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Name: Susan R.
Status: Educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: October 2002


Question:
I want to use old Polystyrene foam in molds for art pieces. I understand from your archives how Polystyrene foam is melted down. How is polystyrene blown?



Replies:
Historically, chloro-fluoro hydrocarbons were used to make styrene foams. These were being phased out in the 1980's and 1990's and pretty much banned by the EPA circa. 1996. Some dry but informative details you can find on the

website http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/foams/qa.html

When it was clear that CFC's were going to be phased out, (and become much more expensive), the Polystyrene foam industry put on their thinking caps and now there are a number of processes using steam, carbon dioxide, and no doubt other technologies. For the most part the transition has been transparent to consumers. Search www.google.com for "blowing polystyrene" and you can find dozens of "hits" that describe various processes in detail.

Vince Calder



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