Has anyone seen this problem? I made this glowing flower for a table decoration.

Has anyone seen this problem? I made this glowing flower for a table decoration. The base is black abs, the stem is green T-glase, and the flower is colorless pla. I used different plastics because those were the colors I had on hand and wanted to use. I put red leds in the flower, with a 9volt battery in the base and wires running up through the hollow stem. The whole object is inside a bell jar. It has developed a white powder like coating over much of the surface and I don’t know what it is?Its hard to clean off and looks nasty. Any ideas???

I haven’t seen this before; but maybe try wiping 1/4 of it down with a damp cloth, move it to another location, and see if it happens again. LEDs can still emit some heat as well, so I wonder if the PLA could be breaking down (if it’s constantly stored in that glass jar) and redepositing on the pieces below.

I am guessing it is from the PET. I see that same buildup while printing PET

Very interesting…!

Could you make a “control” LED flower, but not put it inside a bell jar, to see if the problem is related to being inside the jar?

I have a couple extra parts of each that have not been enclosed and none of them have any “powder” on them. Only the parts enclosed in the bell jar. I don’t think the leds get hot enough to cause any change. I am really stumped and suprised by what has happened. Even the bell jar has been contaminated some.

Clean it and spray with matte transparent varnish.

Off gassing maybe? Some plastics are worse than others about it and you could be having a reaction between the thermoplastics… have you ever gone fishing and accidently left some “rubber” worms in the same tray as a bobber and they melt together

Is it from super glue?

Perhaps the problem stems from the 9v battery?

Maybe find out if the powder keeps accumulating inside the jar after taking the battery out of the jar, but leaving everything else inside.

I am thinking super glue as well. Did you use any to put it together?

Yes I did use some superglue. I have never seen superglue do that before but it was not contained either.

How quickly did the powder form?

Is the powder still forming now?

It has formed over the last couple weeks. Looks like it’s stopped but hard to tell with so much on it.
@Nathan_Walkner ​ I reaserched the antimony leaching out, but they only talk trace amounts, and there is a lot of powder.

If it’s the superglue causing the powder, then the glue setting time was very, very long, or you used a huge amount of it.

It seems unlikely that superglue would take a couple of weeks to set.

I would conjecture that perhaps an old or a damaged 9v battery is off-gassing something nasty into the jar over time…?

I did not use much super glue. The stem is press fit into the base. Just glued the top flower to the stem.
It has been indoors out of the Sun all the time so saw only moderate temperatures.
I used a new battery, it did run day and night no off switch.
After about 3 weeks continuous run I had to put in a new battery, it was starting to get dim.
Looks like I might have to put different combinations in some glass jars and see if I can repeat what is happening?
Thanks everyone for possible causes!

@david_merten this question is not relevant to the powder, but exactly why do you need a 9V battery to run an LED?

At best you have some very unusual requirements for that flower, but I suspect you are simply wasting a lot of power, generating excess heat, and throwing away 9V batterys for no good purpose.

If it’s an actual powder that comes off easily then I don’t think it’s the superglue. If it’s permanently on there, then I would say it’s the superglue. If you applied the glue and then put the glass on top shortly thereafter, then that would likely explain why it’s over everything. One thing you might want to try is putting a tiny amount of acetone on a q-tip and lightly dabbing it over a small portion of the t-glase stem. Acetone dissolves superglue, so if it clears up, than that might confirm it. Downside is that you can’t do that on the base since it’s made of abs. Either way, the model looks great!

@Paul_Gross ​ Actually there are 4 red leds wired in series. It needs that much voltage to overcome the voltage drop across them. This way I don’t have to use a resister that would waste power to control the amperage. I was going to use 5 leds but that was too much and they hardly lit up at all. And I can get 9volts from work for free.

@Ryan_Branch ​ Thanks. It does not come off easy. I stand corrected…I did use a little super glue in the base after pressing the stem in. If you look closely you can see it around the base of the stem as shiny area. There is no powder on it.