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27 votes
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What makes ABS plastic turn yellow?

What you're specifically describing is typically known as UV degradation. The color change is due to the oxidation of the polymers that make up the plastic. These chemical reactions are demonstrated ...
oceandevil24's user avatar
18 votes
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What causes plastic to become brittle and can it be softened again?

Unfortunately, there is not too much to do. The original ABS substance is a copolymer made of acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. It is rather hard and brittle. To make it softer, some proportion of ...
Maurice's user avatar
  • 29k
16 votes

Would it be safe to melt plastic bottle caps and remold them into a form?

Home extrusion of LDPE or HDPE is impractical. Products made from these plastics are extruded under pressure (as much as 500 to 1,000 atmospheres!) at lower temperature, since raising the plastic to a ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
15 votes
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Does latex protect against acids?

There are all sorts of resources for picking the best gloves for handling any given type of chemical. This resource describes latex as being good for protecting against bases, alcohols, dilute water ...
ringo's user avatar
  • 24.1k
13 votes

Why is polyethylene not called polymethylene?

Polyethylene is prepared by polymerizing ethylene. Ethylene has a double bond, thanks to which the polymerization goes on. You could not do that with a methylene group. So the name comes after the ...
chempatent1981's user avatar
11 votes

Would it be safe to melt plastic bottle caps and remold them into a form?

With care and proper equipment plastics especially the thermoplastics such as polyethylene, polypropylene and the terephthalates melt and do not decompose at the melting points. They will ignite if ...
jimchmst's user avatar
  • 2,221
9 votes

Does latex protect against acids?

It depends on the acid. I would recommend Neoprene gloves instead of latex gloves. I did this excerpt from this guide that I think is taken from the website that ringo mentioned: VG= Very Good G= ...
G M's user avatar
  • 9,089
9 votes

How do I heat my borosilicate reflux column?

That should pose no issue regarding the glass Without images to see how unevenly you will apply the heat, I have to modify my instinctual reaction "That cannot possibly be an issue" to "Most likely ...
Stian's user avatar
  • 2,815
9 votes

How do I heat my borosilicate reflux column?

The first answer is great and the borosilicate glass can indeed survive harsh conditions. Here I'd like to suggest a DIY-project to improve the efficiency of the heater and make the column be warmed ...
andselisk's user avatar
  • 38.3k
7 votes
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Oily residue on old toy rubbery tyres

The "rubber", or elastomer, likely has plasticizers to soften the material and make it more elastic and less brittle. These often migrate to the surface as parts age. Some of these ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
7 votes

I left scented candles in a polypropylene container. How do I remove the smell?

The answer depends on (1) how patient you are (how much time you have), (2) how low a concentration of the offending substances you need to obtain, (3) whether you have someplace you can leave the box ...
Buck Thorn's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why don't oils use plastic droppers?

It is (not always but often) about mutual chemical/physical compatibility. Glass vessels/accessories are generally used as general long term storage material in analysis of trace amounts of organic ...
Poutnik's user avatar
  • 42.4k
6 votes
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Suggestions for 200-600 nm range transmitting polymers/materials

No plastic of any practically useful thickness$^\dagger$ has $80\%$ transparency down to $200~\mathrm{nm}$. Period. Below is a UV transmission chart for various materials from a marketing brochure ...
hBy2Py's user avatar
  • 17.4k
6 votes
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Etching ITO on PET without damage

My lab has a lot of experience with ITO-coated PET, but unfortunately I don't think anyone's tried etching it. We typically etch ITO-coated glass with a mixture of hydrochloric acid/water/nitric acid (...
Michael DM Dryden's user avatar
6 votes

Is bamboo based plastic less likely to leak chemicals?

Inspired by the other answer and the comment to my question, i have dug a little deeper. The tableware in the picture is sold by a company called Zuperzozial and made from bamboo and corn reinforced ...
Ivana's user avatar
  • 249
6 votes
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Is polylactic acid (PLA) soluble in ethylacetate?

D- and L- polylactic acids come from both enantiomers of the monomeric lactic acids. There will be no difference in solubility between both polymers. Besides, lactic acid is normally produced by ...
Raoul Kessels's user avatar
6 votes
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What is the chemical reaction between coins (copper and nickel) and polyvinyl chloride?

Far, far too broad a question. I don't know what is going on in your situation. I can, perhaps, clear up some misconceptions you may have. PVC is NOT commonly used in sandwich bags. PVDC is a close ...
lio's user avatar
  • 76
6 votes
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Why aren't plastic bottles of coca cola full of microplastics?

You are talking about two different things and phenomena. One is leaching-which means chemicals in the plastic dissolve into the solution with the passage of time. The other thing is literally ...
ACR's user avatar
  • 41.4k
5 votes
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Degrading Bakelite

Although Bakelite has extraordinarily high resistance to electricity, heat and chemical action$^1$, it is ultimately just an organic hydrocarbon polymer, strengthened by organic binders and some ...
airhuff's user avatar
  • 17.5k
5 votes

Why does plastic tear easier when you pull it quickly?

Polymers have a special property called viscoelasticity, which means they may strain elastically (elasticity) then flow (visco). The models below are mechanical representations of this phenomenon ...
A.K.'s user avatar
  • 12.7k
5 votes
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Does melting HDPE plastic produce toxic fumes? (melting, not burning)

This table indicates that polyethylene (HD/LD not specified) "melts at" 135°C, decomposes in the range 335-450°C, and produces vapors that will ignite between 341-357°C. I'm sure melting/softening ...
jeffB's user avatar
  • 1,592
4 votes

What is the name of the crinkly plastic used in clear parts of envelopes?

It usually is BOPS: Biaxially oriented polystyrene.
Ellert van Koperen's user avatar
4 votes
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Why are plastics lipophilic?

First, many plastics are somewhat porous. Since plastics are permeable to water vapor and oxygen, coffee and other food products are sometimes packed in two-layer bags of polyethylene (for strength) ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
4 votes
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Is HDPE affected by long term exposure to methanol?

HDPE should be fairly stable to MeOH, but it crazes in the presence of UV, when subject to oxidization or to environmental stress. Since only some of the containers failed, were those subjected to ...
DrMoishe Pippik's user avatar
4 votes
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Which is the cheapest plastic that retains its structure at 85 °C or higher temperature?

The melting point is not going to give you the answer you want. To properly select a polymer you need to look at the glass transition temperature $(T_\mathrm{g})$. This is the temperature at which a ...
A.K.'s user avatar
  • 12.7k
4 votes

Why aren't plastic bottles of coca cola full of microplastics?

"Microplastic" breaks off from solid plastic material by mechanical wear, often following a degradation of the material by environmental influence like oxygen, light, ... The inside of reusable water ...
Karl's user avatar
  • 12.1k
4 votes

Acetone-resistant clear plastic

According to Palstics International's Chemical Resistance Chart, the A-rated plastics (no solvent attack) towards acetone are: ECTFE (Halar®): transparent films available Fluorosint® PTFE: white ...
andselisk's user avatar
  • 38.3k
4 votes
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Will toluene vapors damage a mirror made from PETG?

PETG is also not resistant against toluene. A month-long contact under ambient conditions results a complete swollen/disintegrated PETG material (PDL rating 0), and an year-long exposure even causes ...
andselisk's user avatar
  • 38.3k

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