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Plasticware: Choose and Use Guide

Chemical Resistance Guide:


  • PS (Polystyrene)
    -good chemical resistance to aqueous solutions, limited resistance to solvents
    -brittle at ambient temperatures avoid dropping
    -usually disposable labware
    -excellent stability and visibility
  • PC (Polycarbonate)
    -avoid strong organic solvents & concentrated acids and bases
    -has excellent strength and optical clarity
  • PP (Polypropylene) - good chemical resistance to solvents
    -avoid strong oxidizers and freezing temperatures


  • PE (Polyethylene)
    -chemically inert, avoid strong oxidizers
    -strong solvents can cause softening or swelling with prolonged exposure
  • LDPE (Low density polyethylene)
    -more branching in polymer chain, less compact
  • HDPE (High density polyethylene)
    -less branching in polymer chain, more rigid


  • PMP (Polymethylpentene)
    -excellent resistance to chemicals and high temperatures
    -avoid strong oxidizers
    -may be softened by prolonged exposure to chlorinated solvents
    -brittle at ambient temperature avoid dropping

Care and Maintenance
Plasticware should be cleaned with a soft cloth or sponge in mixture of warm water and a non-alkaline detergent. Avoid all alkaline detergents and abrasive cleaners or pads, they have a tendency to weaken plastics, especially those made of PC (polycarbonate). After cleansing, the items must be thoroughly rinsed with tap water to make sure no detergents remain. Then rinse with distilled water and let dry. To prevent leakage, disassemble spigots and closures to clean threads and remove excess salts that build up over time.