Plastic cup melted from gasoline vapors

I had to replace the (in tank) fuel pump on my car. I removed the entire sending unit and had to order the part. In the meantime I put a 16oz plastic disposible cup in the opening to prevent dirt, insects, and anyhing else from getting in the tank, as well as vapors from escaping. The tank still contained about 2 gallons of gas. The cup made a nice tight fit in the hole and while I waited for my part to arrive at the parts store, I just left the cup in there as well as putting a rubber car mat over the opening just in case it rained. The next day I removed the car mat and found that this cup was full of holes, soft, and misshaped, and ready to fall into the tank. I was able to grabe it before falling in.
I realize that gasoline will melt plastics when it contacts them, but no liquid gas ever contacted the plastic cup, just the vapors. How could gas vapor cause the plastic to melt?
Tim
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snipped-for-privacy@-unlisted-.com wrote:

What worries me more is what might happen when liquor or other potent potables are served in such cups. Is there any warning on the package?
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The gasoline part of the gasoline is what melted the cup, not the alcohol.
When you start drinking gasoline, let me know.
Drinking cups will contain anything that can be consumed.
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snipped-for-privacy@rochester.rr.com wrote:

But not all that they can contain is consumable! (Not without croaking, at least.)
-- aem sends...
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snipped-for-privacy@-unlisted-.com wrote:

Duh
TDD
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snipped-for-privacy@-unlisted-.com wrote: ...

... Don't suppose the gasoline distillates could possibly be solvent for the polystyrene, do ya' reckon????
--
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on 6/6/2009 6:06 PM (ET) dpb wrote the following:

Back in 79 when I was stationed with a bunch of 'good old boys', after a weekend furlough, some of them came back with some moonshine. They asked if I wanted to taste some of it and I said yes. They poured it in a styrofoam cup from the commissary and said I should drink it right down. Well, I didn't and after about 10 - 20 seconds, the bottom fell out of the cup.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

Well, that was a perfectly good waist of "shine"! If the boys tell you to drink it, don't waist it.
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On Sat, 06 Jun 2009 16:26:39 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@-unlisted-.com wrote:

Very easily!!
Ran out of mechanics rags, did you?
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Now you know, not to drink gasoline from a plastic cup. And, quit huffing the gold & silver while you're at it.
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Exactly what do suppose "gas vapor " is composed of? Maybe "Gas"?
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snipped-for-privacy@-unlisted-.com wrote:

pure gasoline won't do that, HOWEVER the gas stations do not sell pure gasoline - they sell gas with lots of additives that will definitely melt plastics not designed for the job.
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"RickMerrill" wrote:

Oh really? Care to educate us on precisely what "pure gasoline" is composed of?
Jon
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he's trying to tell you gas stations mostly now sell E10; gas with 10% ETHYL ALCOHOL added.(along with other additives.) They are also considering allowing E15.
even "pure" gas from a gas station has other additives,like MBTE or another oxygenate required for emissions purposes.
you really cannot buy true pure gasoline. Gasoline is a blend of many petroleum fractions.
--
Jim Yanik
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These days I just use the "Instant Gasoline". It's sold as packaged powder. Just add the package to a gallon of water, let it sit for 5 minutes, and you have a gallon of gas. It's much cheaper, under a dollar a gallon.
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And, safe to store in the trunk of your car. Also can be shipped UPS, so they sell it online, even cheaper.
--
Christopher A. Young
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snipped-for-privacy@-unlisted-.com wrote:

Polystyrene is soluble in a large variety of solvents. While cup did not contact liquid, it contacted vapors and gasoline has a fairly high vapor pressure.
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