Polystyrene at a glance
||free radical chain polymerization (atactic),
Zieglar-Natta polymerization (syndiotactic)
||highly amorphous (atactic), highly crystalline (syndiotactic)
||270 oC (syndiotactic)
|Glass transition temperature:
Polystyrene is an inexpensive and hard plastic, and probably only
polyethylene is more common in your everyday life. The outside housing
of the computer you are using now is probably made of polystyrene. Model
cars and airplanes are made from polystyrene, and it also is made in the
form of foam packaging and insulation (StyrofoamTM is one brand
of polystyrene foam). Clear plastic drinking cups are made of polystyrene.
So are a lot of the molded parts on the inside of your car, like the radio
knobs. Polystyrene is also used in toys, and the housings of things like
hairdryers, computers, and kitchen appliances.
Polystyrene is a vinyl polymer. Structurally, it is a long
hydrocarbon chain, with a phenyl group attached to every other carbon atom.
Polystyrene is produced by free radical vinyl polymerization,
from the monomer styrene.
This is a better picture of what the monomer styrene looks like: