Polystyrene (PS) is an amorphous, transparent thermoplastic that belongs to the commodity plastics family. This polymer is manufactured through polymerization of the styrene monomer, and is frequently employed in many different industries.

Polystyrene is a rigid material with a hard surface. It is a polymer with good electrical insulation properties and very low moisture absorption. However, the plastic has a very low resistance to UV light and is thus best suited to use in indoor environments.

PS is a fairly brittle material, and it is common to combine it with butadiene rubber to achieve high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), giving a material with better impact resistance at the expense of transparency.

PS is suitable for many types of application, including packaging for foodstuffs and disposable articles such as plastic cutlery and cups.
Primary properties:

  • Low price
  • Low moisture absorption
  • Clear-as-glass material (GPPS)
  • High surface hardness
  • Good electrical insulation properties
  • Glass-transition temperature of 100°C

Some less optimal properties:

  • Low chemical resistance
  • Low weather and UV resistance
  • Prone to cracking
  • Highly flammable