Polystyrene found widespread use in many areas of modernity. It is environmentally friendly, it has thermoplasticity, it is inexpensive, diverse in color scheme and forms. At the moment, this material has no analogues capable of replacing it in many indicators.
Features and destination
Polystyrene – sheet material obtained by polymerization of vinylbenzene (styrene), which is the main carbon, on the basis of which most of the polymers are created. Leaf polystyrene has a linear structure, it is easy to process, but its main feature is high thermoplasticity. This allows producing products with various shapes, any species and brands. The technology of plastic production is fairly simple, and in its properties it is a durable and practical material that is characterized by increased impact-resistant characteristics. He successfully replaces the glass due to transparency.
Color palette of a multifaceted product, which makes it possible to apply it in interior design. In addition, different types of plastic are used to obtain household goods, medicine, construction. There is an application in the military and food industry. Many things around us are made of polystyrene, including all kinds of technical devices, without which it is difficult to submit modern life.
Types and characteristics
According to its peculiarities and method of manufacture, the polymer is of different species.
- Polystyrene leaf GPPS (general purpose).
- VIPS type material with medium impact resistance.
- Foamed sheet plastic, marked UPS and EPS.
- Products issued by extruder (EPS, XPS).
- Shockproof polystyrene with increased strength indicators (HIPS).
The most popular transparent material of general purpose, having a high level of deformation resistance and a good safety margin, due to the content in its composition of rubber.
Its technical properties:
- Low absorption of moisture;
- high dielectric constant;
- resistance to radiation irradiation;
- hardness and rigidity;
- Ultraviolet exposure.
Such polystyrene is resistant to aggressive chemistry (alkalis, acids) and water, but susceptible to the influence of sunlight and solvents.
Shockproof plastic is more durable, but has almost the same indicators of hardness and thermal conductivity. Products obtained by polymerization by extrusion method are considered the best material for thermal insulation, and its operational qualities are unique.
- Polymer sheets have good moisture resistance.
- Calmly carry minus temperatures.
- Possess increased strength.
- Eco-friendly in its composition.
- Not exposed to aggressive media.
- Have low thermal conductivity and long service life.
- Do not rot, do not rust and not covered with mold.
Plastic sheets of this type are amenable to different methods of processing – polishing and varnishing, milling, sawing, molding using vacuum and thermal exposure, applying color printing, metallization and drilling. The only treatment that is impossible to apply to the material is the electric welding, since plastic has high electrical insulating characteristics.
But in extrusion polystyrene there is a significant drawback – a low level of resistance to the effects of fire. However, the product does not burn, since the material has the ability to self-effect. For different purposes, a transparent or white polymer plastic is used. But it is also colorful, which is achieved by adding the necessary pigments during the manufacture or by applying a coloring agent to ready-made surfaces. Construction often use these types of products:
- glossy polystyrene;
- plastic with a mirror surface;
- matte products.
The dimensions of the sheet material are different: length ranges from 1000 to 3500 mm, width – 1000-2000 mm. Product thickness varies from 1 to 3 mm. It is worth adding that the sheet polymer is easy to process, it has an affordable price, and this also affects the competitiveness of the material.
Polystyrene is manufactured using several technologies.
- Suspension method. It provides for the polymerization of phenylethylene under pressure in a phased incremental increase in temperature. During this process, a suspension is produced, which is placed in a centrifuge to obtain the final product. After that, the finished plastic was washed and dried. It is considered an outdated way, so it is mainly used for the manufacture of copolymers and polystyrene foam.
- Modern polystyrene creation technology. The most relevant method used today at most chemical enterprises. Its advantages are that products are obtained better, and the production of the polymer is practically waste. The process of manufacturing material consists of several stages, but here it also provides for the gradual increase in temperature indicators on two common schemes – incomplete and complete conversion.
- Less frequently, the product is obtained using an emulsion method. To make polystyrene sheet, styrene is polymerized in a rapid solution under the influence of elevated temperature (86-95 degrees). Products are obtained with a large molecular volume, since not only the original carbon (vinylbenzene) is taken as the raw material, but also an emulsifier, water, organic peroxides, which are activators (initiators) of polymerization.
Simply put, the process of creating a material consists of stages: heating styrene granules in an extruder, foaming and further transformation of raw materials into rolled cloths or sheets.
Thanks to many positive operational performance and high quality, the material is actively used in the following areas.
- As an outdoor and inner decorative finish. From polystyrene make sandwich panels, adhesives, sound insulation and thermal insulation. The foamed view of the material insulate the outer facades of houses and other structures.
- In the medical field. Materials are made tools, droppers, syringes, Petri dishes and other medical equipment items.
- High environmental friendliness and harmless polystyrene for health allow to produce household items from it – dishes, packaging materials, written accessories, children’s toys, a variety of containers for the farm. And also this is the perfect option for creating baths and shower cabins.
- From the polymer make the base for screen printing.
- Polystyrene dispels light, so for agriculture produces frames for greenhouses and greenhouses, in which glass is replaced with transparent plastic.
- The polymer is applied in industrial and military purposes – technical buildings, turbines, equipment, explosives are being built out of it.
- Plastic packaging for the food industry is also made of polystyrene, for example, packaging trays intended for packing dairy or meat products.
- In electrical engineering, the material is used as films for condensation in wires and cables, as well as for the release of household appliances – washing machines, refrigerators, and so on.
- In addition, plastic found an application in the field of advertising – from it create signs, pointers, signs on the doors of stores, hotels, cafes, state institutions.
Polystyrene – Budget, Durable and Light Material, Different with many positive properties. But he is the most inexpensive plastic, which explains its special popularity and in demand.
In the next video, you are waiting for additional information about the advantages and minuses of sheet polystyrene.