Is Styrofoam Flammable: Does It Burn OR Melt?

You might have heard about Styrofoam when it comes to storage or food packaging. So, food-related materials often come close to heat and fire. So, it would be best to be careful about using Styrofoam in the kitchen or near the fire.

Is Styrofoam Flammable? Generally, Styrofoam is a flammable material. It’s made of plastic or polystyrene. But this material is considered unsafe for its high flammability. Moreover, keeping hot food items can also be unsafe.

Since this material is pretty common, you should be concerned about its flammability. Because materials with high flammability often cause a fire hazard. Moreover, knowing about the extinguishing method is also essential.

Read also: What Makes Something Flammable? (The Definitive Guide)

What is Styrofoam?

white Styrofoam

Styrofoam is a plastic material made of expanded polystyrene. This foam is used as a food container. Generally, this material is lightweight. So, people use this for storage purposes.

However, Styrofoam is also used for other packaging and insulating purposes. You might know that plastic materials are good insulators. So, this material is also used for insulation.

Can Styrofoam Catch on Fire?

Yes, Styrofoam can catch on fire. This plastic material has high flammability. Once this material comes close to a fire source, it will immediately catch fire. Even if you use this material on an open flame, the flame will rise high.

The material is generally an expanded form of plastic. So, when you keep this near the fire, it will catch on fire and spread the fire because the density of this expanded plastic is higher. So, catching fire will be easy for this material.

At What Temperature Does Styrofoam ignite?

Though Styrofoam is highly flammable, its ignition point is pretty high. Generally, when these materials come close to a fire, they will melt. The melting point is near 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the temperature rises high, the material will catch on fire. Generally, this plastic material will ignite at 680 degrees Fahrenheit with a spark. So, the ignition can be dangerous because of the spark.

Is Styrofoam a Fire Hazard?

Yes, Styrofoam is a fire hazard. Generally, the materials that cause an explosion on fire and spread very fast are considered fire hazards. This expanded plastic is one of the fire hazard plastic materials.

When you put this material on fire, the flame will rise high, and the material will melt at the initial stage. Gradually, the temperature will be high, and a spark will be created from the Styrofoam.

For this spark, a dangerous situation might arise. Sparking and ignition of this material can lead to a huge fire. So, this material can be a fire hazard at extremely high temperatures.

What happens when you put Styrofoam on fire?

When you put Styrofoam on fire, it will create a toxic environment and fire hazard. You might know that this plastic material is made from expanded polystyrene. Polystyrene is dangerous to burn.

Because when you burn polystyrene, a huge amount of carbon monoxide will release. You might know that carbon monoxide is dangerous to inhale for humans and animals. Moreover, it will have an adverse effect on the environment.

So, if you put Styrofoam on fire, it will release this toxic gas also. Moreover, burning this material can lead to a hazardous situation.

How Do You Put Out a Styrofoam fire?

First, you should try to use water. Waterworks pretty well to put out a fire from plastic materials. Generally, when a fire induces by plastic materials, it starts to burn the plastics. So, if you can immediately use water, the fire might not ignite high and cause an explosion.

But when the fire is speeded in a large area, you must use a fire extinguisher. Moreover, you have to switch off the electrical connection and contact the emergency fire extinguishing authority. Meanwhile, you can try to put out the fire with water.

Is Styrofoam Fire Resistant?

No, Styrofoam is not fire-resistant. Because it catches on fire and can spread the fire quickly. Generally, this material catches on fire when it gets high temperature and fire. Up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, this material will not catch on fire. So, this can be fire resistant for a little time.

To be fire-resistant, a material has to resist or prevent fire when it comes close to fire. But this foam doesn’t have this characteristic. So, this is not a fire-resistant material.

Does Styrofoam burn or melt?

Styrofoam can both melt and burn. Generally, this material will melt when the temperature is low or moderate. For example, this plastic material will start to melt when the temperature is 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

But when the temperature rises and goes up to 680 degrees Fahrenheit, this material will start to burn. Moreover, a spark might be created with ignition. So, you must be very careful when this material is near the fire.

Can a Styrofoam Explode on Fire?

Yes, it can explode on fire when the temperature is excessively high. You might know that this plastic material can spark and ignite fire at a very high temperature.

So, when it is put on a very high-temperature fire, it can cause an explosion. That’s why it is never suggested to put this material on fire.

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people also ask (FAQs)

Where should you not use Styrofoam?

You should not use Styrofoam near fire and heat. Because this material is not fire-resistant. Moreover, it is not heat resistant. Many people use this material for food packaging.

But it also should not be used to store hot food. Because this material releases toxic gas and elements at high temperatures. Especially when you keep food in this foam, the food becomes unhealthy.

So, you should not use this foam at high temperatures and keep food. You can use it for other packaging purposes.

What are the benefits of Styrofoam?

Styrofoam is lightweight and easy to carry. Moreover, this material is water-resistant. Being plastic material, it resists bacterial growth also. Also, it has excellent shock-resisting quality.

For being lightweight, this material is hugely used as a packaging material. This foam has some disadvantages also. But lightweight and water resistivity are the main benefits of why people use this foam.

How long does Styrofoam last?

Styrofoam lasts for a long time. Generally, this plastic material is not biodegradable. So, it takes a long time to degrade. So, this material can last up to 500 years. Though physical damage can change the shape or break it into pieces, it will not degrade.

This non-biodegradable property is one of the disadvantages of Styrofoam. This property can also cause an adverse effect on the environment. So, we should reduce the usage of this foam.


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