One more week we are here to bring you the best information of the sector of the plastic welding only with a click, and in this occasion we will talk about “How to learn to differentiate the plastics”.

Doing a review to the most read or demanded publications, we have realised that in many occasions you have had doubts or directly you don’t know how to differentiate the type of plastic that you have on your hands.

For that reason, as this blog has been created to help you in any subject related to the plastics, this week we will teach you to differentiate the plastics.

The first piece of the puzzle that you should know is if you have a thermoplastic or a thermostable plastic.

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  • Thermostable: The thermostable is the type of plastic that when you heat it for the first time, it softens and you can shape it under pressure as you want. This makes that the molecules link together permanently and so it can’t be moulded never again and it doesn’t matter much how much you heat it, you will only break it. A simple example is the Polyester.
  • Thermoplastic: The thermoplastic is the type of plastic that can be heated and moulded to give it a great quantity of shapes (as many as you want), knowing that when it gets cool it will recover its initial physical properties. It can be heated as many times as you wish without fear, as the material will keep its initial aspect and properties. Examples of thermoplastics are the Polyethylene, the PVC…

In Arístegui Maquinaria we are a company that works with machines for the welding of thermoplastics and that’s why we are going to focus on teaching you to differentiate this type of plastic.

First, we leave you the following video with which you could easily differentiate the most common thermoplastics. In the video you could see how we heat rods of different materials and the difference among them when they are heated.

After the video, we explain in great detail what you have seen in it.

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In the video you have seen the following types of thermoplastics:

HD-PE / PS / PC / ABS / PP-EPDM / PVC / PP / PA6 

High Density Polyethylene (HD-PE)
This type of thermoplastic is very elastic and it easily recovers its shape after a hit…

It is a resistant plastic to most solvents and acids. It is very used in the manufacturing of pipes, bumper… as it is easy to mould and its aspect lasts more than in other plastics.

In the video you can see how when you burn it with the burner, the flame is almost null, of blue and light-yellow colour. Besides this, it doesn’t produce smoke.

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Polystyrene (PS)
The Polystyrene is a type of plastic very used in many work areas. Normally it is used for containers, glasses, trays….

It is easily moulded through the injection, extrusion or blowing.

In the video it is easily seen that when you burn it, it is produced a great light-yellow flame that in the centre is more orange. You can also see that it is produced a thin line of smoke and that the plastic deforms downwards.

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Polycarbonate (PC)
It has much resistance to the impact when it is at some temperatures between  –30° and 80°. Besides, it supports temperatures in furnaces of up to 120º.

It is a material easy to weld and during this process it produced some boilings.

You can see that when you burn it, it produces a normal darker yellow flame and that the plastic is carbonised and deformed up to it breaks.

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Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
This plastic is much more rigid than the other plastics. It has a great resistance to the impacts.

When it reaches the fusion temperature, it produces some boilings and it is easily deformed.

In this video you could see a great light- yellow flame and a great column of black smoke. When you extinguish it, you can see how the material has been carbonised.

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Ethylene-Propylene Polypropilene Rubber (PP-EPDM)
This thermoplastic is very elastic, with characteristics similar to the PEHD. It is easily cut and it has EPDM, it has more elasticity and resistance than the PP.

It is produced a light-yellow flame and as you can see in the video, it melts little by little.

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Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
The PVC can be mixed with many other types of plastics and it supports a lot the wear.

There is PVC of the rigid and flexible type. It can be glued with PVC glue and it is easily welded.

In the video, it can be seen how it doesn’t burn, simply the flames turns to light-yellow and when you remove it, the burner extinguishes. It almost doesn’t produce smoke.

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Polypropilene (PP)
It has characteristics very similar to the polyethylene, an even in many occasions it surpasses in mechanical properties.

It has a pleasant aspect and touch and it is a rigid material rigid and with elasticity.

It is the most used type el in the automotive (all type of pieces of cars…)

This material when you burn it produces a yellow flame of normal size and it doesn’t produce smoke or it doesn’t carbonise.

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Polyamide (PA)
The Polyamide can be manufactured in several densities, it has very good mechanical properties, a great resistance to the impact and it doesn’t wear off very easily.

This thermoplastic, when burning it, it has a small blue flame and it doesn’t produce smoke.

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>>> We wait that this post has helped him to learn to differentiate the plastics and if you have any doubt, only write a comment and we will gladly answer you.

Happy week and see you next Monday! :)