Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Plastic Resin Information : Polystyrene (PS)

Now we are getting to plastic resin that has the recycling number 6 – Polystyrene, or most commonly abbreviated PS. You can find PS in many different applications in everyday’s life. You find it in the supermarket meat trays, the clear jars, the coffee cups at your office, the CD cases, and even in your kids’ toys.

General Facts:

Polystyrene is a thermoplastic resin that we can find very easily wherever we go. Its appearance can be of two kinds: solid and foam. Solid polystyrene includes CD cases, disposable cutleries, clear plastic cups, light switches, hairdryer housings and furniture like plastic storage cabinets. Foam polystyrene, more known as Styrofoam, includes disposable cups, meat trays and bean bag beans.


PS can be transparent or colored. It’s very cheap, stiff, heat stable, light, and non-toxic. However, it is also easy to break and has terrible resistance to cold and substance like acetone.


Polystyrene is compatible with food products but it will melt when coming into contact with acetone.

Storage Temperature:

PS can’t stand cold. But it’s pretty good when handling heat. Fill temperature can go between 200°-220°F.

Recycling Information:

Polystyrene is non toxic. So even if PS products are buried in the landfill, they will not pollute the ground or the water underneath. However, it won’t be degraded either. You can melt polystyrene and it will probably shrink, but as the temperature gets colder, it’ll become solid again. What we can do is to take it to the recycling company, have them melt PS and turn them into new products like bathroom fittings, insulation packaging, surf boards, etc.

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