Thermocol is another name for polystyrene. Whereas polystyrene is a synthetic aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene. It is relatively poor barrier to oxygen and water vapour that has a low melting point. It can be either solid or foam like and it is most assuredly not environmentally friendly. Thermocol is one of the most cost-effective protective packaging materials available and is used all over the world to protect goods from transit damage. It possesses an extraordinary combination of lightness, rigidity and shock absorption and can be molded to virtually any desired shape.
Thermocol is also used widely for low temperature thermal insulation because of its low thermal conductivity and closed cell structure. Most other thermal insulation materials have open cell structures, which make them vulnerable to moisture penetration. Because the thermocol has no taste or odour and does not harbor fungi, it is used extensively in the packaging of pharmaceutical products. Thermocol is a rigid cellular plastic foam material, which is derived from petroleum and natural gas byproducts.
The spherical beads of resign are subjected to steam that causes the thermoplastic polystyrene to soften and expand up to 40times its original volume. Each small bead of polystyrene is fully sealed. Thermocol is a good thermal insulator therefore often used as a building insulation material, whereas one of the major disadvantages is that, like other organic compounds, polystyrene is flammable. Which causes huge fires and losses. Thermocol is also used as a reflector that helps a photographer to manipulate the light photography.
Now a days thermocol crafts are very popular and kids totally love it. Thermocol is easily available material and inexpensive. Thermocol finger puppets, little snowman, thermocol frames, garden centerpiece, thermocol flowers, Christmas trees and thermocol idols etc, are some of the known crafts which is done by using thermocol. Recycled thermocol can be mixed with concrete to produce new and stronger buildings.