Acetone and plastic

Acetone is a solvent and is also used in the home, hobby, home, garden and home improvement. However, when using acetone, it should be noted that the organic solvent can attack many plastics to different degrees. In the following, we summarized which plastics are compatible or incompatible with acetone.

General to acetone

Acetone is an organic solvent used, for example, for dissolving resins as well as various paints and inks. Although acetone is slightly toxic, it also occurs in nature. To understand how it reacts to plastic, it may be interesting to look at the production of acetone. From a chemical point of view, the more similar molecules are, the sooner they can solve them.

Acetone and the resistance to different plastics

However, there are so many different plastics, so it is very difficult to set a general rule without deeper chemical knowledge. Therefore, we list below all common plastics and subdivide them on contact with acetone as follows:

  • A: very good resistance
  • B: good resistance
  • C: limited resistance
  • D: no resistance
  • KA: no information possible
  • CA: estimated

The following plastics are listed below:

thermoplastics

  • HDPE: high density polyethylene
  • LDPE: low density polyethylene
  • PA: polyamide or nylon
  • PC: polycarbonate
  • PETG: polyethylene terephthalate glycol or co-polyester
  • PMP: polymenthylpentene or TPX
  • POM: polyoxymethylene
  • PP: polypropylene
  • PS: polystyrene or colloquial (each brand name) Styrofoam or Styrodor
  • PSU: Polysulfone
  • PVC: polyvinyl chloride
  • SAN: styrene-acrylonitrile

elastomers

  • EPDM: ethylene-propylene terpolymer rubber
  • FPM, FKM: Fluorine polymer or Viton
  • NBR: nitrile rubber
  • SI: silicone rubber

Fluoro resins

  • E-CTFE: ethylene-chlorotrifluoroethylene or Halar
  • ETFE: ethylene tetrafluoroethylene
  • FEP: tetrafluoroethylene-perfluoropropylene or FEP or Teflon (brand name)
  • PTFE: polytetrafluoroethylene or Teflon (brand name)
  • PVDF: polyvinylidene fluoride

Acetone and thermoplastics

  • HDPE: A
  • LDPE: C
  • PA: A
  • PC: D
  • PETG: D
  • PMP: B
  • POM: A
  • PP: A
  • PS: D
  • PSU: D
  • PVC hard: D
  • Soft PVC: KA
  • SAND

Acetone and elastomers

  • EPDM: A
  • FPM, FKM: D
  • NBR: D
  • SI: KA

Acetone and fluorine plastics

  • ECTFE, ETFE: B
  • FEP: CA A
  • PTFE: A
  • PVDF: C

Tips & Tricks

The previous results assume a temperature of 20 degrees Celsius and represent conditions under laboratory conditions. In practice, deviations may occur. Therefore, you should always use a small specimen before contacting acetone with a plastic. Depending on the requirements, it is then sufficient to wet the plastic only briefly with acetone. It may also be necessary to place it in an acetone bath for hours.

Video Board: Putting a Rubik's Cube & Lego bricks in Acetone. What Happens?