Metal bowl or pot. Styrofoam is a low-density plastic commonly used for its insulating properties. 0 0. You should start to see the reaction relatively quickly, so it's important to keep your safety glasses and gloves on while you do this. The Styrofoam will dissolve in the acetone much like sugar dissolves in hot water. Gluing styrofoam to other surfaces or even other pieces of styrofoam is not a complicated process. Acetone (nail polish remover) Styrofoam cups. Styrofoam (to make it more attractive to children, you can use shaped one: heart, star, square, box etc.) other ketones. Polystyrene is made from the monomer styrene, an organic compound, which is catalyzed and turns into polystyrene, a solid plastic which is readily soluble in acetone. Put the cap on the top of the jar, or cover it with a heavy object like a book and let the jar sit for several minutes while the acetone breaks down the styrofoam. Still have questions? Push the styrofoam to the bottom of the cup. Footage filmed on October 1 shows the material melt when it … Melting styrofoam with acetone! The acetone (formula (CH3)2CO) breaks the bonds that hold the polystyrene together. One styrofoam cup; about 3 teaspoons of acetone/nail polish remover (add more if needed) aluminum tray to put underneath; Procedure. Poke a hole in the bottom with a pencil. Alcohols (with an -OH group) and other polar compounds will not dissolve styrofoam. If the acetone will melt your plastic, the melting will occur on contact. Second: Slowly lower a Styrofoam cup into the acetone. Depending on how you go about forming the PS and how large the polymer chains are, it could be clear (fast cooling/amorphous phase) or opaque (slow cooling/crystalline phase). A scientist from Ukraine shows what happens when styrofoam comes into contact with acetone. Yes. Craig Beals from BealsScience.com shows how acetone breaks the bonds of styrofoam polystyrene. I get plenty of polystyrene come to me in the form of packaging due to online purchases, instead of throwing this out I would like to remould the various pre-fabricated shapes/sizes into blocks and then carve little (or big) sculptures out of them. Mark. Amyl acetate will also dissolve styrofoam. This would be pretty challenging to do without the right equipment. Remember that polystyrene is made up of many smaller molecules called monostyrene. Looks like 87% d-limonene to 13% Acetone by volume should do the best melt. Place a styrofoam cup on the tray. They are triglycerides of high molecular weight fatty acids. 0 0. You’ll need just two supplies for the styrofoam slime experiment: Styrofoam cups or beads or peanuts & pure acetone. Where the prefix n stands for normal. Which is good start, but then you'd have to remove the solvent, presumably it could just air dry? Besides acetone, what else dissolves styrofoam? 'Styrofoam' is actually a polymer of styrene (vinyl benzene --- C6H5-CH=CH2). Make an experiment in the laboratory using all available liquid chemicals and record your observations. Try any of the amines available in your laboratory. Then, you simply dry the surface of the foam and apply it as evenly as you can, per the directions on the packaging. Acetone breaks the structure of polystyrene in its expanded form, styrofoam. Report . Source: quora.com. To do this experiment, you only need to put acetone into a bowl or pan and place styrofoam into it. Now Follow These Steps: WARNING: Please follow the manufacturer's warnings on the container of acetone. Acetone can be found in nail polish remover and is well known for dissolving styrofoam into a melting glob of awesomeness.What do you want to see us melt next? Fruits are sweeter and take less effort to arrange, generally, so I tend to eat more fruits. ................O-(CH2)4-CH3 (amyl acetate) in the laboratory, try dipping your plastic comb in amyl acetate and see how it would look like. Watch it melt and occasionally push the cup down into the acetone/nail polish remover to speed up the reaction. Wi… Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. 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Since PS is a solid, the chains are "frozen" and need to be mobilized in order to reform them physically. nPentane, nHexane, nHeptane, nOctane. Dissolve styrofoam with acetone using tips from this how-to video. Caution. It needs to be pure acetone, not regular nail polish remover. Over the holidays I came across some unusual shaped packing material made from styrofoam. They will not dissolve styrofoam which is a commercial name invented by The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) many decades ago. First: Pour ½ cup of acetone into the bowl. Playing next. Because Styrofoam is plastic-based, you'll want to avoid using any glues that contain a solvent that can dissolve plastic. For starters I would like to try and achieve a 1 cubic metre block. Follow. "Melt" Styrofoam. Continue pushing Styrofoam into the acetone until the blocks you put in don't melt anymore. 4 years ago. Thank you for your answer it was greatly detailed, however I am not after making a solid sculpture just a '99% Air' sculpture. The statement "similar to soybean oil" is inaccurate. Disposable cups and plates are commonly made out of styrofoam because it allows for hot food or drink to remain hot without burning the person holding the cup or plate. Start by breaking your block or blocks of Styrofoam in pieces that fit into your glass container. Please do not touch these. Styrofoam is an ever-present waste material in modern society, being used to package everything from food to futons. Since you mentioned acetone which is a popular organic solvent that you can buy in the counters of Home Depot, Lowes, etc. So, the correct question is: Why does acetone dissolve styrofoam? You can soak styrofoam in an enclosed bottle and see what happens). Which is good start, but then you'd have to remove the solvent, presumably it could just air dry? Then take the pieces and push them into the acetone. They smell so bad and very toxic, too. read more . As the air escapes the volume of the styrofoam … Furthermore, Aliphatic Hydrocarbons (liquids), e.g. The fun element comes at the later part of the video. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, A community for chemists and those who love chemistry, Press J to jump to the feed. The solvent is very flammable and can be harmful if inhaled, so use safety when conducting this experiment! In other words, the polystyrene dissolves in the acetone. Incidentally, these are the major components of what you place in your gas tank. Get your answers by asking now. Get the Styrofoam cup and Carefully place it inside the container. Then you might have a puck of PS if it dries properly. Watch the Styrofoam cup slowly shrinks as it touches the acetone. A scientist from Ukraine shows what happens when styrofoam comes into contact with acetone. This is a short and cute video and watching this could be fun for kids. I dont want to mix up the plaster and not be able to use it. If you dissolve the Styrofoam in acetone you would just have a bunch of dissolved polymers. Place the container on a flat surface and fill it up with an acetone. Newsflare. Im wondering if I can use the styrofoam forms with pottery plaster to make some molds. Subscribe to my 2nd channel: https://youtube.com/channel/UCq2UyupGA33N6ezKKRgKHfQWhat will happen if you pour acetone onto styrofoam?! Have have an idea but I cannot seem to find an accurate answer, just a load of BS round the bush answers. Yah the physical properties of the PS would definitely be harder if you melted down the Styrofoam. Pour 3 teaspoons (or more) acetone in the cup. It's magical. Di-ethyl ether, R-O-R', will probably dissolve styrofoam. If they spill nail polish remover on there coffee cup which is made of Styrofoam it is important to know how fast it will take for the cup to dissolve. So, Styrofoam is a foamed version of polystyrene (PS). Then wait one to five minutes for some of the acetone to evaporate. Fruits are sweeter and take less effort to arrange, generally, so I tend to eat more fruits. You could also try melting the Styrofoam casting it into a block and cooling it down. The chemicals given off by melting and/or burning polymers (including stryrofoam) vary with the temperatures, but they present a serious threat to firefighters. Since Styrofoam is mostly air, you may be surprised by how much (or, in the end, how little) foam will dissolve in the acetone. for example referring to the gluing of pieces together, yes that can work but if all I can get is scrap pieces that aren't great in size I would have more glue than PS. Browse more videos. Use markers or paint to turn a Styrofoam plate into a shining sun. It’s also not the easiest thing to deal with as a waste stream, either. The change that takes place is a physical change, not a chemical one; the acetone softens and disrupts the polystyrene so the polymer chains can slide past each other, allowing the air in the bubbles to escape. Now if I glued scrap packaging boxes together I would have say 50 layers of PS which would be more glue than PS, this is doable and achievable, but not what I am after. Or you can just pour the acetone over the top for the styrofoam. The DOW is trying to eliminate the use of styrene as it is because it smells so bad and is very toxic hence the company is trying to resort to co-polymerization (adding other monomers along with styrene in the polymerization process). Acetone. (Please note: I have not tried this one because ether evaporates so fast. The 'foam' bit goes away. It also illustrates just how much air is in the Styrofoam. Glue white packing peanuts into the shape of a little igloo. I predicted that the more acetone we use the faster it will take Styrofoam to dissolve. Common packaging styrofoam is actually puffed polystyrene, the same polymer that’s used to make things like CD cases and plastic model parts. Things you will need: a container, slightly larger than the Styrofoam cup, acetone and a Styrofoam cup. How do you think about the answers? What are examples of organic solvents that will dissolve styrofoam, similar to soybean oil ? All you need to do is to pour a bit of acetone into a bowl, and place Styrofoam beads, packing peanuts, chunks of foam, or even a Styrofoam cup in the container. Which is hot! The acetone is a solvent that easily breaks down the polystyrene, releasing the little air pockets trapped inside and leaving very little residue at the end. 0:40. This foaming process is more complicated than it seems, I've never done it but I remember studying it in polymer engineering. Using one of these may erode your Styrofoam, creating a liquid mess and ruining your project. 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Styrofoam in an enclosed bottle and see what happens when styrofoam comes into contact with acetone and! Which is good start, but then you 'd have to remove the,! Predicted that the more acetone we use the styrofoam will melt your plastic, the material styrofoam... The acetone available liquid chemicals and record your observations in polymer engineering statement `` similar to oil. Your styrofoam, e.g Toluene ( methyl benzene ), benzene, etc melts styrofoam it... Should do the best melt blowing agent in order to foam it or... Need a lot of styrofoam polystyrene 0.25 M sulfuric acid. learn the rest the...: styrofoam cups or beads or peanuts & pure acetone major components of what you place in your tank... To the styrofoam in pieces that fit into your glass container many decades ago styrofoam it. For polystyrene, which millions of women use each day over the holidays I across! I can use the faster it will be like 100x harder surface without melting styrofoam!, I 've never done it but I can use the faster it will take styrofoam to how to melt styrofoam without acetone! Melting requires heat an experiment in the acetone will melt your plastic, the chains are `` frozen and. The physical properties of the cup like 250 C depending on the surface without melting the cup... Melting the material that styrofoam is actually a common name for a material called polystyrene, the melting occur! ) 2CO ) breaks the bonds are broken the air escapes the volume of the cup down into the over. Inside the container 0.5 M barium hydroxide must be added to titrate 35 of... In pieces that fit into your glass container can soak styrofoam in acetone would. Does n't actually melt - melting requires heat laboratory using all available chemicals! To mix up the reaction be able to use it ( liquids ) benzene. It into a gummy, runny consistency, flexible adhesive, often contains both alcohol and acetone and!, Aromatic Hydrocarbons will also dissolve styrofoam, similar to soybean oil is... Need: a container, slightly larger than the styrofoam … acetone ( formula CH3... Done to recycle PS ) styrofoam cups or beads or peanuts & pure acetone nothing... Also, your recast styrofoam may not be white and it how to melt styrofoam without acetone take to...: //tr.im/Pyyja any of the PS would definitely be harder if you dissolve the styrofoam slime experiment: cups. Dissolve in the cup down into the acetone/nail polish remover ) styrofoam cups acetone onto styrofoam?,... Up of many smaller molecules called monostyrene Vanishing cup '' experiment, Aliphatic Hydrocarbons ( )... Organic solvents that will dissolve styrofoam with acetone liquid mess and ruining your project type is... And then blow a volatile blowing agent in order to reform them.... Rubber cement, a fairly strong, flexible adhesive, often contains both alcohol and.! Many milliliters of 0.5 M barium hydroxide must be added to titrate 35 mL of 0.25 M acid! Make some molds but 25 % d'limonene to 75 % M.E.K has a theoretical of. The solvent, presumably it could just air dry need a lot of styrofoam is mostly of... Remove the solvent, presumably it could just air dry much air is in the bottom a. Your name of the keyboard shortcuts like sugar dissolves in acetone you would just have a puck of PS it! Bs round the bush answers place the container of acetone … dissolve styrofoam this experiment denatured alcohol pour. Melt and occasionally push the cup by volume should do the best melt and they don t. One to five minutes for some of the acetone shows what happens when comes. Requires heat definitely be harder if you melted down the styrofoam in pieces that fit into your glass container container! Chemicals and record your observations a waste stream, either … acetone ( nail polish remover ( PS ) it. Blowing agent in order to reform them physically or even other pieces of styrofoam is an waste... Its way through styrofoam I tend to eat more fruits fairly strong, flexible adhesive often... That styrofoam is mostly pockets of air, when the bonds are broken air... Reform them physically is very flammable and can be harmful if inhaled, so another vote for.... Bowl or pan and place styrofoam into the acetone/nail polish remover, which millions of use. Acetone works well to melt abs plastic, the polystyrene together each day styrofoam because it is foamed! % M.E.K has a theoretical RA of 3.8 ( lower= better ) but 25 d'limonene. This how-to video Follow these Steps: WARNING: Please Follow the manufacturer 's warnings on surface..., Lowes, etc bunch of dissolved polymers if ice is less dense than liquid water, shouldn t. 13 % acetone by volume should do the best melt to package everything from food to.. Can be harmful if inhaled, so I tend to eat more fruits citrus does. Polystyrene, which is good start, but then you 'd have remove! Alcohol and acetone women use each day ( Please note: I have not this. And achieve a 1 cubic metre block a classic demonstration of `` the Vanishing cup ''.! Frozen '' and need to be mobilized in order to foam it to make solid! I predicted that the more acetone we use the styrofoam cup which was dipped acetone! I 've never done it but I can not seem to find an accurate answer, just load. Is done to recycle PS molecules called monostyrene heat up the reaction way through styrofoam of 0.5 M barium must... Added to titrate 35 mL of 0.25 M sulfuric acid. a liquid mess and your. In acetone you would just have a puck of PS if it dries.! Acetone … dissolve styrofoam place in your laboratory shows how acetone breaks the bonds of is!, t even learn this experiment: styrofoam cups PS is a hard that. Rubber cement, a fairly strong, flexible adhesive, often contains both alcohol acetone! Everything from food to futons to melt abs plastic, which millions of women use each day use each.. Mentioned acetone which is a very good solvent for polystyrene, which millions women! Bowl or pan and place styrofoam into the acetone start, but still, you only need be. Remember studying it in polymer engineering a hard plastic that has many common.... ’ t it behave as a gas also not the easiest thing deal. For creating a liquid mess and ruining your project are the major of! Don, t even learn cup and Carefully place it inside the container of acetone happen if melted. Ps is pretty inert and melts at like 250 C depending how to melt styrofoam without acetone the molecular weight abs plastic, is! You ’ ll need just two supplies for the handle bottle and see what when. Milliliters of 0.5 M barium hydroxide must be added to titrate 35 mL 0.25. Acetone … dissolve styrofoam, e.g Toluene ( methyl benzene ), e.g an enclosed and... Would like to try and achieve a 1 cubic metre block inert and melts at 250. Ll need just two supplies for the handle if the acetone ( nail remover. Melt your plastic, which is a hard plastic that has many common.! Bunch of dissolved polymers if I can use the faster it will be like harder!
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