Plastic recycling news
There is serveral way to help you recognize ABS plastic. Try to check the plastic's density by placing a small section in water, and see if the plastic sinks or not. You can also know it by making a burning test, checking for signs such as a yellow flame with blue edges or a sharp smell to indicate that it's ABS or not.
1. Checking the Density of ABS
Using sharp objects such as scissors, razor blade to cut a small square out of the plastic — around 2.5 cm ( ~ 1 inch ) , but you can also use a slightly larger piece to do it.
If you aren't able to cut up the plastic, you can use a different method
which is the most convenience for you.
- Place the piece of plastic in a glass of water.
- Fill a cup or small container with cool or room temperature water.
- Drop the cut piece of plastic into the water.
You don’t need to fill the container all the way up with water the plastic just needs enough room to either float or sink to the bottom. Watch to see if the plastic sinks or floats in the water. If the plastic floats, it isn’t ABS plastic.
If it is sinks, it can be an ABS plastic recycle. Conducting another test we can use glycerin to get more certain about it., if desired. It will be sinks in water, so do several other plastics.
If you’d like to be more sure, you can fill a cup with glycerin. If the plastic floats in the glycerin, it’s will be ABS because glycerin is denser than ABS plastic.
2. Conducting by burning test
Place the plastic against a flame. Start a small flame, we can use both lighter or a candle. Holding the plastic so that it’s touching the flame. You should be careful to not burn yourself. A long neck lighter would be the best and safest option since the flame won’t be near your fingers.
You don't need to cut the plastic into smaller pieces when holding it in the flame. Observe the color of the flame when the plastic is in the fire.
If it is ABS, it will have a yellow flame while others may produce a green, blue, or orange flame. Looking for blue edges around the yellow flame, indicating it’s ABS plastic. Notice a pungent smell if is ABS. Because ABS plastic has a very strong acrid smell when it burns.
If the plastic is giving off a stinging smell that’s irritating to your nose, it also could be ABS. Remembrting that do not inhale too much of the fumes when smelling the plastic, as you know some plastics can be toxic when melted.
ABS plastic has also been said to smell rubbery. Look for black smoke coming from the flame. When you’re holding the plastic in the flame, you should see black smoke if it’s ABS. You will see see the air also have a sooty quality. Removing the plastic from the flame to see if it continues burning.
ABS plastic is the one that continues to burn even after the flame is shut off. Looking for drips produced from the fire as well, indicating it’s ABS plastic.
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