How is polystyrene made?

Polystyrene is used in a variety of different ways including as a packaging material in toys and other products as well as for uses in crafting and other items as well. It is an incredibly versatile material but it can be difficult to dispose of, which is why you should use a professional polystyrene recycling company if you use large quantities of this item in your business. Companies like this will ensure that they dispose of it in the correct manner so that it does not have a negative impact on the environment around us.

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Polystyrene is incredibly light in its design but it can hold a significant weight. It can also be used as an insulating materials as the cells within the sheets are not interconnected. This means that heat cannot travel through it easily meaning the heat can be retained behind sheets of polystyrene.

How is it made?

Polystyrenes main ingredient is styrene which is a liquid that is made up from ethylene and benzene. These are mixed together to form the styrene which is then treated with what is known as a polymerisation initiator and is put through a process called suspension polymerisation. This is what converts the styrene into polystyrene. During this process the suspension is heated to around 100 degrees celsius to cause free radicals (which are atoms which like to react with others) to form creating the structure of the polystyrene.

Once the product has been finished it can be created in a sheets, beads and thicker slabs that can then be cut to places items inside. For example in toy manufacturing the large pieces of polystyrene will be cut using a heated cutter or in some cases a laser that has the imprint of the toys outline programmed into it. This means that the space for the toy to fit in can be cut to the exact measurements of the item itself. It is important that any item that is placed in polystyrene fits snuggly as it forms a part of its protection against dents and damage.

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When it comes to recycling polystyrene it is important that you dispose of this correctly and if you are not using high quantities on a daily basis you should visit your local recycling centre, however for commercial scale removal you should visit the link higher up in the article for more details.

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