How do I know what type of plastic I have?

A more scientific way of identifying plastic is the use of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), which is used for qualitatively and quantitatively determining the presence of specific chemical groups, e.g. C=O, or C-H, or C-CH3 in a plastic material.

How do you identify polypropylene plastic?

How to Identify Different Types of Plastic

  1. 1 PET. Name: Polyethylene Terephthalate. …
  2. 2 HDPE. Name: High Density Polyethylene. …
  3. 3 PVC. Name: Polyvinyl Chloride. …
  4. 4 LDPE. Name: Low Density Polyethylene. …
  5. 5 PP. Name: Polypropylene. …
  6. 6 PS. …
  7. 7 Other. …
  8. Description: Acrylic – very rigid and strong, can be clear, high heat and impact resistance.

How can you tell nylon plastic?

Nylon 6/6 is an off-white plastic material. It is fairly hard and cannot be marred with a fingernail. When burned it gives off the odor of burnt wool or hair. The flame is blue with a yellowish tip.

What are the 7 types of plastic?

The Basics On 7 Common Types of Plastic

  • 1) Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)
  • 2) High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE)
  • 3) Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC or Vinyl)
  • 4) Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE)
  • 5) Polypropylene (PP)
  • 6) Polystyrene (PS or Styrofoam)
  • 7) Other.

How do you identify an unknown polymer?

FTIR is one of the most important techniques used in the identification and analysis of polymers. Typical applications of FTIR in polymers include: Identification of the polymer type to ensure that the correct, or the specified type of polymer, has been used for the application or to identify unknown polymer materials.

How can you tell the difference between polypropylene and polyethylene?

The most obvious difference is that polyethylene bags are opaque plastic, while polypropylene bags are completely clear.

How can you tell if plastic is polycarbonate?

In the formulation of Polycarbonate, a bluing agent is used. While Acrylic and Polycarbonate both appear clear on the surface, you will notice the edge of the Polycarbonate looks blue, while the Acrylic is clear.

What do the numbers mean on plastic?

Resin Identification Code

Chances are you have noticed the numbers on the bottom of plastic products surrounded by 3 arrows that form a triangle. The plastic numbers range from 1 to 7 and are called the Resin Identification Code. Each number indicates which type of resin the plastic product is made of.

What is the most toxic type of plastic?

PVC Polyvinyl chloride

PVC. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is widely known as the most toxic plastic for health and the environment. In its production, it releases dioxins, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, lead, cadmium and other toxic chemicals.

What does 7 mean on plastic?


#7 – Other (BPA, Polycarbonate and LEXAN)

Number 7 plastics are used to make baby bottles, sippy cups, water cooler bottles and car parts. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic food containers often marked on the bottom with the letters “PC” by the recycling label #7.

How can you tell the difference between polymers?

Monomers are simple molecules with low molecular weights. Polymers are complex molecules with very high molecular weight. A monomer can have different combination units. A polymer will always have a single repeating unit.

How can you tell LDPE from HDPE?

Differences in Physical Characteristics

LDPE is softer and more flexible than HDPE. It also has a lower melting point (115° C) and is more transparent. Compared to HDPE, it is more likely to crack under stress. HDPE is rigid and durable and offers greater chemical resistance.

What does polystyrene look like?

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What is the difference between polyethylene and polystyrene?

The Key Differences

Polyethylene is remarkably dense and available in sheets, film, and fibrous forms. On the other hand, polystyrene is available in sheet, film, and foam forms. However, polystyrene can be very easily shaped and formed, especially when it is in a foam form.

What is the difference between Styrofoam and polystyrene?

Polystyrene is a common polymer material produces from the monomer, styrene. Styrofoam is a form of polystyrene. The key difference between polystyrene and Styrofoam is that the polystyrene is a form of synthetic aromatic hydrocarbon polymer whereas the Styrofoam is a commercial brand of polystyrene.

Is polystyrene a plastic?

Polystyrene is a versatile plastic used to make a wide variety of consumer products. As a hard, solid plastic, it is often used in products that require clarity, such as food packaging and laboratory ware.

What are Number 6 plastics?

The #6 identifies the resin of the plastic which makes polystyrene, but the arrows around the number do not mean that it is recyclable. This type of plastic is either hard of soft (foam, also known as Styrofoam). Both should go in the landfill.

What is propylene plastic?

Polypropylene (PP) is a thermoplastic “addition polymer” made from the combination of propylene monomers. It is used in a variety of applications to include packaging for consumer products, plastic parts for various industries including the automotive industry, special devices like living hinges, and textiles.