Styrofoam is a trademark for polystyrene thermal insulation, a material manufactured by Dow Chemical Company.

In 1941, researchers in Dow's Chemical Physics Lab found a way to make foamed polystyrene. Led by Ray McIntire, they had "rediscovered" a method first discovered by Swedish inventor C. G. Munters. [cite book
last = Boundy
first = Ray H.
authorlink =
coauthors =J. Lawrence Amos
title = A History of the Dow Chemical Physics Lab
publisher = Marcel Dekker, Inc.
date = 1990
location = New York
pages = 117-128
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 0-8247-8097-3
] Dow acquired exclusive rights to use Munter's patents and found ways to make large quantities of extruded polystyrene as a closed cell foam that resisted moisture. Because of its insulating properties, buoyancy and "unsinkability", it was adopted in 1942 by the U.S. Coast Guard for use in a six-person life raft. Styrofoam can be used for building materials, including insulated sheathing, pipe insulation and floral and craft products. Styrofoam insulation has been used in many notable buildings and facilities in North America. [cite web|url=|title=Styrofoam "Walls of Fame"|accessdate=2008-04-01] The Dow product can be identified by its distinctive blue color.

Styrofoam can be used under roads and other structures to prevent soil disturbances due to freezing and thawing. [cite web|url=|title=Engineering considerations when building on permafrost|accessdate=2007-08-30]

The word "styrofoam" is often used as a generic term for expanded polystyrene foam, such as disposable coffee cups, coolers or packaging material, which are typically white and are made of expanded polystyrene beads and are very different from Styrofoam.

ee also

* List of generic and genericized trademarks
* Polystyrene
* Structural insulated panel
* Resin identification code
* Thermal insulation
* Building insulation
* Ray McIntire
* National Inventors Hall of Fame
* Styrophone


External links

* [ Dow Chemical Company Styrofoam page]
* [ Californians Against Waste article on Expanded Polystyrene]

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  • Styrofoam — bezeichnet: ein Markenzeichen für Polystyrolschaum der Firma Dow Chemical ein Pseudonym des belgischen Indietronic Musikers Arne Van Petegem (* 1973) Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Untersch …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Styrofoam — 1950, trademark name (Dow Chemical Co.), from (poly)styr(ene) (see POLYSTYRENE (Cf. polystyrene)) + o + FOAM (Cf. foam) (n.) …   Etymology dictionary

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  • Styrofoam — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Styrofoam (homonymie). Styrofoam est une marque déposée de panneaux de polystyrène extrudé, fabriqués par la société Dow Chemical, utilisés comme isolant thermique. Ils sont généralement de couleur bleue ou rose …   Wikipédia en Français

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