Polystyrene is a synthetic aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid petrochemical. It is a thermoplastic polymer which softens when heated and can be converted into semi-finished products such as films and sheets, as well as a wide range of finished articles.


Polystyrene can be rigid or foamed. General purpose polystyrene is clear, hard and brittle. It is an inexpensive resin per unit weight. It is a rather poor barrier to oxygen and water vapour and has a relatively low melting point. Polystyrene can be naturally transparent, but can be coloured with colourants.


Polystyrene is used in a wide range of applications, including:

  • Packaging.

  • Take-away food cartons.

  • Household appliances.

  • Consumer electronics products.

  • Building and constructions, for example insulation foam, panels, bath and shower units, lighting and plumbing fixtures.

  • Medical, for example disposable items such as tissue culture trays, test tubes, petri dishes, diagnostic components, and housing for test kits.

For more information, see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polystyrene