It was fun!
the heat shrink film is a good companion for craftsmen. People draw their favorite patterns on these thin plastic plates, which can be easily cut and punched, but once they are put in the oven or heated with a hot air gun, something amazing happens: the large thin plastic sheet shrinks rapidly into a small piece of thick plastic, leaving only about 1x4 of its original size. Then, it becomes all kinds of beautiful little pendants.
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(heat shrink film shrinking in the oven, photo source: giphy)
the chemical composition of this handmade material is polystyrene, the kind of plastic whose recycling symbol is 6. Polystyrene is a transparent, lightweight, hard thermoplastic, it also has many applications in life, for example, many beverage cup lids are made of this material, foam "Polystyrene" also refers to foamed polystyrene.
(structural unit of polystyrene)
the property of heat shrinkage of plastic plate comes from the pre-stretching during processing. Heat shrinkable sheet is a kind of biaxially stretched polystyrene sheet. In the production process, it is stretched in two directions and the molecules in the material are "fixed" in the stretched state by cooling. In this way, the processed plastic products will have a shape memory effect, and when heated and softened again, the stretched polystyrene molecules will have more room for movement, and they will tend to return to the more curled-up and contracted state before stretching. The thermal shrinkage of the biaxially stretched film is more uniform, so after some magic distortion, the heat-shrinkable film can eventually return to a nearly flat state, and the pattern above will not have obvious deformation. The same principle of heat-shrinkable plastic film is also widely used in packaging materials.
other plastic products that have experienced stretching in the production process have similar heat shrinkage, such as beverage bottles and disposable plastic cups, which can be blown with a hot air gun if you are interested. In addition, the heat shrinkable film is really fun! I can't stop being addicted to making heat shrinkable films.
read more: heat shrinkable films are also used for scientific research