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WHAT is STYRENE? same as ACRYLIC plastics?

3 replies
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  • Member since
    November 2005
WHAT is STYRENE? same as ACRYLIC plastics?
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, April 11, 2003 2:05 AM
I have been asking around and the answers are the same, "DONT KNOW, I BUILD MODELS OUT OF THE BOX OR USING SPARES" answers by modeling friends.

What is STYRENE? I have been reading about it projects/articles in FSM ever since started reading it. Iam familiar with ACRYLIC plastics, since I use the thick ones for casings of models, which is more durable, lighter, cheaper and easy to repair than glass.

Thanks for the infos.

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: United Kingdom / Belgium
Posted by djmodels1999 on Friday, April 11, 2003 2:40 AM
Those are just different kinds of plastics, with different properties altogether. I'm no chemist so I can't give you the details, though I'm sure any good dictionary would help...

(poly)styrene is the kind of plastic used to make plastic models and that's the kind you'll find scratchbuilders using. It's normaly coloured and react to 'norma' plastic glues, which basicaly soften and melt the plastic. Scratchbuilders will be more familiar with white sheets of styrene, sold in hobby shops, or plastic manufacturers (way cheaper option!), and used by companies such as Evergreen to produce strips, rods, T-beam sections and all that.

Acrylic is normally transparent, and will not react to normal plastic glues at all. Again, this can be used by scratchbuilders (superglue or epoxy is then required) in sheets or blocks. Acrylic is much harder to work with but scatches easily too.

Expended polystyrene is the kind of light white material that you find in many boxes to keep the goods from being moved, damaged,... Other than for building ground layers on a diorama, or as containers for transporting/keeping your models, there's not much else you can do, modeling-wise with this material...
  • Member since
    November 2005
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, April 11, 2003 7:05 PM
TO: djmodels99

thanks man! for the infos. Very much appreciate it!!

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: Iowa- USA
Posted by toadwbg on Friday, April 11, 2003 9:30 PM
djmodels1999 is right on. I've got a degree in plastic materials engineering (which I don't use much) and I couldn't really have said it much better

Chemically, they basically consist of similar but different Hydrocarbon chains. Styrene is cheap, easily pigmented, and processes well (for injection molding) which is how most kits are made.

Acrylic is typically used as a glass substitute, it is stronger than Styrene.

Oh, and by the way djmodels1999, we refer to "expanded polystyrene" as Styrophoam here in the 'States :). When it's made into those pesky little packing material thingy's we even refer to them as peanuts!
"I love modeling- it keeps me in the cool, dark, and damp basement where I belong" Current Projects: 1/48th Hasegawa F-14D- 25% 1/48th Tamiya Spitfire- 25%

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