Types of plastic
An overview of the different types of plastic, these are the most common ones. We mostly work with PP, HDPE, LDPE and PS. Just because we gather that the most from our waste here. However they should al work with our machines, just requires some (temperature) testing.
Made this overview of the six main types of plastics. It is still a bit in progress so let me know if there are any mistakes.
Remember this is a guideline: due to the many variations in one type of plastic the properties of one type can vary a lot.
Information retrieved from CES Edupack.
Hope it is useful!
When I need it, I will make more of those cards for other common plastics (ABS, PLA, PC etc)
I’ve woeked for 2 years in a big company that recycle pet, almost 1 ton/hour.
It’s very easy but you have just one thing to care about.
First wash the bottles.
second wait to dry.
third shred then.
AND NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT: PET EASILLY RE-HYDRATES.
You need to pre-heat in a oven for 1 hour at70~80 ºC. To redry.
then you can process very well.
I’m doing my masters degree on Polymer Science. If you have some questions, ask me!
This picture was adapted from: RUDIN and CHOI, The elements of polymer science and engineering, 3ed
This classification is based on enviromental and healthy problem during production, use and discard oh theses polymers.
About identifying plastic types.
This is from “User’s Guide to Plastic”, a book that is used in plastic related education.
Identifying plastic types by burning.
Material – Type of fire – Odor
ABS – Yellow flame with black smoke, drips – Very characteristic for ABS
PA-Nylon – Blue flame with yellow top, melts and drips with transparent and very fluid drops – Burnt wood
PC-Polycarbonate – Yellow flame with smoke, melts and chars
PE-Polyeten – Blue flame with yellow top, transparant drops that burns – Candles
POM-Acetalplastic – Blue flame without smoke – Ammonia
PP-Polypropen – Blue flame with yellow top, swells and drips – Sweet/Wool
PS – Yellow flame, with black sooting smoke – Citygas (?)
PVC – Yellow flame with green edges, softens – Sulphuracid
SAN – Yellow with black sooting smoke
@flo-2 there is none. For plastomeres (type of plastic) you have the amorphous type and the semi-crystalline. Amorphous types do not have a melting point, only a point were it is getting softer. I can explain more if you want but you can also google for amorphous plastics
Celophan is not a plastic-like matterial beacuse it is made from wood maybe you wanted to say Polyethylen.
PVC – is very toxic because Cl. When Cl contact with water (for example in Lungs) it will produce H-Cl – very toxic acid and will damage organs. thats why it is not recomended to work with PVC in DIY projects.
I’m planning to recycling wasted plastic bag from PE plastic but my question is How can I define between LDPE and LLDPE to make masterbatch for PE extrution film? Or just blended them?
We built an extruder and we’re trying to extrude PET. I have been told that it’s one of the more difficult plastics to recycle because it is very particular: it needs to be dried and preheated before melting and the temperature is very sensitive; it can’t be too low or too high.
We are building a new extruder with a longer barrel, about 40 inches (1m) long, so that we can make control temperature zones better and hopefully preheat and dry before we melt. I have a hunch that some people who have successfully extruded PET filament, actually reach melting temperature and then lower slightly before the extrusion nozzle. Do you or anyone else in this forum have any experience with this?
Another note: Re-filament uses only 90% recycled PET, while the other 10% is virgin PET. Apparently this makes it easier to bond the particles.
If anyone has experience in PET, please help us here.
Let’s get some real info about plastics together. I see each plastic page (ex. http://preciousplasticwiki.herokuapp.com/index.php?title=Pet) having it’s own section on melting temps, restrictions, etc.
Am Moraa from Kenya. Am trying to work with PET plastics but i find it so brittle. What can you make out of it, the melting temperatures and any information that can help please.
Newbie here to the forum. Very excited about the direction and goals of the members. I am not educated in the science of the various plastics or polymer chemical makeup. I have been chipping up many different forms of plastics and abs computer cases with an old Troy built Garden style wood chipper that I have modified. I have numerous 55 gallon drums of mixed plastic chips. I eventually want to build Dave’s shredder and also get into crumb rubber.
My question is about Pyrolysizing plastics. As you know applying heat to such things as plastic or rubber while held in a vacuum, will cause the material to break down and release a gas, BUT not burn because of no oxygen. That gas can be captured and depending on the material, can be condensed back into a liquid form such as oil. For example, cellophane. The gas can also be burned off, and with proper oxygen introduced, it will burn pretty clean and hot. HOWEVER, if that gas from some plastics or pvc is just allowed to escape out into the air, it can be very toxic. And by the way, the by-product is pure carbon black, which is a good thing to use or put back into the environment. My problem is not knowing enough about the different polymers in the various forms of plastics to know which chemicals are the real dangerous toxic ones, if allowed to escape. Because of your background education, could you possibly list the various plastics and the types of potential toxic chemicals they could produce if allowed to off-gas? Any educational information about these different types of plastics and the dangerous chemicals they could produce would be very much appreciated. @jtravis
Is there actually a safe way to recycle PVC? If yes, can it be done in a DIY manner?
it is very clear that i can use 6 or 7 types of plastic.
But when i see you making 3D filement i am confused!
When i talk about 3d printers with my frends that own one they use PLA of ABS plastic.
soo how could you get PLA or ABS filement for 3d printers????
A little help please. I am wanting to understand thermoplastics/thermosets and wonder if they can be recycled and reused with the precious plastic method.
Long story short, where I work we accumulate a lot of plastic toys and kitchenware – which I am told are generally made of thermoplastics and/or thermosets. I would really like to get the big boss on board with precious plastics in order to make a change to our plastic waste, but quickly realise I have no knowledge in this area.
Any help or information would be HIGHLY appreciated.
Thank you so much!! 🙂
Just found this website with more information and thought that it might be of use to some people : https://www.boedeker.com/Technical-Resources/Technical-Library/Plastic-Identification
What can be done to reduce UV degradation
HDPE grind / flake / scrap
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Does anyone have experience with shredding ABS from printers/copiers? jtravis recycled some of those ABS cases with a wood chipper but I wonder how well that goes with the precious plastic shredder. I have piles of it at my school but these things are quite hard. I suppose much depends on the power of the engine..
yes for sure you can!i have tried that with the injection and was fine!
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