Poly-Framed guns melting?


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Blarelli
May 20, 2008, 09:15 PM
I just had a guy tell me that two years ago he left his gun in his car with some stuff on top of it, and when he came back the grip had warped and sunk in so much that a mag couldn't be inserted. Is this possible, or is he BSing me?

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fletcher
May 20, 2008, 09:20 PM
I would call BS. I don't know which polymer they're made from, but I think if that was true, we'd be hearing a lot more reports about it. If the polymer is a thermoset, it's certainly not true.

Blarelli
May 20, 2008, 09:22 PM
If it helps, the guy is from Phoenix, and says it was a glock 23. It does get pretty hot there. How hot would it have to be to melt a glock frame, or at least make it soft enough that a spare mag or something could put a dent in it?

Halo
May 20, 2008, 09:27 PM
Glock frames are made from Nylon 6, which has a melting point above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. He's either BSing or it gets way hotter in Arizona than I realized!

bakert
May 20, 2008, 09:34 PM
Maybe his car caught on fire??:D

CountGlockula
May 20, 2008, 09:36 PM
What Halo said.

Zoogster
May 20, 2008, 09:37 PM
It is possible.

Especialy if one of the items in direct contact with it was a piece of metal in the sun.
The wieght of items on top of it, and a piece of metal around a couple hundred degrees combined could be enough to reshape the material.

The melting point is different than the temperature at which the material loses some of its strength. Most plastics have properties that are on a curve that changes with temperature.

So yes several pounds of force pushing on a few hundred degree piece of metal in contact with the frame could definately change the shape, especialy over a period of hours.

I don't think many people realize just how hot a piece of metal in the AZ sun, protected from any wind in a vehicle can get.
So the inside temperature of the vehicle may only get around 140 or so during a 110 day in the sun ( in a part of the world with one of the highest UV indexes), but pieces of metal directly in the sun's rays can go much higher.

I have melted my shoes in a matter of seconds just by standing on a metal grate step that was sitting in the sun to enter an RV. Metal sitting in the sun there can get very hot on some days.
I have no doubt a piece of metal that hot with pounds of force on it could warp a Glock over a period of time.

Ankeny
May 20, 2008, 09:41 PM
I wouldn't call BS. In fact, it's entirely possible. The last Glock grip reduction I did (on a G19) started out by heating the backstrap and reforming.

Halo
May 20, 2008, 09:45 PM
The softening point of Nylon 6 is 190 C (374 F). I still find it unlikely to reach that temperature in a car.

The Lone Haranguer
May 20, 2008, 09:56 PM
It is possible.

Especialy if one of the items in direct contact with it was a piece of metal in the sun.
The wieght of items on top of it, and a piece of metal around a couple hundred degrees combined could be enough to reshape the material.

Agreed, this is plausible. But, OTOH, someone told me he could reach for and disassemble a Glock in my hands, too. :rolleyes: I would also guess that any large dog could make short work of the grip section as a chew toy. ;)

Comanche180
May 20, 2008, 09:57 PM
So, what else melted in his car? The steering wheel, dashboard, shifter knob?
Put out the BS flag!

beemerphile
May 20, 2008, 10:06 PM
What you said. The heat deflection temperature is about 350 degrees and the vicat softening point is 374. Gaston says don't worry because the melting temperature of the gun is much higher than the melting temperature of the person holding it. The vinyl on the dash would be rolling off onto the carpet first.

Thernlund
May 20, 2008, 10:16 PM
Put out the BS flag!+100

I've lived in Phoenix all my life. On the hottest day on record here (122 deg) I was out in it (waiting in line at emmisions in a car with no A/C of all places). My shoes did not melt on metal grates, concrete, or anything else.

NO WAY the interior of a car could get hot enough to melt a polymer-framed pistol. As said above, the dashboard would be in a pool on the floorboards. As well, no metal sitting in the sun would melt it either. If that were true, any exposed metal in the car would melt anything it came in contact with. The metal seatbelt buckle would never stay in one piece. Screws holding plastic parts on would just fall out.

No way. Can't happen.

:rolleyes:


-T.

gcrookston
May 20, 2008, 10:27 PM
and the dash, steering wheel, door inserts all melted, too....

TAB
May 20, 2008, 10:28 PM
I would not call BS on it just yet, we have no idea what else was in that car... I can think of atleast a half dozen solvents that will damage a glock. All of which are very easy to get ahold of.

moooose102
May 20, 2008, 10:46 PM
well, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, the REAL question, is how likely is it? i think it would be VERY HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a brand name plastic pistol would melt like that. glock, and all the other major pistol manufacturers do have a reputation to uphold. i think there is a very high probability this guy is pulling your leg on this one. j.m.o.

TAB
May 20, 2008, 10:49 PM
well, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, the REAL question, is how likely is it? i think it would be VERY HIGHLY UNLIKELY that a brand name plastic pistol would melt like that. glock, and all the other major pistol manufacturers do have a reputation to uphold. i think there is a very high probability this guy is pulling your leg on this one. j.m.o.


the chances of a glock "melting" in my work truck is pretty high... then again I play with lots of solvents.

Zoogster
May 20, 2008, 10:56 PM
You said the word Glock. That means from that point on all logic left the discussion, the cult will be coming out in defense of thier religion, all logic will be tossed aside. After all, blasphemy deserves no logical debate.

Couldn't you at least lie and say it was some other polymer gun made from the same thing so we could have some logic in the discussion?

I like some Glocks myself, but I swear...



Glock frames are made from Nylon 6, with some variation.

The melting point is very different than the softening point. The melting point is when the material turns practicly into a liquid, it can can be melted and shaped, but it can also be softened and merely distorted.

Glass transition temperature of nylon 6 is around 50C, with slight variation in different studies of the material changing from the upper 40's to lower 50's.

Take this link for example: http://www.polymerprocessing.com/polymers/PA6.html listing Glass Transitioning Temperature at 47C or 116.6F! It lists the melting point at 220C or 428F.
So a very big difference between glass transitioning temperature range and melting temperature.

More proof that it is changing at such temperatures is even hinted at in the GlockFAQ at http://www.glockfaq.com/generalinfo.htm :
"Chemically stable in a majority of environments, attacked directly by strong acids and bases (better than steel actually). UV exposure results in degradation over an extended period of time. 2-3% carbon black virtually eliminates UV degradation and Carbon-Black does not become readily absorbed in Nylons offering higly increased useful life spans. Loss of mechanical properties with 2% Carbon-Black is less than 0.05% on an elevated UV exposure test equivalent to approximately 100 years. Hyrdolytically attacked by water in excess of 120 degrees. Basically, no hot-tubbing with your Glock and you will be fine."

Now being attacked by water at ~120 degrees is a different point, but it is obvious changes are going on in the structure if that becomes possible then and not at lower temperatures. Funny how that temperature about coincides with the glass transitioning temperature isn't it?


There is many other sources for properties on Nylon 6. If you are too stubborn to take my word for it, the terms to look for are "glass transitioning".
You can research what that means, how it works, and what it means for a material.

GaryP
May 20, 2008, 10:58 PM
What about all the plastic components inside the car --- steering wheel, dash, radio knobs, trim, etc? :scrutiny:


:evil:

Thernlund
May 20, 2008, 11:06 PM
I can think of atleast a half dozen solvents that will damage a glock. All of which are very easy to get ahold of.

Are you kidding? Who said anything about solvents, or any other damaging element besides heat?? If we're going that way... I guess if there was a toaster oven in there set on high, and the pistol was stored in the oven, maybe it would melt. Or maybe if the car was in close orbit to the SUN. Ugh. :rolleyes:

I'm not a Glock fanboy. I have a couple. They're just decent guns. No way they'll melt in a hot car. Nor will a Sig, Smith M&P, Kel-Tec, XD, or any other polymer pistol.


-T.

Ragnar Danneskjold
May 20, 2008, 11:06 PM
BS. Halo is right. The temperature that is needed to melt the polymers used in modern pistols would also be hot enough to kill you.

Zoogster
May 20, 2008, 11:16 PM
What about all the plastic components inside the car --- steering wheel, dash, radio knobs, trim, etc?
Plastic does not equal plastic. Plastic is about as much information as saying something is metal.
There is many types of plastics, and the way heat transfers or effects different properties varies considerably.

There is even people on Glocktalk who discuss reshaping thier firearm with boiling water in a short time, far shorter than the amount of time a pistol would sit in a car with pounds of force on top of it.
Water boils at 212F.

Here is such a thread:
http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=860906

The thin and relatively unsupported material that makes up the sides of the grip/magwell would be the most vulnerable to distortion. The exact place that was damaged in the OP's story.

Thernlund
May 20, 2008, 11:33 PM
:rolleyes:


-T.

hiccups
May 20, 2008, 11:41 PM
I put a Glock in a carbon fiber crucible and heated it to 2200C, turned into a lump of metal about the size of an egg. What's up wit dat?

If the grip was hot enough to deform, why didn't the magazine that's under spring pressure, fly apart?

possum
May 21, 2008, 12:53 AM
that is bs if you ask me, i have had my polymer guns inmy car, in georgia, and kansas, as well there are many govt contractors that have glocks here in iraq also the iraqi police and army and if they don't warp in the heat of a vehicle in iraq they won't do it any where else. yeah i am sure if you pushed the limits then it might happen, like put it in a insinurater and such, but under normal conditions and heat it will be fine.

fletcher
May 21, 2008, 01:27 AM
Funny how that temperature about coincides with the glass transitioning temperature isn't it?
Sort of, but it may be a coincidence. IIRC (it's been 3-4 years since I studied polymers), the transition temperature is pretty much when all of the crystalline portion of the polymer goes back to amorphous. However, a good chunk of the polymer at room temperature is amorphous anyways, which means that water would attack those portions regardless if the attack is due to the crystallinity change only. It may be a contributing factor, but it's probably a result of some interaction between the H2O molecule and the polymer that is possible at or around that temperature because of the extra thermal energy (assisting activation perhaps?).

In my original response I didn't remember the transition point at all, so I do agree that it *could* deform under load in excessive heat, but it's still unlikely IMO.

jocko
May 21, 2008, 02:51 AM
The GM saturn is damn near all plastic body, I don't see them deforming any. Lots and lots of different kind of polymers, some under heat probalby will flow like water, some will not. I sure would never worry about my kahr PM9 melting...

WinchesterAA
May 21, 2008, 03:13 AM
Yeah.. I don't think so.. Much as I hate plastic guns it's not hard to say that one of them melting isn't on the high end of stuff I'm worried about. TBH, nothing about them worries me, but the fact that it is plastic seems counterintuitive therefore preventing my interest.

my 1911s, on the other hand.. Bring on the fire!

GrendelPrime
May 21, 2008, 06:55 AM
Thankfully, I don't often find the opportunity to drag this image out much, but I think it's time.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v722/grendelprime/bsmeter.gif

Some people lump polymer and plastic into the same group, equating both to the consistency of green army men. :banghead:

CYANIDEGENOCIDE
May 21, 2008, 07:58 AM
i think there is an easy answer here. if the glock would melt woldn't we see some problems after running through 5 or 6 mag dumps? i know the frame isn't under a ton of force, but there are springs and the like in there, shouldn't SOMETHING happen if it was affected by heat? not exactly the same thing but similar

Ltlabner
May 21, 2008, 08:18 AM
Some people lump polymer and plastic into the same group, equating both to the consistency of green army men.

My company has developed a large line of polymers for use as a bearing surface. Many (if not most) of my customers do this also. We have 22 different blends yet I'm usually asked, "what kind of plastic is your bearings". (as if there were only one.).

The mistake people are making is hearing "Nylon 6" and assuming that is ALL that is found in the thermoplastic being used in the frame. My guess is there is a blend of a few different base materials, fibers of some sort for strength and perhaps even some sort of lubricatant.

The second you add in other components all of the data found on the internet about basic plain ole Nylon is useless. Especially when you factor in that the relative amounts of the individual components makes a huge difference. (ie. 25% of PTFE = great lubricity in one blend while 28% in a specific blend with other components = horrable lubricity). The ratios of the recipe have an enormus effect on how the overall plastic blend functions.

Nylon has a huge water absorbtion rate (ie. it swells with exposure to humidity and moisture) so I'd be really shocked if all that was found in the polymer frame of a glock is straight nylon. They'd never be able to hold a dimension.

Also, the max static surface pressure of Nylon is pretty low (like somewhere between 300 to 2000PSI IIRC) Since a Glock can be beaten with a hammer and examples have been fired 100,000's of times without frame damage it's unlikely it's just straight nylon in there.

Point is, once there's any other component added to the nylon, you can't use the mechancial properties of just straight nylon. Since we have no idea what is in the Glock frame recipe, nor the ratios of the mix, we really can't make any statements of fact that it will do this or that in this or that scenario.

Phil DeGraves
May 21, 2008, 11:21 AM
"I would also guess that any large dog could make short work of the grip section as a chew toy."

This happened to an LE Officer in Massachusetts that lost his gun in a yard during a foot pursuit. The bad guy jumped over a fence into a yard; the officer followed. A second later, the BG comes back being chased by a big dog and runs into the officer. The collision unsnapped the officers holster (unknown to him). Both officer and BG run back to the fence to avoid the dog and the officers pistol (I believe it was a S&W Sigma) falls out of his holster while he goes over the fence. The officer and his partner catch the bad guy and bring him back to the station where someone notices his gun is missing. The officer retraces his steps and finds the gun in the yard with the dog chewing it. Destroyed the frame. The gun did not discharge and S&W replaced the frame. This was recounted to me by an S&W rep.

XDKingslayer
May 21, 2008, 12:22 PM
I had a CD curl up into a taco sitting on the dash of my GTO in the N.C. sun, I wouldn't doubt the Arizona sun distorting a Glock or other polymer.

rcmodel
May 21, 2008, 12:35 PM
I sure ain't buying it.
It gets pretty danged hot here in Kansas.

I have had a Glock plastic shovel under the seat of my truck, with tools piled on it, for about 8 years now.

It hasn't melted or warped yet.

rcmodel

Phil DeGraves
May 21, 2008, 02:14 PM
I have had a Glock plastic shovel under the seat of my truck..


Except for the handle, my GLOCK shovel is metal. As is my GLOCK knife.

Since no one is willing to try it with their gun, maybe someone should send this in to MythBusters. Or are there any GLOCK owners out there that WILL try it with their own gun?

Cosmoline
May 21, 2008, 02:20 PM
This thread officially makes me glad I live at 61 degrees north and not at 120+ degrees Arizona. Yuk!

Halo
May 21, 2008, 02:22 PM
Since no one is willing to try it with their gun, maybe someone should send this in to MythBusters. Or are there any GLOCK owners out there that WILL try it with their own gun?

Here's a question, are Glock mag bodies made from the same polymer? I'd be more willing to experiment on a mag than the pistol frame.

Esoteric chemistry concepts aside, it seems if this was possible under normal circumstances we would be hearing about it all the time, and not just with Glocks but the many other polymer pistols out there as well.

fletcher
May 21, 2008, 02:25 PM
I think Ltlabner wins the thread for now until someone volunteers to run a test :D

^ Just as a guess, I would say the mags are not made from the same polymer. They don't require the same structural strength, so it would make sense (to me at least) to use something less expensive for them.

Halo
May 21, 2008, 02:43 PM
That's my suspicion as well, about the mags.

biggiesmalls
May 22, 2008, 02:55 AM
maybe someone here can donate a glock and we will perform a lab test with a pizza oven. that will put everything to rest :)

legion3
May 22, 2008, 06:47 AM
Did his dashboard melt?

Or was he in or near a nuclear blast?

Otherwise :barf:

Moonclip
May 22, 2008, 08:22 AM
I've heard the dog thing before as well. Knowing my neighbor's pit bull has a fondness for chewing and destroying plastic water bottles if I ever have a Glock KB he's getting the frame for a chew toy in the name of science:)

Anyoen ever measure temps in a car trunk or dashboard?

CYANIDEGENOCIDE
May 22, 2008, 09:31 AM
hahaha, i never thought about it, but i suppose a dog could go through a poly-gun pretty fast.

on a simliar note, has any stripped down their glock in really cold weather? i only ask because i have a heavy polymer toolbox its awesome til about 10-20 degrees, then the top warps and the trays warp so bad once its open you can't close it again without standing on it. i doubt the glock would warp but im just wondering. maybe i need to throw a g17 in the freezer

Moonclip
May 22, 2008, 09:42 AM
Glocks have been tested in extreme cold and frozen in to a block of ice.

DaleCooper51
May 22, 2008, 10:47 AM
I would ask him to see it.

No proof.

It didn't happen.

KSoldier
May 22, 2008, 01:17 PM
I think it is more like a fish story.
Heat may have had some effect on his Glock, but when you factor in human nature to "embellish" a little, the story can become a bit exaggerated.

I wouldn't label it BS - Just a tall tale.

Now about some of the fish I've caught.....

Gun Slinger
May 22, 2008, 01:22 PM
Like many others here, this one has my B.S. meter pegged to the max.

I have had Glocks (17's and 19's) for nearly 18 years and have yet to see it melt, discolor or degrade after leaving it in my car on many a hot sunny day. Matter of fact they all look just as they did the day that I bought them.

My father has a Remington Nylon 66 that he purchased new in the early 1960's and has put thousands of rounds through it and shoots it to this day. It still functions perfectly, and other than some extremely minor handling wear could pass for new.

Considering that HK and Remington (the Nylon 66 rifle) has had polymer framed guns out for longer than Glock has, I would hazard a guess that if Nylon 6,6 (and whatever formula modifications have been made by each maunfacturer respectively) was going to fail, we would have seen indications by now like embrittlement issues and obvious discoloration.

Many folks also seem to forget that less technically refined polymers have been used in the construction of firearms components (like grip panels and stocks/furniture) since the 1940's and they have served yeoman duty in that capacity.

Since many, if not most, manufacturers are fielding polymer framed pistols it would seem that not only is it a more durable technology, but one that also offers a reduction in materials costs. I would think that the technology has been successfully refined over the last 40 years to the point that polymer framed guns could be considered a 'safe bet'.

JesseL
May 22, 2008, 01:25 PM
This thread officially makes me glad I live at 61 degrees north and not at 120+ degrees Arizona. Yuk!

The entire state isn't like Phoenix and Tuscon. Temps are pretty mild here in Prescott and I hear Flagstaff is expecting snow pretty soon.

jgo296
May 22, 2008, 01:29 PM
hmmm maybe i can put my glock in the car let this happen
at the same time freezing my hand then grab the glock and have a perfectly formed grip
i wouldnt even be burned because i froze my hand as a precaution

Canuc Shooter
May 22, 2008, 02:31 PM
Sounds like this is a great exercise for the TV show "Myth Busters".IMHO I'd day BULL. It'll never happen in a car, maybe in a Pizza oven, but never in a vehicle of any description.

Sato Ord
May 22, 2008, 02:41 PM
As much as I don't like the feel of a GLOCK, it is a well made pistol with a proven track record. Heck, if GLOCK would come to their senses and stop making those obnoxious one-size-fits-none, ergonomic grips I would buy a GLOCK 27.

I have never heard of a GLOCK melting under such circumstances and I live in Florida. I would bet that the company would be very interested in knowing this if it were true.

People often use outlandish stories to illustrate a point. It's most likely that your friend is simply making up reasons, in lieu of having actual facts, for disliking GLOCK. Call BS on him and ask to see the pistol.

Gun Slinger
May 22, 2008, 03:51 PM
Over on Glocktalk, somebody posted (post #13) an non-destructive infrared spectral analysis of a Glock (20) frame a while back and it appears to match the Nylon 6,6 spectrum rather closely. Link posted beow:

http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=797151&highlight=nylon

The spectral analysis seems to confirm that the frames of Glocks are composed of Nylon 66 perhaps with a small percentage of modifiers (unknown) that appear to 'shift' the spectrum a little bit. Interesting read.

As it stands right now, I plan on my grandchildren inheriting my Glocks (all 18 Glocks) in the same condition that they are right now.

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