In keeping with its mission to bring value to its customers, GOEX Corp. has developed a line of STYREX Polystyrene alloys designed to function as cost-effective, performance-driven alternatives to Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).
The new STYREX Polystyrene alloys are available in different grades for different uses, including STYREX 490 Clear & 690 White Polystyrene, general-purpose sheet designed for graphic arts and thermoform applications where materials like PVC may not be preferred. STYREX 690 lends itself readily to surface-printed plastic sheet applications because it offers yield advantages over PVC based on its lower density, and is easy to print and cut. For the most demanding PVC alternative applications, like plastic cards, GOEX also now offers a super-duty PS alloy, STYREX 720 (white).
There continues to be a significant amount of negative buzz about the environmental and health implications of PVC plastic. "Although we believe that much of the negativity about PVC is exaggerated, the bottom line is that customer perception is what we accept as market reality," said Bob Waddell, vice president of sales and marketing for GOEX. "We're not in business to determine the merits of PVC or, any other resin, for that matter. Our goal is simply to offer our customers that want a PVC alternative another aisle to shop."
Alloying plastics is an effective, economical way to build upon the mechanical properties of a standard material while retaining the advantageous physical properties of the original material. The development of Polystyrene alloys like STYREX 490, 690, and 720 is important, Waddell explains, because High-Impact Polystyrenes (HIPS) are generally less expensive than PVC because the material is less dense.
"You get more yield (sheets per pound) with Polystyrene Alloys than with PVC," he said. "However, HIPS does not always effectively compare with PVC in terms of mechanical properties. Our new STYREX alloys favorably change the performance comparison, while also bringing the PS yield benefit into the equation. These STYREX Alloy products provide the advantages of better toughness and cuttability over standard HIPS."
GOEX currently manufactures Polystyrene alloys in three different grades: STYREX 490, a clear material (that can also be made in custom colors) for thermoforming and graphic arts applications; STYREX 690, a standard white substrate for thermoforming and surface-printed graphic arts applications; and STYREX 720; a high-performance hybrid for tougher forming and printed product applications.
And if all these advantages were not enough, each of these new STYREX materials is also fully recyclable in keeping with GOEX's "Zero-Landfill" initiative, which provides an opportunity for customers to recover and extract value from their processed plastic scrap. GOEX inspects and conditions the scrap into usable form, then extrudes it back into sheets that can be fully processed into printable sheets again. The GOEX process incorporates the recycled scrap material into the center (core) and virgin resin layers on the top only, bottom only, or on both sides of the sheet. As a result, "The customer gets the benefit of putting recycled content into the sheet and being able to promote the environmental marketability of the product based on that," Waddell said.