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We celebrate 70 years of innovation, cooperation and success.

70 years of Styropor® from live-saver to thermal insulation: For 70 years Styropor® protects various applications - for 70 years Styropor® is an important part of our everyday life. 

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Celebrate, participate and win

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EPS – Part of a sustainable future

Be part of our Customer Webevent. We are looking forward to welcome you and discuss with you at our customer webevent on June 8, 2021, 10:00 AM. If you are interested, join our event. 

In 2021, it will be 70 years ago that we got granted our first patent on EPS and our joint success story began. We would like to celebrate together with you this truly special occasion – our friends and partners. We are planning a special anniversary year with some activities that let us look optimistically into the future along the principle: Styropor® Neopor® expect more


Klaus Ries,
Vice President Styrenic Foams

Styropor® in the art scene

Our white classic is not only part of our everyday life, it is also used in extraordinary areas. For artists worldwide, Styropor® is a popular material. In our interview series, artists tell why and how they use Styropor® to create impressive works of art. Go to interviews

#Milestones

Lots of milestones are behind us – but we are convinced that there are many more milestones ahead with Styropor® and Neopor®

1949

1949

A lucky coincidence: Like a genie in a bottle, a solid white foam emerged from a shoe polish can in 1949. It was the material, from which Fritz Stastny developed the material of the century: Styropor®.

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A lucky coincidence: Like a genie in a bottle, a solid white foam emerged from a shoe polish can in 1949. It was the material, from which Fritz Stastny developed the material of the century: Styropor®. At the Ludwigshafen headquarters of the Badische Anilin- und Sodafabrik, today's BASF SE, Stastny was looking for an effective cable insulation system and in the process, he had come up with an invention, whose prospects for success he could not initially estimate. However, he already suspected that it was a groundbreaking discovery. A month and a half earlier, he had added petroleum ether as a blowing agent to a solution of polystyrene in monostyrene, using benzoyl peroxide as a catalyst. He conducted the experiment in a shoe polish can, since it could be closed gas-tight. After opening the can, he recorded in his laboratory notebook: "Clear solution, stored at room temperature until Dec. 1, 1949. Transparent hard disc removed." The sample should now be stored in the can in the drying cabinet until the evening. The researcher forgot it there and the next morning found a rigid strand of foam in place of the disk, which had lifted the loose can lid 25 centimeters. Styropor® was born.

1949
1951

1951

BASF registers Styropor® as a trademark and starts its production.

1951
1952

1952

Presentation of the new molded parts at the Düsseldorf plastics trade show - around 10 times lighter than cork and less expensive.

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Presentation of the new molded parts at the Düsseldorf plastics trade show - around 10 times lighter than cork and less expensive. The new molded parts are presented to the public at the Düsseldorf plastics trade show: Visitors crowded around BASF's booth to receive a special gift: "The lightest ship in the world" - weighing only five grams and being 15 centimeters long.

First major order: Safety buoys for the swedish company Carmarin

The first major order followed: Safety buoys for the swedish company Carmarin. BASF had been able to convince the company that Styropor® is around 10 times lighter than cork, cheaper and also more rot-proof than the natural material.

1952
1955

1955

Issuance of first licenses abroad

Styropor® goes international. The first licenses for the universal plastic are sold abroad.

1955
1957 / 1958

1957/1958

Breakthrough to mass production

The first production facilities are built in Brazil and France.

1957 / 1958
1959

1959

The packaging industry discovers Styropor®

The packaging industry also benefits from Styropor®.

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The packaging industry also benefits from Styropor®. Its insulating property is used to maintain the cold chain of perishable foods. Packed in Styropor®, even electrical appliances or sensitive musical instruments are protected from shocks.

1959
1962

1962

The Mona Lisa goes on its journey to Washington D.C. safely and well packed in Styropor®, where it is exhibited in the "National Gallery of Art".

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The Mona Lisa goes on its journey to Washington D.C. safely and well packed in Styropor®, where it is exhibited in the "National Gallery of Art". BASF's proprietary "Styropor Walking Show®" for the general education of all interested parties opens in Munich.

1962
1963

1963

The video classic "Schaumgeboren" from 1963 illustrates how...

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The video classic "Schaumgeboren" from 1963 illustrates how products made from expandable polystyrene (EPS) conquer the world market. Compared to 1955, Styropor® sales have grown 23-fold to approximately 32,000 tons per year.

1963
1964

1964

Salvage of a freighter in Kuwait with the help of Styropor®

In 1964, a special kind of rescue operation...

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In 1964, a special kind of rescue operation succeeds in the port of Kuwait: A sunken cattle transport ship is lifted with the help of polystyrene beads that are pumped into the ship's interior. The only disadvantage: A patent application for this unusual salvage method unexpectedly vanishes into thin air, as Walt Disney had already published the story of a similar ship salvage in 1949. The protagonist was the drake Donald Duck, who lifted a sunken yacht with ping-pong balls. In terms of patent law, a preliminary description had thus been made which prevented the Styropor® action as a whole from being patentable.

1964
1968

1968

Lightweight concrete made of Styropor® enters the market

The combination of the insulating properties of Styropor® and...

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The combination of the insulating properties of Styropor® and the strength of concrete was used primarily as a frost-proof substructure for roads and railroad tracks and as an economical construction element in industrial and residential construction.

1968
1972

1972

1.000.000 tons

BASF sold its millionth ton of Styropor®.

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BASF sold its millionth ton of Styropor®. An essential boost for the production of Styropor® came from the oil crisis. It led to increased efforts in thermal insulation with the aim of saving energy. Because of its excellent insulating properties, Styropor® quickly found a wide variety of applications in house construction. Even today, the insulation of buildings is the most important field of application for Styropor®.

1972
1997

1997

Neopor® - the graphite-containing evolution of Styropor® (EPS) is filed for patent.

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Neopor® - the graphite-containing evolution of Styropor® (EPS) is filed for patent. Improving insulation properties further and thus contribute to environmental protection. Insulation boards made of Neopor® can be up to 20% thinner and achieve better insulation performance than conventional EPS.

1997
1998

1998

The five-millionth ton of Styropor® leaves the Ludwigshafen site.

1998
2001

2001

BASF Innovation Awards for Neopor® and the 3-liter house

The Brunckviertel in Ludwigshafen is being renovated to improve energy efficiency: Neopor® as an insulation material makes the biggest contribution.

2001
2011

2011

Neopor® Plus achieves the best thermal conductivity for EPS insulation materials in Germany.

2011
2014

2014

Conversion of the entire EPS product portfolio to polymeric flame retardant.

BASF is one of the first to equip its entire product portfolio of styrenic foams/granules for thermal insulation in Europe with a new flame retardant.

2014
2017

2017

For the first time, Styropor® is produced from renewable raw materials. It is the birth of biomass-balanced Styropor® in food packaging.

2017
2019

2019

From the ChemCycling project, the first prototypes of Styropor® CcycledTM will be presented at the K trade show. Applications such as pharmaceutical or fish boxes are indistinguishable in their properties from conventionally manufactured Styropor® products.

2019
2020

2020

Due to its excellent insulating properties, EPS is used worldwide in the transport of vaccines against COVID-19.

2020
#Future

#Future

The success story continues

BASF is pursuing various approaches to...

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BASF is pursuing various approaches to produce and recycle Styropor® in a more environmentally friendly way, for example by processing it into new raw materials. The proportion of recycled material is continuously increasing

#Future

Styropor® and Neopor®: Important part of countless applications – important part of our everyday life.

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Part of home

The styrenic foam Neopor® used for insulation of buildings convinces with excellent thermal insulation properties. Various possibilities of application and easy processing facilitate energy-efficient and modern building.
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Part of protection

Whether television or kitchen device. With the classic Styropor®, your devices are always well and safely packed. Styropor® also plays an important role in the transport of food or medical/pharma applications.
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Part of sustainability

Styrenic foams contribute significantly to the global CO2 emission reduction targets in the building sector. Mainly the thermal insulation solution of the building envelope reduces greenhouse gas emissions due to lower energy consumption for heating and cooling residential buildings. As packaging material, Styropor® not only protects electronic devices or food, it can also be recycled very well – either mechanically or chemically.
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