Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Acetone and Welding Plastics
Name: Pete
Status: Educator
Grade: N/A
Location: GA
Country: USA
Date: November 2005


Question:
What type of plastic can be "welded" with acetone?



Replies:
Pete,

The "welding" that you speak of is really just the action of dissolving some of the plastic and allowing the pieces to recrystallize or reform across pieces - forming a physical bond. Actually quite a few commercial plastics are soluble (or at the very least swollen) by acetone. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say exactly what plastics can weld since formulations and manufacturing processes applied to the plastic can impart a wide range of properties on the plastic part. In general, most polystyrene formulations can be dissolved by acetone (you can easily test this by applying just a little bit of acetone onto polystyrene foam packaging or on the clear plastic windows of envelopes).

Roberto Gregorius


Thermoplastic acrylic plastics (Plexiglas) can be "welded" with acetone, but that is not the solvent of choice because it is too volatile. There are solvent blends available at hobby, art, and/or glass stores that work better -- forming a stronger bond.

Vince Calder



Click here to return to the Material Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory