Innovation Timeline

1839 A German apothecary called Eduard Simon discovered polystyrene. He isolated the substance from natural resin, however, but did not know what he had discovered
1930 Scientists at I.G. Farben (today BASF) developed a way to commercially manufacture polystyrene1930s: Several Dow researchers – including Dr. Sylvia Stoesser, Dow’s first female chemist – developed an inhibitor that was key to the commercial process for producing styrene at high purity and low cost. It enabled the production of a polystyrene that was so clear, people said it looked like crystal. They called it STYRON Polystyrene
1937 The Dow Chemical Company introduced polystyrene products to the U.S. market and STYRON™ Polystyrene was born During WWII: The U.S. government used virtually all PS that was produced. The plastic was used in radio transmitters, receivers, altimeters, direction finders, homing devices, radar housings and other military equipment
1941 Dow invented a process for extruding polystyrene to achieve a closed-cell foam that resists moisture - which became the basis for STYROFOAM™ products
1940s Dow developed impact STYRON resins, heat resistant STYRON resins, and polystyrene use in extruded foams, films, latexes
1940s In addition to STYRON Polystyrene, Dow also invented STYRALOY, a rubbery plastic that combined flexibility at sub-zero temperatures with excellent electrical properties. It was used extensively by the military for telephone and radio facilities
1950s Dow developed sheet extrusion and thermoforming with STYRON resins
1959 The Koppers Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, developed expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam
1960s Dow introduced STYRON resins containing flame retardant chemical additives
1970s Dow introduced high heat, high impact STYRON resins, injection molding and extrusion of structural foam STYRON polystyrene, feedblock coextrusion with STYRON resins, scrapless forming with STYRON resins, styrenic alloys
1980s Dow pioneered improvements in processability, physical and chemical properties with STYRON resins
1990s Dow launched STYRON A-TECH™ advanced technology polystyrene resin
1990s Dow introduces STYRON A-TECH™ Advanced Technology Polystyrene Resins with properties never before possible with high-impact polystyrene
2009 Styron was the name chosen for a new company to being spun off from Dow
2010 Styron is established as an independent company in 2010. Its products include latex, rubber, and plastics, including polystyrene
2015 Styron changed the name of all affiliated companies to Trinseo