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:
Take-away food cartons.
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