Polystyrene plastic can be dissolved in acetone. I would like to understand:

  1. If the dissolved polystyrene will take-out of the acetone and becomes solid again (after all the acetone evaporates), will this solid polystyrene keep the same material properties as it was before the dissolving process?
  2. How can I speed-up the solidification of the dissolved plastic?

What is happening is not actually the polystyrene melting but rather it dissolving in the acetone solvent. This is a physical change and not chemically altering the polymer. It should still retain its chemical properties as before.

However, other properties have changed. It is now a poorer insulator since the air pockets have been removed. It will also be more rigid for similar reasons.

The acetone ought to be able to be driven off by heating it in a ventilated space as acetone is quite volatile.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks.So,if i dissolve in acetone a food-safe item that made of PS(like spoon/plate/cup etc),after the acetone will evaporate and the dissolved item will solidified again,the item will still be food-safe.Am i right? $\endgroup$
    – xchcui
    Nov 5 '19 at 12:12
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not certain as I have not done any analysis on this firsthand. If you use pure acetone (Not some sort of solution with other chemicals introduced) and be sure it's all driven out of the PS, then I suppose it should be safe. I would caution you though. You will likely need to perform tests to determine this material's food safety. $\endgroup$ Nov 5 '19 at 18:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I understand.The problem is the traces of the solvent(acetone)in the PS,not the PS plastic itself that keeps its chemical properties after solidification.Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – xchcui
    Nov 5 '19 at 19:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.