money.

Bamboo is cheap flooring that is environmentally friendly. Trees can take 15 to 20 years or longer to grow, while bamboo is mature in less than seven years. This means manufacturers are able to produce more flooring, reducing the cost.

Bamboo flooring is very similar to wood flooring, and will make an attractive addition to any room of your home. It is not only resistant to scratches and bugs, but is easy to clean and maintain. This is also the best flooring to install for those who suffer from allergies.

Concrete floors are quickly becoming more popular as a cheap flooring. This type of floor is very inexpensive, and may already be there benefit your old floor. Best of all, a concrete floor can be stained, painted, or colored. You can personalize it any way you want.

Have you ever wanted a brick floor in your kitchen? Paint the concrete to resemble one. Do you want a checkerboard on your family room floor, so your kids can play games? A little paint on your concrete floor, and you're all set. Once completed, these cheap floors are easy to clean and maintain. What more could you ask for?

Cleaning Your Woodstove – How To Handle Ash

Whether you have a wood burning stove, an open fireplace or a even a pellet stove; you will have to regularly remove the ash. Modern stoves are usually designed with ingenious moving grates and trays to make ash clearing easier and some simple tools can help keep the place tidy.

One of the big complaints home owners have about heating with wood is the mess that can be generated – bark and dirt brought in on the fire wood or ash from clearing up.

Emptying The Ash Pan
You stove will have come with instructions for emptying the ash, but as a general rule they should not be emptied completely – a layer of ash protects the metal of the stove and helps control the intensity of the fire. You should aim to leave half an inch or so in the fire box.

If your stove has an ash pan built into it lift it out carefully and place the whole thing inside a plastic bag. Gently tip the ash off the pan into the bag, but keeping the top of the bag closed. In this way the ash does not fly up and get scattered around the hearth.

If you do not have an ash pan you can use a small metal ash shovel to lift ashes directly from the hearth – again put the whole shovel in the bag before tipping. If you have done this carefully enough you should now have a carrier bag full of ashes ready to dispose of, and no mess!

Safety Point : While the ashes may appear cold they can still have a hot ember lurking in the bottom ready to start a fire. Never store ashes in plastic buckets or dispose of in plastic wheelie bins. They have been known to start a fire off up to a week later!

Disposing Of The Ashes
What to do with ashes is always a bit of a question – your roses or fruit trees might benefit from some, but they certainly will not want to be buried by a heap 2 inches deep. What ever you choose to do with them, if you are not using them immediately transfer them to a metal container and store them outside.

Here are some suggestions for how to use them:

  • As driveway deicer – just sprinkle over the path as you would salt
  • As fertilizer in your garden – plants love ashes in moderation, a light dusting on the top of the soil or lawn will soon be washed in or a thicker layer spread around the base of fruit canes will feed the roots and keep weeds down.
  • Keep some near your compost heap so you can mix in small amounts when you add your garden waste – the nutrients will end up spread through your compost – just make sure it is thinly mixed and not dumped in a big load.
  • Ash is a very gentle abrasive – add a bit of water and you can use it to polish brass or clean the glass door of your stove
  • A small amount of ash added to a pond can help promote beneficial plants if you have an algae problem.
  • Tomato feed – bury half a cup in the hole when you plant your tomatoes – they are hungry feeders and will love it.
  • Block slugs and snails – they do not like slithering over ashes or charcoal – put a ring around delicate plants to protect them

Even though, you may find the quantity more than you can use – we now have a dumping spot out of sight under a hedge.

Cleaning Around Your Stove
After using your stove, and especially after emptying the ashes, there may be a small amount of cleaning up to do.

Ideally your stove will be mounted on a hard smooth surface such as stone or concrete, and will have a lip around the heart area to prevent detritus spreading. A simple dustpan and brush can be used to sweep up any litter, including ash.

Things get a bit more complicated when the floor is not perfectly level, such as a brick plinth with lumps and bumps for the mortar. Sweeping is a good first step, but then you need to follow up with the vacuum cleaner.

Making Chicken Soup Using Pressure Cookers

Among all pressure cooker recipes, one simple, healthy one everyone must know is the chicken soup. Used to rid flu and a great body warmer, the benefits of chicken soup is only made better using a pressure cooker.

First, gather the following ingredients. For the main flavoring, get a pack of chicken breasts that has a lot of skin. The additional flavorings can be made using the following vegetables: carrots, parsnips, Shallots, and garlic. To make the soup more fragrant, also include herbs like dill and parsley, as well as salt and pepper.

The first thing you will want to do is to cook the chicken. In order to do this, put the chicken into the cooker's pot and fill enough water until its pressure is increased to its maximum. Then, heat the pot on medium-high until the indicator indicates that enough pressure is built. You can then set the heat to low, and leave it for 20 minutes.

After the 20 minutes, turn the heat off and leave the pressure cooker on its own until the pressure drops down low enough for the pot to open on its own. An alternative is to run cold water over the lid so that the cooling process will be faster. When the soup has become slightly cooler to deal with, pick up the chicken breasts with a strainer. Remove the bones, and then put the meat back into the pot of soup.

As the taste of the soup will not be as fragrant without any herbs, add some water, the remaining ingredients listed earlier according to your liking. This way, you will not need to add in any artificial flavorings, as the flavors would have come from these ingredients instead. Make sure your ingredients are fresh in order to get the best of its nutrients. Cook these for an additional 5 minutes, and let it cool naturally.

Are Bioplastics the Future of Plastics?

We all know about the issues we face with plastic, it is a material typically derived from petrol based chemicals and basically, do not degrade like normal materials. They are also not particularly well suited for recycling, though this has changed in the past decade.

While reducing our plastic use, and recycling plastic is the main factor in reducing the environmental impact of plastic, there is a growing interest in Bioplastics. Bioplastics are made from plant biomass, such as corn and hope to offer better sustainability and increased positive environmental impact.

But are Bioplastics as good as they sound?

One of the main selling points for Bioplastics is the raw materials used to generate it are more sustainably sourced than petroleum-based plastic. Abundant availability of raw materials for manufacturing bioplastics place less strain on resource supply, as well as cause less strain to the earth from sourcing processes.

However, Bioplastics still suffer some of the same issues as traditional plastic. They typically come in 2 forms, durable and biodegradable. In general, a durable bioplastic won’t degrade, which is quite important depending on its application. For example, Cola has developed the PlantBottle as a possible alternative to PET bottles and is made of 30% ethanol sourced from plant material. It won’t decompose though, which is quite important when storing acidic liquids such as Cola. It can, however, be recycled in the same manner a normal PET bottle can.

Obviously, the dream product is a biodegradable plastic, and these do exist, with PLA (polylactic acid) being increasing popular. PLA (polylactic acid) is a biodegradable and bioactive thermoplastic aliphatic polyester typically derived from renewable resources like corn starch, tapioca roots and sugarcane. PLA is popular in 3D printing in particular hobbyist style 3D printing.

While biodegradable plastic sounds amazing, in general, it is not quite as simple as it sounds high-temperature industrial composting facility, not your average household compost bin. For example, PLA is broken down by a bacterial called Amycolatopsis. The issue here is that in the US there are 200 industrial composting facilities but there are 50 million tonnes of organic waste still ending up in landfills across the country each year.

Until composting biodegradable plastic becomes more feasible its potential for success seems limited. On the other hand, durable Bioplastics that can be recycled in a similar manner to normal plastic provides a logical solution to manufacturing petrol based plastic.

Whatever the future of bioplastics the most important thing we can focus on is recycling current plastic and trying to reduce our reliance on it.