Many materials are affected by colder weather, and plastic is no exception. In this article, Simply Plastics looks at how plastic is affected by the cold and what you can do to protect it.
At its core, plastic is just a large molecule made up of smaller molecules. Those small molecules are called monomers and can be manipulated to form long chains. These long chains provide plastic with the flexibility it needs for many different applications.
But those same flexible properties can make plastic vulnerable to certain cold weather conditions. When plastic is exposed to freezing temperatures, the molecules within it tend to contract and pull apart from each other. This can cause tiny cracks in the surface of the plastic that you may not be able to see with the naked eye. Over time, these cracks can lead to bigger problems like structural damage or even shattering.
So how can you avoid this? The best way to protect plastic from cold weather is by using it indoors. If you do have to leave it outside in the winter, try to cover it up with a tarp or something similar. Also be sure to check your plastic regularly for any signs of damage, like cracking or warping.
Can you Reuse Plastic Containers if They’ve Been Frozen?
The short answer is that you can reuse plastic containers if they’ve been frozen, but the quality of those containers may be affected. In general, freezing plastic does not damage it or compromise its ability to hold food and liquids. However, repeated freezing and unfreezing can weaken the structure of certain types of plastics, such as PETE or polypropylene.
This means that these plastics may not be able to maintain their shape after being thawed out multiple times. If you notice any cracks in your plastic containers after using them for frozen products, then replace them with a new container rather than risk damaging your food.
In addition to weakening the structure of some types of plastic, repeated freezing and thawing can also create small cracks in the surface of the plastic. These cracks may lead to problems with food contamination or allow air to enter the container, which could negatively impact the quality or taste of your food.
It’s important to note that certain types of plastics are more resistant than others to becoming weakened by repeated freezing and thawing. For example, polypropylene will generally hold up well under these conditions and is often used for products that need to be frozen and then thawed out multiple times, such as ice trays or freezer bags.
If you’re concerned about how well your plastic containers will hold up when exposed to cold temperatures, it may be a good idea to consult with a plastics expert who can help you choose the right containers for your needs.
If you’ve been wondering whether your plastic can handle the cold, then hopefully this article has answered that question for you. Remember, when it comes to protecting your plastic items from the elements, prevention is always better than cleaning up!