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ScienceNostalgia101

Melting plastic without toxic fumes?

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I have a bunch of spare plastic around that I'm considering melting into a plastic sculpture just to prove I can. Is there any way to melt plastic without burning it and/or causing significant amounts of toxic fumes? (By significant I mean enough to harm people either a few metres upwind or several metres downwind; or does that follow from the vapour pressure of molten plastic?)

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Really depends. Check the type(s) you have. 

Thermoplastics are pretty safe up to a point. Others you should be careful with.

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In order to make a plastic sculpture you will probably have to dissolve the plastic in a solvent...you'll definitely need safety goggles and gloves. If you have a lot of the styrofoam then you can dissolve it in acetone...without the risk of toxic fumes.

Edited by Itoero

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I checked the bottom of it and it says "7 other." Which, looking it up, yields this. A tad concerning, but it says nothing about the vapour pressure from melting.

Also, not sure if anyone here might recognize the numbers to the left of it, so I uploaded this image of it.

As for gloves and safety goggles, I'll keep that in mind should I choose to go through with this.

Edited by ScienceNostalgia101
Blocked out the barcode, just to be sure...

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Where did you get the plastic from? Brand? Maybe you can ask the sellers or producers what kind of plastic it is.

Edited by Itoero

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3 hours ago, Itoero said:

Where did you get the plastic from? Brand? Maybe you can ask the sellers or producers what kind of plastic it is.

You could just put a bit in a suitable receptacle, heat it and see if it melts... it'll either be non-melting thermosetted plastic or thermoplastic which does melt. That link I posted has the details.

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