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Re: [TCML] Is It Polyethylene?

Hi Greg,

It's undoubtedly polyethylene sheet. Two pieces should feel very slippery when rubbed together (its sometimes called the poor man's Teflon). To further confirm, take a small strip and try to ignite one end with a match or lighter. Vinyl will not burn, but will melt and blacken and give off acrid fumes (poisonous - Hydrogen Chloride). Polyethylene will catch fire and burn with a bluish-yellow flame, melted material will drip flaming droplets, and it will give off a smell similar to burning candle wax.

Be sure to examine your material carefully to make sure it's virgin material and not recycled. The latter often contains embedded dirt, and sometimes even metal debris, that can cause early dielectric failure in your home brew cap.

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G Hunter wrote:
I purchased a roll of "contractor's choice" brand plastic sheeting
from Lowe's.  It's 6 mil, milky translucent in color.  Nowhere does
the packaging mention what kind of plastic it is, nor can I find any
recycling symbol.

I did the microwave oven test on it, and it didn't warm up at all.
Does anyone know what kind of poly this is?  Does anyone know a
quickie test for us non-chemists?

I'd like to homebrew some caps, but I want to use polyethylene, not


Gregory R. Hunter

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