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The Options In Plastics Identification

In manufacturing companies as well as for end-users, being able to identify plastics, including polymers, fillers, and possible contaminants is very important in many different applications. One of the most common needs for plastics identification is in reverse engineering of plastic components. Very small sample sizes of a few grams are enough to provide the material that will be used for the tests, providing accurate and validated results as to all components in the material. Finding a Lab The key to any plastics identification is in developing a relationship with a top polymer testing lab. These services can provide full testing of unknown or known samples to either determine the materials in the plastic or to determine if the plastic is suitable for a specific type of application. These labs will use a variety of different testing methods to find out the specific components of the plastics. These are cutting edge testing systems that are very precise and accurate, providing reliable readings with very short turnaround times. Look for labs with extensive experience and with a solid reputation for customer satisfaction. Remember, with just gram sized samples the labs do not need to be in your vicinity. Overnight shipping and rush processing are available through top facilities with results in one or two business days based on your specifications. Precision Counts While it is possible to complete in-house plastics identification, there are a lot of factors that make this a complicated choice. First, equipment is very costly and constantly needs to be upgraded to include the latest in best practices. Secondly, by using in-house testers, there will be the need for ongoing training and support. By utilizing a specialized testing facility that only does plastics testing and identification, it is possible to tap into years of experience in providing accurate and reliable testing results that will be accepted by your...

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Understanding Numbers Used for Plastics Identification

You have more than likely noticed the recycling symbol that is imprinted on plastic products. In addition to the circulating arrows, there is also a number. While many people will call this a plastic code or a plastic number, the official name for it is the plastics identification code, or PIC. Identifying Plastic Types In all, there are seven different plastics identification codes, which were released by the Society of Plastics Industry, Inc. in the late 20th century. The intention of these numbers is to be used in order to identify the various types of plastics during the recycling process. Each plastics identification code refers to a different type of plastic, such as: Polyethylene Terephthalate (Type 1) High-Density Polyethylene (Type 2) Polyvinyl Chloride (Type 3) Low-Density Polyethylene (Type 4) Polypropylene (Type 5) Polystyrene (Type 6) Other (Type 7) Why Plastics Must Be Identified In order for recycled plastic to be reused in the manufacturing of new products, it first must be properly identified and separated according to its specific type. The reason for this is that some plastics cannot be melted together with other plastics because of their different properties and melting points. When various types of plastics are melted together at the same time, the result will typically be a mixture that solidifies in layers and produces a very weak structure. The best practice for recycling plastics is to separate each piece according to color and type. You may be wondering if it is possible to recycle any plastic product that has a plastics identification code stamped into it. While the simple answer is yes, you can recycle any plastic product that is marked with an identification number, you will find that not all facilities have the ability to process all types of plastic. As a matter of fact, the majority of recycling centers today will only be willing to take Type 1 and Type 2 plastics. However, it is important to note that even those facilities may not accept all forms of these plastic types. For example, many recycling centers do not have the ability to process plastic grocery bags even though they are made of Type 2 plastic. The best thing to do would be to take the time to do a little research before taking any plastic products to be recycled. Especially since anything that these facilities receive that cannot be recycled will be sent along to the...

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