# How can different types of plastic be cheaply and easily identified?

by Evanish
Tags: cheaply, easily, identified, plastic, types
 P: 8 "Is there a cheap and easy way to identify plastic? Do you think that maybe some cheaper none FT kind of near infra red spectrometer would be good enough to sort different types of plastic?" Yesterday I read about this SCiO device at phys.org: Israeli's chemical scanner could change shopping http://phys.org/news/2014-07-israeli...l-scanner.html The SCiO device is an infrared spectrometer. In the FAQ at the SCiO site (http://www.consumerphysics.com/myscio/faq.htm) they have this question "I have an idea for a SCiO application, how feasible is it?" that lists different material types for which the device can recognize the material composition. "Plastic type identification" is mentioned under "Not tested, highly feasible". So to your answer, it looks like an infrared spectrometer can identify the type of plastics. On another hand the base model of sells currently for $249 at the company store http://www.consumerphysics.com/myscio/store.htm (n.b. their store page does not display much of anything in some browsers - IE 11 seems to be fine though). In this case you would probably have to develop an app for it to recognize plastics, though...and the cheapest version that comes with an application development kit (ADK) costs$449. So I am not sure if it counts as being "cheap", but total costs for building your own would probably not be much less than that (considering that you would also have to build some software for your own device as well).
P: 3,227
Seems it's been around for awhile..

 One of the main technologies that has been developed successfully and continually improved over the past 15 years is Near Infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. This technique involves measuring the spectrum of NIR wavelengths reflected and absorbed by each piece of material by measuring the intensity of infrared light reflected off the surface of the material at a range of frequencies and comparing the results against known polymer signals to determine the resin type for each piece of material.

P: 13
How can different types of plastic be cheaply and easily identified?

 Quote by jjoensuu "Is there a cheap and easy way to identify plastic? Do you think that maybe some cheaper none FT kind of near infra red spectrometer would be good enough to sort different types of plastic?" Yesterday I read about this SCiO device at phys.org: Israeli's chemical scanner could change shopping http://phys.org/news/2014-07-israeli...l-scanner.html The SCiO device is an infrared spectrometer. In the FAQ at the SCiO site (http://www.consumerphysics.com/myscio/faq.htm) they have this question "I have an idea for a SCiO application, how feasible is it?" that lists different material types for which the device can recognize the material composition. "Plastic type identification" is mentioned under "Not tested, highly feasible". So to your answer, it looks like an infrared spectrometer can identify the type of plastics. On another hand the base model of sells currently for $249 at the company store http://www.consumerphysics.com/myscio/store.htm (n.b. their store page does not display much of anything in some browsers - IE 11 seems to be fine though). In this case you would probably have to develop an app for it to recognize plastics, though...and the cheapest version that comes with an application development kit (ADK) costs$449. So I am not sure if it counts as being "cheap", but total costs for building your own would probably not be much less than that (considering that you would also have to build some software for your own device as well).
That's really interesting. Thank you.