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Space and Physics

Something Weird Happens When You Put A Styrofoam Cup Into Acetone

author

Tom Hale

Senior Journalist

clockMar 30 2016, 20:10 UTC
719 Something Weird Happens When You Put A Styrofoam Cup Into Acetone
LET'S MELT THIS/YouTube

That powerful whiff you get from nail polish remover comes from a chemical called acetone. Along with stripping nail polish, it turns out it can also do some pretty impressive damage to a polystyrene foam cup.

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This video, from Youtube channel LET'S MELT THIS, shows how this organic solvent can quickly break down a Styrofoam cup into what they call “a melting glob of awesomeness.”

The cup is made up of polystyrene foam, essentially a long interlocking chain of styrene monomers. When it’s exposed to acetone, the solvent breaks down that chain and releases all the trapped pockets of air, hence the fizzing gas and the appearance that it’s shrinking in size .

 

 


Space and Physics
  • video,

  • chemical reaction,

  • polystyrene,

  • acetone

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