When choosing a fish oil product, its ability to dissolve Styrofoam … Fire melts Styrofoam, also known as polyurethane. It doesn't dissolve at all in water or alcohols either. The air in the foam evaporates, and because Styrofoam consists mainly of air, it completely loses its structure. The cup seems to have disappeared. It's possible to scrape off most of the melted styrofoam. Some chemicals, however, can dissolve or eat through styrofoam, and a few of these are … Most people know it under the name Styrofoam, which is actually the trade name of a polystyrene foam product used for housing insulation. "Holiday decorations can be damaged by the extreme heat in attics," says Santoro. Most petroleum based solvents will dissolve polystyrene foam (styrofoam), including rubbing alcohol (isopropyl), acetone (the main ingredient in nail polish remover), gasoline, lacquer thinner, paint thinner, MEK, and mineral spirits. Polystyrene is a very inert, nonreactive substance -- one of the properties that make it so useful for packaging. The solvent is very flammable and can be harmful if inhaled, so use safety when conducting this experiment! Polystyrene is a petroleum-based plastic. There is now a thin layer of hard plastic bumps on part of the burner. The acetone breaks up the long chain of molecules, and the air goes away, hence the volume shrinks radically. Styrofoam cups. First: Pour ½ cup of acetone into the bowl. Shutterstock/ID-Art. Add 1 part of white vinegar and mix it with 1 part of water. How does that work? You will need tools to scrap, saw, dissolve and pry it. Metal bowl or pot. Mostly extreme heat can melt any foam or plastic-like object. "Delicate fabrics and items that are painted are particularly prone to damage when stored in the attic," and plastic decorations, like ornaments, may melt or warp in the heat. The DOW is trying to eliminate the use of styrene as it is because it smells so bad and is very toxic hence the company is trying to resort to co-polymerization (adding other monomers along with styrene in the polymerization process). Stir the solution well, and pour it in a sprayer. WHAT IS STYROFOAM? However, you can add more vinegar in the solution if the snow is thick or taking a lot of time to melt. Spray the solution on snow to melt it. Watch the video for an explanation. Some types of spray paint, as well as gasoline, will also dissolve Styrofoam. 'Styrofoam' is actually a polymer of styrene (vinyl benzene --- C6H5-CH=CH2). Polystyrene is a light-weight material, about 95% air, with very good insulation properties and is used in all types of products from cups White Vinegar + Water. I accidentally placed a styrofoam food container onto a still-warm electric burner. Your holidays might just be a lot less merry this year if you've been storing your decorations in the attic. 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