SAN plastic is a copolymer of styrene and acrylonitrile that belongs to the family of plastics, specifically to the styrene polymers (the best known, polystyrene). This thermoplastic polymer is made up of repeating units of styrene and acrylonitrile. It typically contains 70-80% styrene and 20-30% acrylonitrile. This combination of monomers makes this material more thermally resistant, stiffer and more chemically resistant than the popularly known polystyrene.
Properties of SAN plastic
- As is typical of hard amorphous plastics, SAN has high dimensional stability and precision.
- It is a strong and scratch resistant plastic.
- Excellent chemical resistance.
- It can be processed by the forming methods commonly used for thermoplastics, such as injection moulding and extrusion, copying mould details with high fidelity.
In terms of applications, it can be found in automotive components, kitchen utensils, medical articles, household items, among many other uses.
In terms of recycling, SAN plastic degrades very slowly and contains harmful components and additives. These additives include dyes, stabilisers and plasticisers that may contain lead and cadmium.
Its recyclability number is 7, and it can be separated from other plastics by flotation. It also has a high energy content, which makes it ideal for combustion. However, combustion must be above 900°C in order to remove dioxins, otherwise it may pose health risks.
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