A bit of History
In Ludwigshafen, in the autumn of 1949, in the BASF laboratory, the engineer Fritz Stastny is looking for a new, versatile insulating material. He takes the petroleum product polysterol, mixes it with pentane and seals the mixture in a can for shoe polish.
" Clear solution, stored at room temperature ", he notes in his laboratory book. " Clear, hard disk removed ."
Disc becomes foam
Stastny actually intends to let the window dry until evening. But then he forgets the experiment. When he returns to the laboratory the next morning, the mixture has lifted the can lid: the disk has become foam and has expanded enormously.
IT IS THE BIRTH OF STYROFOAM! ON FEBRUARY 28, 1950 STASTNY APPLIED FOR A PATENT FOR HIS ACCIDENTALLY DISCOVERED METHOD
Bloated thanks to water vapor
Styrofoam can increase its volume up to 50 times with blowing agents. And it can be shaped as required - properties that make plastic attractive for the packaging industry. In addition, because of its large air content, it warms - or cools - its contents.
A 2.5 centimeter thick polystyrene sheet has the insulation capacity of a wall 20 times thicker. And it is durable and odor-repellent. That is why styrofoam bowls are just as popular on the fishing cutters of the oceans as they are at the pizza service around the corner.
As fine as sugar
Today, white balls that are as fine as sugar are used to make polystyrene. They are inflated with water vapor, the cavities fill with air.
This primary material is then pumped into a machine, which uses the "welding" heat of water vapor to turn it into large molded parts that are accurate to the centimeter. A saw then cuts through the white material with surgical precision so that any end product can be created.
Happy Birthday EPS!
A bit of History