Identification tests for plastics

Density -
  • ​does it float in water? (yes/no)
 
Note:
Fiberous materials such as webbing  / ropes must be thoroughly wetted to avoid trapped air.

Scratch / impact resistance
  • what happens when you  scratch with a fingernail, hit with a hammer?
Flexibility
  • what happens when you bend it?


 
Effect of burning  -
Burning (combustion) is a chemical reaction that provides information about the chemistry of the plastic
Note:
Some plastics burn violently.  It may produce burning droplets. Keep water nearby for extinguishing flames and burn first aid..  Smoke is toxic, ensure adequate ventilation..
  • does the plastic readily ignite?
  • does it continue to burn on it's own?
  • are burning drops formed?
  • What colour is the smoke?, flame?
  • what does the smoke smell like?




By comparing these observations with those of known plastics, the spcific plastic can usually be identified.