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In 1958 approximately 763 million pounds of polystyrene

were sold for molding, extrusion, coatings, tile, foam and

miscellaneous applications. In 1959 this total reached over

900 million pounds; 1965 estimates are as high as 1300

million pounds. This continued growth can be attributed di-

rectly to the rapid development of new uses of polystyrene

as well as its improved position in old markets.

The inherent qualities of polystyrene are responsible for its

continued success in an ever increasing number of applica-

tions. These qualities can be summarized as follows:

(1) Acceptable physical properties for a great variety of


(2) Low material cost.

(3) Easy processability by several different methods.

On the American scene today polystyrene is used to pro-

duce a myriad of products. Since it is impossible to cover

all the applications in this book, the various general market

classifications for polystyrene uses will be considered and

some typical illustrations of polystyrene applications in each

market discussed. The applications in this chapter are con-

fined to those which involve fabrication by injection molding,

extrusion or sheet forming.

* Prepared by R. G. Hochschild and G. C. Kiessling.

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