Polystryene, Stryene, Stryfoam and Polyurethane - What Exactly Is the Difference?

Polystryene, Stryene, Stryfoam and Polyurethane – What Exactly Is the Difference?

We know that these different types of plastics can be tongue twisters to pronounce at the best of times, let alone knowingly exactly just what the difference between each of them is.

At Polystyrene Products, we’re passionate about our plastic and we know our foam. Let’s go through them all and explain the difference and benefits of each product.


Polystyrene (EPS)

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a lightweight type of foam that takes a bit longer to shape when compared to Polyurethane. When given the correct coating of hard-coating resin it becomes strong and durable, it is environmentally friendly and recyclable, and can be shaped into literally anything you need. It is also a great choice for insulation, and for use as shop fittings or packaging supplies.


Styrene Monomer

Styrene is an organic liquid substance, which is used to make plastics such as polystyrene.

Although it does occur naturally, it is usually manufactured for commercial use using petroleum. It is used in all sorts of products from footwear to food packaging.


Styrofoam (XPS)

Styrofoam (XPS) is a trademarked, closed-cell type of EXTRUDED polystyrene foam predominantly used for thermal insulation and craft purposes. It is not to be confused with disposable cups or food containers, which are actually made from Expandable polystyrene beads.


Polyurethane (PU)

Polyurethane (PU) is a denser product, and can be much simpler to shape than polystyrene.

It is a popular choice of material in surfboard crafting. The downside to this material, however, is that it can be highly toxic to work with if the correct precautions are not taken. It also, rather unfortunately, has a negative impact on the environment and is not bale to be recycled and as such we prefer to use polystyrene, a recyclable and far more environmentally friendly choice of material.


We hope that this article has clarified the different types of plastics and their common uses.

Please feel free to browse our available products for more information and don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team if you have any enquiries.