Topics: Polystyrene, Styrene, Plastic Pages: 21 (4657 words) Published: February 4, 2013

Project Report


Pramod. M. Munjgude (PG/M/090021)

Guided By

Prof. Mrs. Sucheta. B. Avasthi
Packaging technology



September 2009


I express my sincere gratitude to my guide Prof. Mrs. Sucheta B, Indian Institute of Packaging, Mumbai for her valuable guidance and support for the completion of this report.

I am thankful to Indian institute of Packaging and all teaching and non – teaching staffs of the Institute for their valuable suggestions and support.

I thank all my classmates and seniors for guiding me throughout this project work.


ChapterTitlePage No.

1Introduction 1

2Structure and Properties3

3Grades of polystyrene5

4Forms produce7

5Processing of polystyrene10

6Health and fire hazards11

7Disposal and environmental issues12

8 Applications139Advantages and disadvantages of polystyrene



Polystyrene is one of the most widely used kinds of plastic. Polystyrene is a thermoplastic substance, which is in solid (glassy) state at room temperature, but flows if heated above its glass transition temperature (for molding or extrusion), and becoming solid again when cooling off. Pure solid polystyrene is a colorless, hard plastic with limited flexibility. It can be cast into molds with fine detail. Polystyrene can be transparent or can be made to take on various colors.

Solid polystyrene is used, for example, in disposable cutlery, plastic models, CD and DVD cases, and smoke detector housings. Products made from foamed polystyrene are nearly ubiquitous, for example packing materials, insulation, and foam drink cups.

Polystyrene can be recycled, and has the number "6" as its recycling symbol. Unrecycled polystyrene, which does not biodegrade, is often abundant in the outdoor environment, particularly along shores and waterways, and is a form of pollution.


IUPAC NAME – Poly (1-phenylethane-1, 2-diyl)


DEFINITION-Polystyrene is an aromatic polymer made from the aromatic monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is commercially manufactured from petroleum by chemical industry.

Polystyrene was discovered in 1839 by Eduard Simon, an apothecary in Berlin. From storax, the resin of the Turkish sweet gum tree (Liquidambar orientalis), he distilled an oily substance, a monomer which he named styrol. Several days later, Simon found that the styrol had thickened, presumably from oxidation; into a jelly he dubbed styrol oxide ("Styroloxyd"). By 1845 English chemist John Blyth and German chemist August Wilhelm von Hofmann showed that the same transformation of styrol took place in the absence of oxygen. They called their substance metastyrol. Analysis later showed that it was chemically identical to Styroloxyd. In 1866 Marcelin Berthelot correctly identified the formation of metastyrol from styrol as a polymerization process. About 80 years went by before it was realized that heating of styrol starts a chain reaction which produces macromolecules, following the thesis of German organic chemist Hermann Staudinger (1881–1965). This eventually led to the substance receiving its present name, polystyrene.

The company I. G. Farben began manufacturing polystyrene in Ludwigshafen, Germany, about 1931, hoping it would be a suitable replacement for die-cast zinc in many applications. Success was achieved when they developed a reactor vessel that extruded polystyrene through a heated tube and cutter, producing polystyrene in pellet form.

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