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Styrofoam is a trademarked brand of closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam currently made for thermal insulation and craft applications. It is owned and manufactured by The Dow Chemical Company.[1]

In the cyanoacrylate, and the propellants and solvents of spray paint. Another tradename for polystyrene foam is thermacol, originated by BASF for expanded polystyrene.


  • History 1
  • Uses 2
  • Environmental effects 3
    • Styrofoam-eating worms 3.1
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


In 1941, researchers in Dow's Chemical Physics Lab found a way to make foamed polystyrene. Led by

  • Dow Chemical Company Styrofoam page

External links

  1. ^ a b "STYROFOAM™ - It's Not a Cup" Dow Chemical Company
  2. ^ Boundy, Ray H.; Amos, J. Lawrence (1991). A History of the Dow Chemical Physics Lab. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. pp. 117–128.  
  3. ^ "How is Polystyrene (styrofoam) made?". StyroMelt. Retrieved 2012-06-23. 
  4. ^ Dow Announces New Technology for STYROFOAM Insulation
  5. ^ "STYROFOAM Brand Foam Crafts". Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  6. ^ "Geotechnical applications of Styrofoam". Dow Chemical. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  7. ^ "Engineering considerations when building on permafrost". Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
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See also

Recently, researches discovered that mealworms, the larvae form of the darkling beetle, could digest and subsist healthily on a diet of Styrofoam.[12] About 100 mealworms could consume between 34 and 39 milligrams of Styrofoam in a day. The droppings of mealworm were found to be safe for use as soil for crops.

Styrofoam-eating worms

The EPA and International Agency for Research on Cancer have determined styrene as a possible human carcinogen.[8][9] The National Bureau of Standards Center for Fire Research found 57 chemical by-products released during the combustion of expanded polystyrene foam.[10] From July 1 2015 the New York City is the largest city in America to prohibit the sale, possession and distribution of single-use polystyrene foam.[11]

Environmental effects

Styrofoam can be used under roads and other structures to prevent soil disturbances due to freezing and thawing.[6][7]

Dow also produces Styrofoam as a structural material for use by florists and in craft products.[5] Dow insulation Styrofoam has a distinctive blue color; Styrofoam for craft applications is available in white and green.

Styrofoam has since found a variety of uses. Dow produces Styrofoam building materials, including varieties of insulated sheathing and pipe insulation. The claimed R-value of Styrofoam insulation is five per inch.[4]

Styrofoam is composed of 98% air, making it lightweight and buoyant.[3] Because of its insulating properties and buoyancy, it was adopted in 1942 by the United States Coast Guard for use in a six-person life raft.


Dow acquired exclusive rights to use Munters' patents and found ways to make large quantities of extruded polystyrene as a closed cell foam that resists moisture. [2]

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