Think polystyrene and invariably you’ll think of the packaging encasing your new TV or home appliance, or those lightweight coffee cups?

That’s polystyrene in its’ expanded air (EPS) form, however here at BEC we use polystyrene for all manner of solid component parts by injection moulding it, rendering it versatile and easy to predict.


Lightweight, non-toxic and easily formed into various shapes, Polystyrene is a commonly used plastic for everyday items; such as food packaging, containers, industrial and automotive parts.  Even around the home; here at BEC we injection mould polystyrene into 125mm round self-seal coupler ducts for use in bathrooms, kitchens and utility rooms, as well as it being the ideal polymer for popular children’s toys.  Think Airifix models!


Polystyrene’s predictable and uniform material shrinkage make it ideal for injection moulding, with a reduced warpage of plastic injection moulded parts, it enables the moulder and mould maker to be more precise when it comes to predicting final dimensions of the moulded part.


It’s 100% recyclable!  Recycled in the UK for over 20 years (do check that your local tip or local council waste collection recycles polystyrene) and with increased awareness, polystyrene can be ground down for regrinding, compacted and manufactured into something new or remoulded or recycled into a completely new product.


Whilst brittle in its crystal-clear optical form, with the application of additives it offers impressive impact strength (HIPS).  As one of the oldest polymers (1930), it’s amorphous and used in many well-known plastic alloys, (ABS, SAN, SBR, SBL etc).


As for the pros and cons:


·       Easily recyclable and reused (has its own recycle code, number 6)

·       Excellent for moulding fine detail (Airfix models)

·       Food safe (containers, packaging)

·       Wide range of grades (from crystal clear to high impact)

·       Good for printing (Pad, screen etc)

·       Economical

·       Ideal for gluing and ultrasonic welding

·       Reacts well to colour applications


·       Some good chemical resistance, but others (EG: Solvents) can be very bad

·       Can look and feel cheap (with the wrong surface finish)

·       Low thermal softening point

·       Can degrade and discolour UV

·       Flammable (although FR grades are available)

For help or information about selecting the most appropriate and cost efficient material for your product, simply  email or call 01425 613131 today.