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Polystyrene resins valuable in large and small appliances alike.

Using a new technology for the production of high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), Dow Chemical Company, Midland, MI, is producing a family of resins called STYRON A-TECH advanced technology polystyrene.

"Products in this new series will balance various properties, such as toughness, gloss, stiffness or flow, in combinations not previously available in polystyrene," said Jeff Denton, global market manager of polystyrene.

Customers should realize better overall value in injection-molded, extruded and thermoformed parts. Potential uses for these resins include a range of existing and developing polystyrene applications, such as large appliances, small appliances, toys, consumer electronics and packaging.

"We developed this resin to give our customers an unmatched combination of toughness and high gloss to achieve success in a variety of injection-molded applications such as small appliances, lawn and garden equipment, refrigerator accessories and consumer electronics," said Denton.

The 1110 resin delivers outstanding gloss and aesthetics, with Gardner Gloss levels up to 95%. The gloss gradient of STYRON A-TECH 1110 resins is typically lower than standard high-gloss HIPS, and can equal ABS resins at higher mold temperatures. The new resin can be molded with smooth or textured finishes. In addition, parts molded with STYRON A-TECH 1110 resin are compatible with finishing, adhesive and bonding techniques used with polystyrene, and may be painted to achieve specialized surface aesthetics.

Injection molded properties include impact strength of 5.0 ft.-lb./in. notched Izod at 73[degrees]F (ASTM D-256) and Gardner Impact greater than 330 in.-lb. at 73[degrees]F (ASTM D-3029). In practical-use testing at room temperatures, the 1110 polystyrene breaks in a ductile manner, like ABS, rather than the brittle breakage associated with standard high-gloss HIPS.

In addition to substantial impact strength and high gloss, the 1110 resin provides consistent injection molding processability that can potentially reduce cycle time and energy costs in the molding process. This resin has a melt flow rate of 3.0g/10 min. (200[degrees]C/5kg), which allows for fast injection times and the ability to fill large, complex, thin-walled parts, enabling design flexibility. Further processing advantages include a low capillary melt viscosity (lower than high gloss ABS at comparable shear rates), which allows the STYRON A-TECH 1110 to be processed with lower molding pressures.

This resin requires no drying and has an inherent natural, white color that makes it suitable for use with in-house coloring systems. Due to its natural color, the resin may require low levels of concentrate to achieve desired color. "In applications moving from ABS resins to STYRON A-TECH 1110 polystyrene, customers will see cost efficiencies related to resin price, processing ease and coloring options," said Denton.
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Author:Richards, Frances
Date:Oct 1, 1999
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