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Plastic Identification Chart

Plastic Identification Chart

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Published by: mohammad on Dec 27, 2008
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PLASTICS AND ELASTOMERS IDENTIFICATION CHART

PLASTIC MATERIALS
SOFTENS PRESS A SOLDERING IRON OR A HOT ROD (500 F) AGAINST THE SAMPLE ELASTOMERS

THERMOPLASTICS

THERMOSETS
Floats BURN A SMALL CORNER OF THE SAMPLE SELF-EXTINGUISHING CONTINUES TO BURN TPV TPO Drop a small sample in water Sinks

FLOATS

DROP A SMALL SAMPLE IN WATER

SINKS

MATERIAL DAP OBSERVATIONS PP, PE ALL OTHERS COLOR OF FLAME YELLOW FAINT ODOR OF PHENOL BLACK SMOKE

MELAMINE FORMALDEHYDE YELLOW WITH BLUE TIP FISH LIKE SWELLS AND CRACKS

PHENOL FORMALDEHYDE YELLOW

UREA FORMALDEHYDE YELLOW WITH GREENISH BLUE EDGE FORMALDEHYDE SWELLS AND CRACKS

POLYESTER YELLOW WITH BLUE EDGES SOUR CINNAMON BLACK SMOKE WITH SOOT

SILICONE

EPOXY Self-Extinguishing YELLOW Burn a small corner of the sample

BRIGHT YELLOW

ODOR OTHER CHARACTERISTICS

PHENOL MAY OR MAY NOT BE SELF-EXTING.

NONE CONTINUES TO BURN

PUNGENT AMINE BLACK SMOKE

TPV Blue Base Large Yellow Tip Burning Rubber

TPO Blue with Yellow Tip

Continues to burn Silicone

MATERIAL PE OBSERVATIONS COLOR OF FLAME BLUE WITH YELLOW TIP PARAFFIN BLUE WITH YELLOW TIP ACRID OR DIESEL FUMES SLOW PTFE CTFE PVF FEP NO FLAMES BURN A SMALL CORNER OF THE SAMPLE PP

SELF-EXTINGUISHING

Paraffin Wax

Yellow Sample Glows URETHANE POLYETHER TYPE YELLOW FAINT APPLE FAST SLOW POLYESTER TYPE YELLOW ORANGE STYRENIC POLYESTER POLYAMIDE

ODOR SPEED OF BURNING SLOW ≤ 3 INCHES FAST > 3 PER MIN. OTHER CHARACTERISTICS

CONTINUES TO BURN

Fast

Slow None

FAST MELTS & DRIPS

DRIPS

ABS, ACRYLICS ACETALS CELLULOSE ACETATE CELLULOSE ACETATE BUTYRATE CELLULOSE PROPIONATE CELLULOSE NITRATE POLYSTYRENE POLYURETHANE POLYESTER DRIPS

NYLON POLYCARBONATE PPO POLYSULFONE PVC

Black Smoke

Melts & Drips

Slow White Smoke, Burned Part Turns White

YELLOW BURNING RUBBER FAST BLACK SMOKE

YELLOW ORANGE SWEET

BLUE WHITE SMALL YELLOW TIP BURNT WOOL OR HAIR SLOW

DRIPS NO CELLULOSE ACETATE BUTYRATE YELLOW WITH BLUE TIP RANCID BUTTER YES NO

SLOW SOOTY SMOKE

YES MATERIAL FEP OBSERVATIONS COLOR OF FLAME CTFE PTFE

NO

YES

GRAY/BLACK SMOKE BUBBLES AND SPUTTERS PVC YELLOW WITH GREEN EDGES HYDROCHLORIC ACID SLOW

NO SMOKE

PVF

ABS

ACETAL

ACRYLICS BLUE WITH YELLOW TIP FRUITY/ FLORAL

CELLULOSE ACETATE YELLOW WITH SPARKS VINEGAR

CELLULOSE PROPIONATE YELLOW

POLYSTYRENE YELLOW

POLYESTER YELLOW WITH BLUE EDGES

CELLULOSE NITRATE PALE YELLOW

POLYURETHANE YELLOW

NYLON BLUE WITH YELLOW TIP BURNT WOOL OR HAIR SLOW

POLYSULFONE ORANGE ODOR OF SULFUR FAST BLACK SMOKE WITH SOOT

POLYCARBONATE ORANGE OR YELLOW PHENOL

PPO

PPS

BLUE WITH YELLOW BLUE EDGES BURNT HAIR ACETIC ACID BURNT HAIR ACIDIC ACRID FORMALDEHYDE

YELLOWISH ORANGE

YELLOWORANGE FAINT ROTTEN EGGS SLOW METALLIC SOUND WHEN DROPPED

ODOR SPEED OF BURNING SLOW ≤ 3 INCHES FAST > 3 PER MIN. OTHER CHARACTERISTICS

BURNT SUGAR

ILLUMINATING BURNING GAS OR RUBBER MARIGOLD FAST DENSE SMOKE WITH SOOT FAST BLACK SMOKE WITH SOOT

CAMPHOR

FAINT APPLE

PHENOL

SLOW BLACK SMOKE WITH SOOT

SLOW

FAST FROTHS AND CRACKLES

SLOW BLACK SMOKE WITH SOOT

SLOW SOME SMOKE WITH SOOT

FAST SOME BLACK SMOKE

FAST SAMPLE BURNS COMPLETELY

FAST SLIGHT BLACK SMOKE

SLOW BLACK SMOKE WITH SOOT

SLOW DIFFICULT TO IGNITE SMOKE

NO SMOKE

FROTHS

WHITE SMOKE

© Vishu Shah, Consultek, LLC, 460-D West Lambert Road, Brea, CA 92821, 714-674-1981 The Plastics identification technique is laid out in flowchart for eash step-by-step identification by process of elimination. This is shown in the plastics Identification Chart. There are some basic guidelines one must follow in order to simplify the procedure. The first step is to determine whether the material is thermoplastic or thermoset. This distinction is made by simply probing the sample with a soldering iron or a hot rod heated to approximately 500°F. If the sample softens, the material is thermoplastic. If not, it is thermoset. The next step is to conduct a flame test. It is desirable to use a colorless Bunsen burner. A matchstick can also be used in place of a Bunsen burner. However, care must be taken to distinguish between the odor of the materials used in the match and the odor given off by burning plastic materials. Before commencing the burning test, it is advisable to be prepared to write down the following observations: 1.Does the material burn? 2.color of flame 3.Odor 4.Does the material drip while burning 5.Nature of smoke and color of smoke. 6. The presence of soot in the air. 7. Self-extinguishes or continues to burn. 8. Speed of burning--fast or slow To identify the material, compare the actual observations with the ones listed in the flowchart. The accuracy of the test can be greatly improved by performing similar tests on a known sample. While performing the identification tests, one must not overlook safety factors. The drippings from the burning plastic may be very hot and sticky. After extinguishing the flame, inhale the smoke very carefully. Certain plastics like acetals give off a toxic formaldehyde gas that may cause a severe burning sensation in the nose and chest.

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