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Polystyrene is a verstaile plastic that is suitable for many types of fabricated parts


  • Good dimensional stability
  • Low cost
  • Good dielectric strength
  • Versatile and easy to process


Polystyrene is a versatile thermoplastic that is available in a wide range of formulations. The range of properties available along with the ease of processing make polystyrene a good choice for many applications. Unmodified polystyrene is clear, rigid, brittle and moderately strong. Its electrical properties are good though it has relatively low heat resistance. 

Polystyrene is soluble in most chlorinated and aromatic solvents though not in alcohols. It is impervious to most foods, drinks and household fluids. But the resins are attacked by gasoline, lacquer thinner, turpentine and citrus-fruit-rind oil.


  • Light shields
  • Disposable beverage cups and serviceware
  • Packaging
  • Appliances (impact grades)
  • Appliance parts (high-heat formulations)


Our application engineers can help. With decades of experience in plastic material selection, we'll help you choose the optimal plastic for your application and budget.

To compare
the cost of this material to other thermoplastics, click here.

General Material Properties

Property   Metric units   English units
Density   1.04e3 - 1.05e3 kg/m^3   00.376 - 0.0379 lb/ft^3
Yield Strength   2.87e7 - 4.14e7 Pa   4.17 - 6 ksi
Tensile Strength   3.59e7 - 5.17e7 Pa   5.21 - 7.5 ksi
Elongation   0.012 - 0.025 % strain   1.2 - 2.5 % strain
Hardness (Vickers)   8.43e7 - 1.22e8 Pa   8.6 - 12.4 HV
Impact Strength (unnotched)   8.6e3 - 1.49e4 J/m^2   4.09 - 7.09 ft.lbf/in^2
Fracture Toughness   7e5 - 1.1e6 Pa/m^0.5   0.637 - 1 ksi/in^0.5
Young's Modulus   2.28e9 - 3.28e9 Pa   0.331 - 0.476 10^6 psi
Max Service Temperature   75 - 90 °C   167 - 194 °F
Melting Temperature     °C     °F
Insulator or Conductor   Insulator   Insulator
Specific Heat Capability   1.2e3 - 1.3e3 J/kg °C   0.287 - 0.31 BTU/lb. °F
Thermal Expansion Coefficent   9e-5 - 1.49e-4 strain/°C   50 - 83 µstrain/°F
CO2 Footprint   2.85 - 3.15 kg/kg   2.85 - 3.15 lb/lb
Recycleable   Yes   Yes

The information on this page is intended as general guidance only and is only accurate at the time of posting (see date below). Specific material properties vary by manufacturer. Please contact a Dielectric application engineer for help in choosing the optimal material for your application and budget.

Posting Date: July 30, 2012