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Questions tagged [plastics]

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

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Why can't plastics be refined into primary elements and re-synthesized? [on hold]

Unrefined crude oil is distilled into many pure and simple organic species which can be used to create plastic polymers. Why can't the carbon and hydrogen be re-arranged by through a vapor and plasma ...
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1answer
48 views

Does melting HDPE plastic produce toxic fumes? (melting, not burning)

● The question isn't about burning HDPE but melting it at the proper temperature. (At 120 to 180°C depending on it's density, it becomes gooey. According to the source below the "extrusion" ...
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1answer
38 views

Suitable coating material for protection of sensors

I'm building a moisture/temperature sensor for outdoor use in soil. It uses capacitive sensing for moisture and an NTC thermistor for the temperature. It's going to be used for vegetables so food ...
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0answers
22 views

How do we know if a newly developed chemical compound has any taste or is tasteless?

I was reading this about polystyrene, which says: "Polystyrene is an odorless, tasteless, rigid thermoplastic", and got hung up on "tasteless". I searched Chemistry.SE for "tasteless" and found this ...
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1answer
33 views

Spraying aluminium hydroxide nanoparticles onto PLA as fire retardant?

Several scientific papers study FR-PLA (fire resistant PLA) in which Aluminium Hydroxide nanoparticles are melt blended into the PLA (example source: Advances in Flame Retardant Poly(Lactic Acid). ...
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Solving Polyester but no chromed steel [closed]

In short I'm looking for an acid that can solve a polyester, fiberglass composite. However it cannot damage steel. First of all i like to say that i'm not a chemist. I work in a plastic moulding ...
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1answer
25 views

what is the basic idea for making bioplastic? [closed]

I have the following questions about making bioplastics: Why is only lactic acid used in making bioplastic? Are there any other methods used in making bioplastic without converting starch into lactic ...
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1answer
44 views

What kind of plastic is (really) safe to store vegetable oil?

Storing colza or olive oil in a plastic bottle might be risky since the oil can leach out phthalates and BPA (and others molecules?). Some manufacturers sell "phthalates and BPA free bottles", but ...
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1answer
51 views

Why do bubbles form on the side of a plastic bottle?

I have a plastic bottle filled with drinking water where only one side of the bottle has air bubbles. I know that water is not pure and there are dissolved gases, and my theory is that there are small ...
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1answer
41 views

Specific kind of plastic that won't make fabrics smell?

I store various fabrics (clothing, cloths, linens, etc.) in RubberMaid RoughNeck plastic bins. It seems to work fine for a while, but given enough years, the contents take on a strong chemical smell. ...
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1answer
23 views

Polycarbonate resistance to acids

If polycarbonate plastic is a polar material with ester bond linkages which usually hydrolyze in acids, why is it resistant to both weak and strong acids (as polar substances)?
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1answer
27 views

Thermoplastic & Thermoset adhesives:

I have a question that is bothering me since few weeks. I'm not a chemist, nor I have any experience with polymers theory, but: Epoxy - is defined on Wikipedia as a thermoset polymer as a process of ...
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1k views

Is epoxy resin plastic?

Is epoxy resin a plastic ? For clarity when I say plastic I mean of the same ilk as all the single use plastics we (should) be trying to reduce the use of.
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2answers
1k views

Why is polyethylene not called polymethylene?

I understand that the monomer that polymerises to give polyethylene is an ethylene, but after polymerisation, the smallest repeating monomer in polyethylene seems to be a methyl and not an ethyl. So ...
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2answers
115 views

Which is the cheapest plastic that retains its structure at 85 °C or higher temperature?

In an academic project, I need to protect some electronics components from heat (around 85 °C). I am searching for both a cheap plastic film and a cheap plastic to be used in a injection molding ...
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2answers
40 views

Why is it so hard to turn plastics into something useful or decompose it? [closed]

Even after so many years, why haven't we yet come up with a solution to the plastic problem ? Why are plastics so hard to decompose via chemical or physical processes into something harmless or ...
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1answer
4k views

Would 99,9% Isopropyl alcohol damage plastic of Bratz doll boxes?

I am a Bratz doll collector for quite some time now. I collect them boxed, most of the boxes and packagings are mint enough for me but I also have a few older ones which are quite dirty. I’ve read ...
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1answer
63 views

Can nitrogen dioxide react with plastics of any kind? [closed]

I have searched a lot on the internet but couldn't find any helpful thing. My question is that can nitrogen dioxide react with plastics of any kind?
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0answers
660 views

Conversion of a permeability value from barrer to SI unit

I have done a permeability experiment on LDPE in the presence of air. At $\pu{30^\circ C}$, the permeability was found to be 1.846 barrer. Now I am trying to apply this permeability value to a ...
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2answers
100 views

Good Alternative for Plasticized PVC [closed]

In my current job we use gloveboxes, but unlike most we use disposable PVC bags on the entry ports instead of fixed gloves. The bags have an O ring which is stretched onto a spigot proud of the ...
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1answer
70 views

Is it possible to melt HDPE to a point where it has similar viscosity to engine oil?

I have a few pieces of HDPE that I want to melt and cast into a cube of around $\pu{5 cm}$ each side, similar to what one would do with cast resin. I tried putting it into an oven and heating it to $...
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2answers
1k views

Is polylactic acid (PLA) soluble in ethylacetate?

I'm searching for polylactic acid (that used in 3D printing) solvent, that is less toxic. It's used to postprocessing to polish object. Dichloroethane is toxic, acetone and dichloromethane less, but ...
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0answers
71 views

UV-Vis and Polylactid Acid (PLA) [closed]

I am trying to use UV-VIS for a 3D printed ~4mm PLA design. However I keep running into a problem because the polymer is not showing detectable under the UV-VIS. Does anyone have any suggestions that ...
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1answer
591 views

What type of polyester is most commonly used for clothing?

Many polymers have the name of the monomer in their names, e.g. polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, polypropylene, polystyrene etc. But the ester in polyester refers to a group of chemicals (having an ...
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2answers
599 views

How do I heat my borosilicate reflux column?

I am gonna use a ceramic tape heater, but cannot wrap it around evenly. Is the glass column gonna be okay? I am running some tests on plastic pyrolysis. I am using the reflux condenser to make the ...
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2answers
199 views

Is HDPE affected by long term exposure to methanol?

For at least several years I'be been storing various chloride solutions with methanol as a solute in Nalgene containers, which I believe are made from high density polyethylene (HDP). But recently ...
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0answers
82 views

Near melting thermoplastic material accumulates in the sharper corners. What is this phenomenon?

I have a part made of a thermoplastic material. When I heat it up and cool it down, the dimension of the part changes non-uniformly. Somehow the melted material tries to fill the sharper corners. So ...
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3answers
58 views

Converting plastic back to bio-degradable substances [closed]

I have read that every plastic ever made still exists. Plastic must be made of some substances that are biodegradable. Even if they aren't, why can't we change their form? Why can't we change plastic ...
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4answers
10k views

How to dissolve PLA (polylactic acid)?

I'm a maker and I've been interested in 3d printing for years. I have found a technique for dissolve the PLA supports in a model printed in 3D in HIPS I have printed the model in HIPS and the ...
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0answers
50 views

Rubbery surfaces degrading over time

I can think of 4 products I have with rubberized plastic surfaces on them that have degraded over time. (IKEA scissors and kitchen knife, Logitech wireless mouse, Rocketfish wireless keyboard.) The ...
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2answers
4k views

Is bamboo based plastic less likely to leak chemicals?

Some plastics have been known to leak plasticizers (bisphenol and phthalates) into the food they contain, especially when heated. Because such compounds are suspected of being endocrine disruptors it ...
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0answers
86 views

How do colour pigments chemically work? [closed]

How do color pigments colour the plastics? Is there any chemical reaction, molecular association, or physical reaction? What kind of bonding mechanism is there between pigment molecules and plastics? ...
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1answer
251 views

Why are plastics lipophilic?

My wife prepares lunch for me every morning. After eating it on my desk, I typically wash the lunchbox and utensils in the company's kitchen. I have noticed that it is very difficult to remove the ...
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1answer
961 views

Why does sunlight cause plastics to become a faded blue color?

Due to the UV absorption, I knew that the plastics can be easily affected, especially PP. But is it normal that the change is always into faded blue from white color? and Why? Because I made an ...
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0answers
104 views

fatty acid vs polyethylene

Might be a noobish question as chemistry isn't my major, but still: Both fatty acid and polyethylene are made (mostly) of carbons with hydrogens with a very similar configuration, yet, their ...
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0answers
63 views

Plastic enclosure - what is that smell?

I have a Raspeberry Pi in a small plastic enclosure. The whole thing smells intensely of some chemical I normally associate with burned electronics. It is quite choking. Any ideas what it might be? ...
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0answers
82 views

Is Jell-O flavored plastic?

Per this article, "Gelatin is a thermoreversible, cold-setting polymer." Further, Jell-O is flavored gelatin. Is the phrase "thermoreversible, cold-setting polymer" equivalent to the term "plastic?" ...
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5answers
14k views

Repairing acetone damage and discoloration to plastic

I used acetone on the back of my monitor to get rid of old stickers from LED strips. However it severely damaged my monitor. Anyway to undo this or repair it?
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1answer
7k views

What makes ABS plastic turn yellow?

If you owned old kitchen appliances or old computer you might notice that they the once cream white plastic become increasingly yellow, old and disgusting. I have read that UV lighting can damage ...
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1answer
525 views

Degrading Bakelite

I'm aware of the fact that Bakelite is a thermosetting polymer, and is infusible. But what happens if you keep on heating a Bakelite piece to ridiculously high temperatures. I'm pretty sure it would ...
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2answers
58 views

Chemical compatibility

I'm an electrical engineer trying to understand a failure in a plastic part that I'm working with. I am using a plastic called polysulfone- and the data sheet has a lot of words ending in "amine" ...
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1answer
85 views

Can plastic be used as fuel for vehicles? [closed]

I don't have much of a background in chemistry, but I know that plastics are largely made of carbon, as is oil. Is there any way to "covert", i.e. a plastic water bottle, into a substance that can be ...
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1answer
698 views

HDPE bottle for gasoline?

What are the risks of storing E10 gasoline in a gallon HDPE container for a few months, vs storing in a proper plastic fuel can? Assuming the HDPE gallon is thick (used for Hydrochloric acid before, ...
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1answer
212 views

How does rubber toughening work?

I’m doing a research project which involves rubber toughening - the particular example I'm looking at is the toughening of SAN polymer (styrene-acrylonitrile) with polybutadiene to make ABS. What I'm ...
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1answer
214 views

How is solid PVA filament (for 3D printing) synthesized?

Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA; also referred to as: PVOH, PVAl) filament--the sacrificial support polymer filament used in 3D printing, how is that made? All the reactions I've seen that make PVA create a ...
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2answers
4k views

Does latex protect against acids?

I heard somewhere that some plastics are pretty good at resisting decently strong acids. To what degree is this true? Does latex protect against corrosives? Are plastics good at "resisting" bases or ...
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1answer
140 views

Suggestions for 200-600 nm range transmitting polymers/materials

I am a student of physics who is doing research related to Cherenkov measurements. For that purpose, I need suggestions for some materials that have the following properties: $80\%$ transparency in ...
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2answers
4k views

UV-Transparent Plastic?

I am looking for a type of plastic, preferably in the form of a sheet or film, that is weatherproof, durable, flexible, and both transparent and UV-transparent. Most films I've seen so far are treated ...
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2answers
996 views

Tallow and polymer pellets

Bank of England has issued a new £5 note which contains Animal Tallow. I was wondering if you can explain to me as to how the animal tallow is used in this process. Also would you be able to speculate ...
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Coating applied to plastic (polymer suitable for straws) to repel carbon dioxide to prevent “floating”

We are four students currently finalizing our last exam-project before our bachelor. We confirmed our hypothesis that straws floating to the top of your drink is a "problem" from our survey. Our ...