Polystyrene is a type of polymer with thermoplastic properties. It comes in different shapes and forms and is used in different applications from packaging to building insulation. Here are some interesting facts you may know or don’t know about polystyrene.
1. Polystyrene is mostly made of air
Polystyrene is made of 95 per cent air! The polymer is very light, easy to move around and versatile, which makes it a good choice insulator for home and industrial applications, as well as light packaging, for example in beverage cups and fast food trays.
2. Polystyrene comes in two forms: expanded and extruded
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is the polystyrene polymer commonly referred to as foam, while the extruded polystyrene represents the rigid insulation form.
EPS can be used in shapes of any kind and specification, in blocks, sheets and moulded shapes of small and large sizes. It is ideal for household items, containers, packaging, and insulated sandwich panels. Extruded polystyrene is also used in some packaging applications.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) manufactured by the Isowall Group is fast becoming recognized as the insulation material of choice by specifiers of “Bills of Quantities”. This comes largely as a result of our technical knowledge backed up by years of experience in the building and construction industry.
4. Polystyrene is reusable and recyclable
A less known fact is that polystyrene, considered a number 6 plastic type in South Africa, can also be recycled and re-used for different applications.
In solid form, the plastic polymer is rigid and colourless. It may also be turned into a liquid state by heating and can be reused again for moulding, which means it can be recycled to produce many other products.
5. Polystyrene is eco-friendly
Polystyrene packaging represents less than 1 per cent of the solid waste ending up daily in landfills, which is only a tiny fraction compared to discarded paper, paperboard products and other plastic derivates such as PET.
Polystyrene has been in use for a long time and will continue to offer benefits to both businesses and consumers in the future, as an efficient, performant and environment-friendly packaging and insulation option.
The Isowall Group has been manufacturing and distributing Isolite Block Moulded EPS since 1985, and Isolite Shape Moulded EPS since 1992. Isolite EPS products are used primarily for insulation, lightweight fillers and semi-rigid cushioning.