Types of polystyrene packaging?

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Polystyrene is a common plastic used to make various products, including packaging. Expanded polystyrene is popular due to its lightweight and shock-absorbing qualities. It can be molded into complex shapes or used as plain boards, chips, or peanuts. Polystyrene boxes are also used for shipping refrigerated goods.

Styrofoam packaging comes in many forms. A polymer made up of many styrene molecules linked together in long chains, polystyrene is one of the most common plastics. Various forms of polystyrene are used to make thousands of different products, from razors to compact disc cases and electronic component cases. Most polystyrene packaging is made from expanded polystyrene. It is one of the most common and popular packing materials in use today due to its light weight and excellent shock absorbing qualities.

Air or some other gas is often injected into the polystyrene in its liquid form, creating a foam, which is then molded or extruded. Polystyrene foam is widely produced and is manufactured by Dow Corporation under the trade name Styrofoam®, which is the name often used for any polystyrene foam. Polystyrene foam packaging is often molded into complex shapes to stabilize items or products inside a corrugated box. Molding technologies allow these polystyrene packing materials to be designed and constructed using voids in the rectangular polyhedron shape of most boxes to reduce the amount of packing material needed, while keeping an irregular object stabilized and protected.

Plain expanded polystyrene boards are another common type of polystyrene packaging. These boards are easy and cheap to produce and are often used to pack regular rectangular or square solid shapes inside a cardboard box. Expanded polystyrene panels are commonly 1 to 2 cm thick.

Polystyrene packing chips are a very cheap and common type of polystyrene packing material. They consist of irregular wafer-shaped pieces of extruded expanded polystyrene and come in a large variety of sizes and shapes. Packaging “peanuts” are another type of polystyrene packaging, also made with extruded polystyrene foam. A very common packaging material, they get their name from their shape, which resembles a peanut, or sometimes an “S”. Packing peanuts and packing chips are often used to completely fill in the area around an irregular object inside other packaging such as a cardboard box.

Some types of polystyrene packaging are constructed exclusively of polystyrene. Expanded polystyrene boxes are often used to ship food and other goods that require refrigeration. Ice, chemical cold packs or dry ice are placed inside the box with the food or product. The excellent insulating qualities of expanded polystyrene ensure that the product remains cold during shipment. Lightweight, thin-walled foam boxes are commonly used in restaurants for take-out or delivery of prepared foods.

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