Semi OT - Plastics Question - my refrigerator "exploded"

Tonight, one shelf in the refrigerator "exploded".
Its a GE refrig. It has these metal brackets which plug in, like shelf
standards, to a set of "tracks" in the back plane of the refrig. (Note RR content).
One of the sets of shelves has a "cooler drawer". That shelf has a white plastic extrusion on each side which is screwed, with three on each side, sets of self tapping screws, into the metal shelf "bracket".
On one side, the three sets of screws have pulled out of the the plastic and the plasic around the screw pull outs is all cracked. The shelf now tilts "down" on that side about 2 inches, and it wont be long until that "list" pulls the shelf off the otherside, too.
Long story to short, the white plastic that has failed "feels" like styrene, but I have no idea what it actually is.
Anybody here got a test to determine what type of [plastic it is?
If I vcan identify the plastic type, I think I can make some gussets on both sides of the bracket and use small bolts, washers and nuts to repair the platic part, using an appropriate solvent to attach the gussets behind he failed self tapping screw holes.
Trust me, I do not want to go to the local parts emporium to buy this piece.
Help????
--
Jim McLaughlin

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"Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote in message

Fridge liners are mostly made in Styrene or ABS (another form of styrene). They both glue with Plasticweld type solvent cement. Try a drop of the glue on a sample or inconspicuous area and if the surface melts then its a styrene and the glue should work really well. Another test is to heat a small sample and try an catch a quick whiff of the fumes (All plastic fumes are toxic so just a very quick sniff and be careful heating it. Don't try this unless you have a seperate fragment that you hold well away from anything else flammable.) if it smells something like a candle that has just been extinguished then its styrene.
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address.

surface
the
careful
a
Thanks for the tips!
--
Jim McLaughlin

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My folks broke two of the shelves in their refrig a while back - put a whole watermelon on an upper shelf, the silly people.

If you can find a big enough piece, there's often a logo on it that's used for plastic recycling which identifies the type. But I don't see how that helps you.

Why not? When my folks broke their shelves, they picked up a new set of brackets from the manufacturer for about $20. Call them or do some searching on their website. On most major appliances, you CAN get replacement parts easily. *
--
* PV something like badgers--something like lizards--and something
like corkscrews.
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Its fixed.
The white plastic was styrene. Used a lot of solvent flowed into the cracks in the side of the styrene piece where the self tapping sheet metal screws pulled out of the styrene to "re weld" the broken plastic side part where the old sheet metal screws pulled out. Those screws had attached the plastic part to the metal brackets that plugged in to the tracks on the rear of the refrigerator compartment.
Couldn't find any appopriate sized stryene to make a backing "gussett"for the plastic part. Used 1/4" X 2 " flat aluminum stock to make the backing "gussett". Traced the outline of the shape onto a long sheet of paper, cut it out on the metal cutting bandsaw.
Used some nice pan headed bolts and nuts to make a sandwich from the metal bracket, through the repaired styrene piece to the aluminum backing "gussett". The self tapping sheet metal screws that went through the mounting bracket to the old styrene piece were thrown away. The styrene piece has a kind of an upside down "L" shape to it in profile, and the short leg of the "L" rides nicely the top of the aluminum backing "gussett".
Also added three additional holes through the sandwich for extra bolts. Now has five bolt and nut combinations holding the thing together. Much better then the two 3/8" long self tapping sheet metal screws.
After puttng it all back tgrether, fits in fine and you can't see the bolts and nuts or the backing gussett.
This was the shelf / drawer combination that the "deli" compartment hung from. Its not a simple flat shelf, or I would have bought the parts. Its a very complex item, with a sliding drawer under the shelf and a separate pipe / hose from one side of the refrigerator wall to the back of the drawer compartment to allow extra cooling, and a slide control that regulates the amout of additional cooling diverted to the drawer.
The Amana on line catalog listed the part for $ 129.95. No thanks.
I spent less than $ 5.00 to fix it stronger than a new part would be.
--
Jim McLaughlin

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On Tue, 18 Oct 2005 15:32:34 -0700, "Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote:

If the refrigerator was more than a few years old, it might have been cheaper to replace it. I saved about $360/year in electricity costs when I dumped my old refer with one of the newer more efficient models. It might not sound like much, but as you get older the years get shorter.
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