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Investigations into how glass reinforced plastic (GRP) vats can be repaired to minimise migration of styrene into food
Project Code: A03008
Central Science Laboratory
Glass-fibre reinforced plastic vats are used in the UK for storage of foodstuffs, including wine, vinegar, milk, grain and grape juice, and for potable water. The unsaturated polyester resins used to make the plastic vats are cross-linked with styrene and any residual styrene monomer may migrate into the foodstuff. This report describes some systematic studies of manufacturing parameters as they affect the content of residual styrene and its subsequent migration. There was an apparent linear relationship between residual content (mass fraction) and styrene migration (mass per unit area) and the slope of the line demonstrated that migration was lowest into distilled water, was intermediate into acetic acid and was highest into the ethanol simulant. This correlation could be used; to establish Good Manufacturing Practice parameters, and for monitoring the quality of vat repairs using styrenic resins.
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