Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

? for the chemists about styrofoam (could be machining related)

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ? for the chemists about styrofoam (could be machining related)

    So iv accumulated a fair amount of styrofoam to be "recycled" only learning that the stuff most likely does not get recycled at all and just ends up in the landfill,

    so im considering an experiment --- we all know what gasoline does to the stuff - makes it disappear right? well what if I dissolved a bunch of it in gas or maybe something even cleaner? like acetone or something, broke it all down into a thick yet bubbleless goo, then put it out in the hot sun for a week or two and let the volatile's burn off,

    what would I be left with? some kind of hard plastic like stuff? would it be strong and durable? maybe be able to machine it into something useful ? just hate throwing stuff away and trying to find a purpose for it that does not add to the landfill problem....

  • #2
    Not a chemist, but have had them in the family and picked up a good bit of info.....

    Dissolving with a solvent generally does not change the material chemically, it just changes the physical form. So if you dissolve the styrofoam and remove the solvent, you will just end up with polystyrene in a different form, a lump or sheet of material. No clue if that would be useful to you, or just more compact junk.

    Same as solvent gluing, only it is "all glue" and no material. Glue for polystyrene is often just polystyrene dissolved in a solvent.

    You will also substitute atmospheric VOCs for landfill content, or add them to it......

    I find that material "cast" in that way often warps and twists as the solvent leaves, not becoming anything very useful. YMMV
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah that's the purpose --- get all the air out of it --- so it's polystyrene,,, do they make that in solid form for other stuff? I will research it - if durable maybe it could be used for something, im not concerned with warping IF it indeed ends up stabilizing after the volatile's have left --- then you just do what you normally do with rough material --- rough it out and then build something with it...

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
        Yeah that's the purpose --- get all the air out of it --- so it's polystyrene,,, do they make that in solid form for other stuff? .........
        Yep. One of the more common molding plastics.

        It may not be altogether the same..... there may be stuff added to foam it, although I understand most is foamed by adding gas bubbles "mechanically" and not through a reaction (as with some other foams).

        Foam is not recycled, but I understand it is actually very recycleable if there is a demand for it.
        1601

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

        Comment


        • #5
          Cool thanks JT did not even know what kind of plastic it was --- does say it's a little brittle in solid form but who knows still could be used for allot of different things...

          im going to at least try it and see what happens.

          Comment


          • #6
            It's low density creates a problem for recycling it. Transporting any great distance is uneconomical.

            How it's made: https://insulationcorp.com/eps/

            Comment


            • #7
              Some folks grind it up or pulverize it and use it as a substitute for perlite or vermiculite in potting soils (gardening).

              In fact, why don't you round up all you can find, develop an automated way to reduce it to granules, come up with a catchy name and slogan , and market it throughout the rocky mountain west. Then when it catches on nationwide, then worldwide, you can become filthy rich (well filthy anyway), and save the planet.
              Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

              Comment


              • #8
                the last thing id want in my garden, leaching all it's goodness into food crops? maybe your just talking flowers and stuff - hopefully...

                Comment


                • #9
                  It may be that when things move from liquid goo to solid they end up cracking in the process - in which case the entire process will be useless --- but I at least intend to find out with a quart of gas or acetone to see what happens and will post the results sometime...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I just throw it in the burn barrel and turn it back into the hydrogen and carbon from which it came. Can't get any more green peace than that. I even break it up into chunks so I can feed it into the fire along with the broken-down cardboard boxes it came in. It's a double win for the nature freaks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                      It's low density creates a problem for recycling it. Transporting any great distance is uneconomical.
                      My understanding is the first part of the process of recycling is to squash it about 10:1 in volume
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                        Yeah that's the purpose --- get all the air out of it --- so it's polystyrene,,, do they make that in solid form for other stuff? I will research it - if durable maybe it could be used for something, im not concerned with warping IF it indeed ends up stabilizing after the volatile's have left --- then you just do what you normally do with rough material --- rough it out and then build something with it...
                        The expanding agent of polystyrene is not air. They use propane, penthane or other gases. In the case of the brown poliurethane foam used as refrigerator insulation, most expanding agents used nowadays are penthane or cyclopenthane. I work at a recycling plant and we have to recover this gas from the foam which is in average 300 to 400 grams for a big american size refrigerator.
                        Helder Ferreira
                        Setubal, Portugal

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Some of this concern is indeed an illusion of sorts simply due to looking at all the "initial volume" due to it being foam and therefor carrying about 90% air or whatever,

                          but it is unique in that it simply melts with certain solvents, it's at least a way of condensing all this volume but has to have a purpose too, CCW Ken im all for incinerating but only in controlled high temperature ways and esp. if those ways are used to create energy that would normally be done by digging up fossil fuels to make it, im certainly not going to burn it in my backyard and pollute my townfolk while doing it.... plus get a nice fine to boot...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Polystyrene raw material comes from the factory as 1 mm sized glass hard beads already loaded with the expansion agent. The process of making expanded goods like boxes and sheets, begins by pre-expanding those beads to half size using a steam pressure cooker and then they are molded in injection like machines where they finish the expansion with more steam. This causes the little balls to "weld" to one another. If you look closely to a molded part,you will see the impression of the steam ports all over the surface. Sheets on the other end are molded as big blocks and then cut to thickness with hot wire.
                            Helder Ferreira
                            Setubal, Portugal

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                              just hate throwing stuff away and trying to find a purpose for it that does not add to the landfill problem....
                              So now that you've got a few tolls of TP you want to get rid of your backup?

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X