For questions relating to the structures, properties, production methods and potential hazards of polymer materials commonly known as plastics

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Testing plastics for autoclave

I'm wondering if my glass bottle with a plastic cap can be autoclaved. The cap doesn't have any labels on it. It floats on water so probably it's PP, HDPE or LDPE, but how do I test if I can put it in ...
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1answer
26 views

Etching ITO on PET without damage

I am planning to use some of this to construct a transparent touch panel for a prototype of mine. It is PET plastic coated in Indium Tin Oxide. My plan is as follows: Use some of this UV-cure dry ...
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1answer
35 views

What is inhibiting polystyrene's ability to dissolve in traditional solvents like ethanol or acetone?

My friend and I have been struggling with this problem for a couple days. Because polystyrene has a similar structure to many plastics, we assumed that it would dissolve in acetone. However, after ...
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24 views

Does the plastic cup PETE 1 material leak toxic material if subject to boiling water even for part of a minute?

Sometimes a cafe may pour boiling tea into a plastic cup made of PETE 1 and then add lemon and cold water / ice to it. When the cup is handed to the customer, the cup looks ok. And I suppose even if ...
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1answer
77 views

Supermarket HDPE plastic bags safety

Supermarket plastic bags are made of high density polyethylene, and I am interested in the decomposition products at high temperature: what type of compounds are released and how dangerous are they? I ...
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23 views

Why does plastic tear easier when you pull it quickly?

If you've ever taken the plastic from a plastic bag and pulled on it, you might know what I mean. If you pull quickly, the plastic tears relatively easily, but if you pull it slowly, it gets stretched ...
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1answer
31 views

Hazards of Keeping Freshwater Fish in a Container that was Used for Adipic Acid

I have an Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) which is a large 3' x 3'x 3' plastic cube. The label on the container described it as storing Adipic Acid. Is it safe to use this container to grow plant ...
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42 views

Are plastics lipophilic/oleophilic? [closed]

I have found several, not-so-reliable Google sources saying that plastics are lipophilic. I was wondering if anybody could confirm this, or is anybody might be able to point me towards a ...
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1answer
98 views

Why plastic sheets contract when heated?

Why do thin plastic sheets contract when heated, contradictory to the behavior of most other materials ? What are the things going on at the molecular level ?
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12 views

How biodegradable is PLA?

Supposed I want to 3D print some items for use in my garden, and my options are ABS and PLA plastics. PLA is supposedly biodegradable, but I prefer printing with it over ABS. I don't want my plant ...
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0answers
46 views

Diffusion into PMMA

My thesis is about effect of cigarette smoke to PMMA polymer, apparently cigarette smoke have some amount of eugenol which is mildly acidic and they will evaporate when the cigarette is burned. In ...
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1answer
80 views

At what temperature do complex hydrocarbons become ashes?

When heating a metal tube with polypropelene in it, i found that i still had brittle black foam and flakes in it even though it had been in a blue flame at around 500'C What happens to complex ...
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41 views

Can we modify plastic to cool things?

I have very little chemistry background and I have a project that I'm working on about smart plastics. My question is: Can you chemically modify plastics so that you can make it into a regular ...
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50 views

What's causing my plastic fork to break?

This has been a real mystery for me at work. For the past three days I've eaten salads for lunch. I used a plastic bowl with a lid and when I was finished with the salad, I didn't rinse out the bowl ...
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1answer
33 views

Biodegradation time for biodegradable shopping bags?

How long does it take for the plastic/polythene shopping bags marked biodegradable to biodegrade?
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1answer
53 views

Urea-Formaldehyde cleanup

I work a lot with Urea-Formaldehyde resin/plastic, both in carpentry and textiles. Cleanup while still uncured is simple enough. Cleanup before even mixed is easy enough. What I don't know, is how to ...
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1answer
57 views

What is a food-safe level of exposure of plastic containers to heat?

There are many articles about how heat can trigger the release of potentially harmful carcinogens from plastic containers into the food or liquid they contain. Specifics they fail to mention, though, ...
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30 views

Cured epoxy remover

I have plastic extrusion plant, we are plastic granule producers. Actually I want to remove filler sand which is mixed with epoxy in cfl bulb plastic cabinet. In cfl lower portion to fix filaments ...
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129 views

What is the transparent film that covers water-soluble dishwasher tablets?

These dishwasher tablets (Finish Powerball Shine) seem to be covered in plastic! But that can't possibly be true since there's no unwrapping, and they're completely soluble in water. What is the ...
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1answer
50 views

Do melt flow rate and density tell you everything about pure HDPE?

I understand that melt flow rate and density can be used to classify HDPE. Does this mean that if I have the melt flow rate and density of an HDPE (with no additives), then I can know its other ...
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1answer
141 views

Plastic membrane that lets water in from the outside only?

I'm looking for a type of plastic membrane that would let water through it from the outside, but wouldn't allow water to escape once it's inside the membrane. Ideally available in a roll. Does such ...
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1answer
628 views

How does the catalyst in a polyester resin or epoxy work?

I would like to understand how the polyester resin or epoxy catalyst works and to what degree it must be mixed with the base material in order to be effective. Typical product instructions advise to ...
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3answers
229 views

Can Polyethylene Dissolve on 50-60 °C

I know that polyethylene's melting point is between 115–135 °C, however I would like to know if can it start dissolving between 50-60 °C? In a real example, if I put warm food (straight from the ...
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1answer
139 views

Polyurethane epoxy resin chemistry advice please?

My friend can buy polyurethane epoxy from his workplace for 3 dollars a litre, except that he doesn't know precisely the data sheet for it. His factory gets it in 20 ton deliveries. He says that the ...
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2answers
585 views

Ripping apart a polymer - reaction or not?

I was holding a piece of plastic earlier, and I ripped it in half. This caused me to start to think about what was happening at the atomic level. If the plastic is being ripped, clearly bonds are ...
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1answer
256 views

Which plastic type is used inside dishwashers?

We have a drinking bottle made partly from polypropylene that wraps when washed in a dishwasher. We would like to change the plastic type so that it can withstand in dishwasher. I know for a fact ...
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1answer
398 views

Why/how do cloves break down plastic?

When my family buys powdered cloves in bulk, we put them in plastic until we get home - which takes at very most an hour. As soon as we get home, we transfer them into glass because we have had issues ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does alcohol crack acrylic (plexiglass)?

I have seen videos and discussions about alcohol cracking acrylic, and waterblock manufacturers reminding users to not use alcohol in cooling system with plexiglass acrylic, but why is it so? That ...
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1answer
70 views

Thermal decomposition products of polyurea?

Are the thermal decomposition products of polyurea polymers known, especially of the urea group, in the absence of water? Looking at the formula ...
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0answers
155 views

Chemistry of Stripper Poles: How much weight can different materials support? [closed]

I'm looking to create a light up dancing pole. This requires a translucent material that is strong enough to support the weight and force of a human being, even when it's hollowed out to so LEDs can ...
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3answers
294 views

Can plastic leak into water from a HDPE “2” plastic container at room temperature?

Here in USA supermarkets often sell water in plastic 1 gallon jugs. These jugs seem to all be stamped with the text "HDPE" (meaning that the material is High-density polyethylene) and a resin number ...
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70 views

Resin for making Jewelry

I want to make resin jewelry, but I'm having problems! I want to create that effect, but I do not know what materials to use The result is a mix of resin and other such things
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1answer
52 views

Which material to use for athletic accessories?

I'm looking for some guidance in selecting the right material for dance shoes heels and women's self-defense accessories. I'm looking for a material that 1) has a superb strength-to-weight ratio, can ...
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2answers
306 views

Material that doesn't melt at 800 deg F, but can be dissolved?

I'm a sculptor and I have a chemistry/plastic question. I thought here would be a good place to ask. I'm looking for a substance (probably a plastic) that has these characteristics: Doesn't melt at ...
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1answer
145 views

The walls of a plastic vial with Mercury inside are darkening. What is causing this?

I have a sample of Mercury in a plastic vial, The vial is a BD Vacutainer (genuine), made of polyethylene terephthalate. It is used for blood samples, and the one I used was new. When the vial was ...
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2answers
3k views

Why do many transparent plastics turn opaque when deformed?

Many transparent plastic materials, rigid or not, turn opaque (white) when subjected to stress, deformations or when folded (if not rigid) . The effect seems to be irreversible. What is the cause? ...
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1answer
112 views

Taiwan propylene explosions one week ago

Is it wrong way to use WATER to relieve the big disaster(propylene leak). What is a better way to relieve propylene leak in a street about large area? Any possible choice to prevent explosion?
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2answers
4k views

What is the plastic material of the CD cases?

What is the material of which the transparent part of CD cases are made of? It is nicely rigid and really lightweight.
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1answer
340 views

What is relationship between molecular weight distribution of PE and its strength?

I'm trying to figure out the relationship between the molecular weight distribution of a polyethylene plastic and its strength and heat sealability. (The molecular weight distribution is described ...
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1answer
140 views

What is this red substance that has accumulated at the bottom of a plastic bottle full of petrol (see picture)?

About two weeks ago I put some ordinary unleaded petrol into a plastic water bottle, as a temporary measure (long story, don't ask!). It has now formed a reddish liquid at the bottom of the bottle. ...
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2answers
158 views

What is Bisphenol A used for?

I am trying to find out what BPA is used for in the industrial production of plastics. On sources such as Wikipedia I only found the information that it is used, but not why. What are the advantages ...
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2answers
31k views

Are all PP(Polypropylene), i.e. resin code 5 plastics, safe for microwave and steaming?

If a plastic is marked PP as in Polypropylene (i.e. resin code 5) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resin_identification_code Is it automatically safe for steaming and microwaving, such that it ...
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0answers
62 views

Can TBE electrophoresis buffer be stored in a PETE container?

I'm doing a science project on agarose gel electrophoresis and would like to know if it is safe to store Tris/Borate/EDTA buffer solution inside a PETE container since I will be making about 10L of ...
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1answer
1k views

Decomposition products of PET

On Wikipedia, it says that polyethylene terephthalate (PET) decomposes at temperatures above 350°C. What are these decomposition products? I read further that acetaldehyde is produced, but is that ...
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1answer
131 views

Plastics for food packaging

There are many types of plastics that can be used for food packaging, for example: Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) Polyethylene (PE) Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) Polypropylene (PP) What are the ...
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432 views

What are Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) and what is their environmental impact [closed]

TPE is often touted as a more environmental alternative to PVC (at least for yoga mats). What are TPEs and what raw materials are they manufactured from. What uses and properties do they have? Are ...
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2answers
192 views

Biopolymers as alternative for PVC and PU?

I'm working on a project making a product line more sustainable, environmentally friendly and ready for recycling. Now I'm searching for good and suitable biopolymers for a part of the product that ...
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1answer
2k views

What is Polymer Environmental Resin (PER)?

I'm no chemist and I probably wouldn't understand any technical answer but... I'm investigating the environmental impacts of various materials as compared to PVC and this is one that crops up ...
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2answers
322 views

How metal-plating on plastics is performed?

Metal coated plastics are commercially abundant now-a-days. I want to know how they're plated. Before posting, I did a quick search and found a nice link. It refers to this process as metallization, ...
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1answer
133 views

Thermoplatics into Thermosetting plastics

I must confess, I am not a chemistry student but have always been a fan of it, so I am not sure if this is a blunder. I have often wondered if Thermoplastics can ever be converted to or made to ...