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I did something very stupid tonight. I poured hot water into an polyethylene water bottle and it immediately contracted causing it to overflow and burn my hand and leg. I immediately wasted my hand and feet with cold water.

Now I am left with a useless bottle that resembles what you see at a modern art fair. Is there a way to thermally recover my bottle?

How could I 'thermally' expand it into it's natural shape again?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Your bottle was probably made from high density polyethylene. When you heat this this the molecules within it rearrange and become less crystalline, and this causes the shrinkage. In principle you could chop up the bottle and remould it, but nothing short of this is going to recover it. Sorry!

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