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Polystyrene Basic information
Polystyrene Chemical Properties
  • Melting point:212 °C
  • Boiling point:30-80 °C
  • Density 1.06 g/mL at 25 °C
  • refractive index n20/D 1.5916
  • Flash point:>230 °F
  • storage temp. 2-8°C
  • form powder
  • color White
  • Water Solubility insoluble
  • Stability:Stable. Combustible. Incompatible with strong oxidizing agents.
  • CAS DataBase Reference9003-53-6
  • IARC3 (Vol. 19, Sup 7) 1987
  • NIST Chemistry ReferencePolystyrene(9003-53-6)
  • EPA Substance Registry SystemPolystyrene (9003-53-6)
Safety Information
  • Hazard Codes Xi
  • Risk Statements 41
  • Safety Statements 26-36/37/39-24/25
  • RIDADR 2211
  • WGK Germany 3
  • RTECS WL6475000
  • TSCA Yes
  • HazardClass 9
  • PackingGroup III
  • HS Code 39039000
Polystyrene Usage And Synthesis
  • Chemical PropertiesPoly(styrene) is white powder or beads, or clear solid.Polystyrene is rigid with excellent dimensional stability, has good chemical resistance to aqueous solutions, and is an extremely clear material.
    Impact polystyrene contains polybutadiene added to reduce brittleness. The polybutadiene is usually dispersed as a discrete phase in a continuous polystyrene matrix. Polystyrene can be grafted onto rubber particles, which assures good adhesion between the phases.
  • Chemical PropertiesThe specific gravity of general purpose and impact polystyrene is 1.05. It can vary for copolymers. It is higher for some specialty grades. Density varies slightly with pressure, but for practical purposes, the polymer is noncompressible. In terms of heat-resistance, deflection temperatures range from about 66 to 99 °C (170 to 215 °F), depending upon the formulation. Continuous resistance to heat for polystyrene is usually 60 to 80 °C (140 to 175 °F). Time and load have a significant influence on the useful service temperature of a part.
    Polystyrene is nontoxic when free from additives and residuals. It has no nutritive value and does not support fungus or bacterial growth. Dimensional stability of polystyrene resins is excellent. Mold shrinkage is small. The low moisture absorption (about 0.02%) allows fabricated parts to maintain dimensions and strength in humid environments.
    General-purpose polystyrene is water white, and transmission of visible light is about 90%. Modifiers reduce this property, and translucence results. The refractive index is about 1.59; critical angle about 39. Polystyrene molecules do not have the same optical properties in all directions. When molecules become oriented in a given direction during fabrication, a double refraction occurs and a birefringence effect can be observed if the part is examined through a polarized lens under a polarized light source. Injection moldings often exhibit birefringence in a random pattern.
  • UsesContainers, tubs, and trays formed from extruded impact polystyrene sheets are used for packaging a large variety of food. Biaxially oriented polystyrene film is thermoformed into blister packs, meat trays, container lids, and cookie, candy, pastry, and other food packages where clarity is required.
    Housewares is another large segment of the use of polystyrenes. Refrigerator door liners and furniture panels are typical thermoformed impact polystyrene applications. Extruded profiles of solid or foamed impact polystyrene are used for mirror or picture frames, and moldings for construction applications.
    General-purpose polystyrene is extruded either clear or embossed for room dividers, shower doors, glazings, and lighting applications. Injection molding of impact polystyrene is used for household items, such as flower pots, personal care products, and toys. General-purpose polystyrene is used for cutlery, bottles, combs, disposable tumblers, dishes, and trays. Injection blow molding can be used to convert polystyrene into bottles, jars, and other types of open containers.
    Impact polystyrene with ignition-resistant additives is used for appliance housings, such as those for television and small appliances. Structural foam impact polystyrene modified with flame-retardant additives is used for business machine housings and in furniture because of its decorability and ease of processing. Consumer electronics, such as cassettes, reels, and housings, is a fast growing area for use of polystyrenes. Medical applications include sample collectors, petri dishes, and test tubes. In an effort to make homes and other buildings more energy efficient, the use of polystyrenes in extruded foam board with flame-retardant additives for walls and under slabs has experienced exceptional growth in recent years. Used as a sheeting material, extruded foam board complies with the requirements of the major building codes as well as federal and military specifications.
  • UsesPackaging film; molded parts for automobiles, appliances, housewares, etc.; wire and cable coat- ing; food container closures; coated and laminated products; bottles; artificial grass and turfs; plastic pipe; wearing apparel (acid-dyed); fish nets; sur- gical casts; strapping; synthetic paper; reinforced plastics; nonwoven disposable filters.
  • DefinitionChEBI: A polymer composed of repeating ethyl benzene groups.
  • DefinitionA synthetic polymer made from styrene (phenylethene). Expanded polystyrene is a rigid foam used in packing and insulation.
  • Definitionpoly styrene: A clear glasslike materialmanufactured by free-radicalpolymerization of phenylethene(styrene) using benzoyl peroxide asan initiator. It is used as both a thermaland electrical insulator and forpacking and decorative purposes.
  • HazardQuestionable carcinogen.
  • Industrial usesPolystyrene is brittle at room temperature,becomes soft at 80°C, and is often modified bycopolymerization. Traditionally, it is used infilm form for capacitors, and it remains competitivefor this application. Poly styrene is alsoused for coaxial-cable insulation, but in woundstrip or bead form, because the solid is not veryflexible.
  • Safety ProfileQuestionable carcinogen with experimental tumorigenic data by implant. When heated to decomposition it emits acrid smoke and irritating fumes. See also POLYMERS, IN SOLUBLE.
  • Purification MethodsPrecipitate polystyrene repeatedly from CHCl3 or toluene solution by addition of MeOH. Dry it in vacuo. [Miyasaka et al. J Phys Chem 92 249 1988.]
Polystyrene Preparation Products And Raw materials
Polystyrene(9003-53-6)Related Product Information
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