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Is it safe to melt polycarbonate?

I'm interested in trying to do something with the dozens of old CD's and DVD's.  I was thinking of trying to melt the polycarbonate and shape it while it's  Pliable.

I understand polycarbonate melts at around 150 degrees C, so it's possible to melt in an oven, but is it safe?  Will it release any toxic fumes, or does it only vent at higher temps?

Also, will it deform\shrink as it cools, or will it hold it's shape?

Thanks!!!

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rickharris3 years ago

I should have explained the above is the safety sheet for poly carbonate.

Extract:

Burning releases carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and traces of hydrogen cyanide.

In the event of fire and/or explosion do not breathe fumes.

Morgantao (author)  rickharris3 years ago

According to the same safety sheet:

Softening point: > 130 - 160 °C
Decomposition temperature: >= 380 °C
Ignition temperature: > 450 °C

So setting the oven to 150 C shouldn't set it on fire.

Question is, what decomposition temperature means. I'm guessing that's when any toxic volatiles are released. Not sure though.

I read it like you do. Use an oven and you should be

Vyger3 years ago

Take a close look at my Member picture. Be careful you don't set it on fire. As far as fumes, I have no idea. I however am still alive. I think.

Morgantao (author)  Vyger3 years ago

If I set it on fire in the oven, breathing the fumes won't be what kills me. My wife would be more then happy to do that. :P

Vyger Morgantao3 years ago

You can microwave a CD but if it goes for to long it will catch fire. Not fun cleaning the smoke from the inside of the oven. The aluminum is what really gets active with the microwaves and it crackles it all up.

I would say the bottom line is that it is touchy. Once it gets hot it can ignite easier so its real easy to go past that point. I heated them on my wood stove and turned them with a metal spatula. I also danced my propane torch flame over the surface to get it to crackle. I only lit one on fire, the others just got real soft and bubbly. The top of the wood stove is a pretty safe place to play with stuff like that since it is clear of anything that can burn and is solid steel plate. I have melted glass on it also with a torch. You could probably use a heat gun and get better results. Once they get soft you should be able to put them in a mold or just melt them over something like a key or a coin. Hard to say if you will get the PC to release once it is cooled. And, if it gets on you when its hot it will deffinately burn. It stays hot so it could be very painful if it drips on you.