Working with thermoplastic
This tips mostly address CAPA 6800, from Solvay, but should generalize to most of the thermoplastics we'll be working with.
- Use silicone as much as you can. Silicone brownie pans, silicone muffin pans for left-over plastic, etc. Thermoplastic doesn't stick to silicon! (It does stick to most everything else.)
- Use cooking parchment. Cooking parchment is silicone-impregnated paper, available in many grocery stores and all specialty cookware shops.
- Use a double boiler, also known as a bain-marie. This can be as simple as a pot of water with an empty soup can in it. When you heat the plastic in a double boiler, it doesn't get any hotter than 100C, the boiling point of water. If you overheat your plastic, it can catch fire!
- Know what to do in case of a fire. Cover the pot. Remove the source of heat - turn off the burner. If you have to, use your fire extinguisher and call the fire department. (If you don't have a fire extinguisher, get one!)
- Use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of your plastic.
- Be a bit careful. Molten plastic is sticky and hot. Don't get it on you. Have some oven mitts or oven pads if you think you'll need them.
- Don't leave the room when heating plastic. Keep an eye on it, and make sure it doesn't get too hot. If you do have to leave the room, turn the heat off.
- Don't use waxed paper to line a mold. The hot plastic will melt the wax, and then bond to the paper.
- Don't reuse any cooking implements for food. Once you've used a pot or spoon for processing plastic, keep it out of the kitchen.
-- Main.SebastienBailard - 07 Sep 2006