Styron


Wendye Ware
 

--- In STMFC@..., "gary roe" <wabashrr@...> wrote:

I started looking at these records this AM and already have a question. The very first train has 2 car loads of "styron". A check of the internet tells me he is "a writer born in 1925"; but for some reason, I doubt that's what's in these cars. A check of the rest of the records in the Excel file brought up no more loads of this type. Could someone tell me what "styron" is?

gary roe
quincy, illinois
When I first read this, I thought perhaps I had gotten the spelling wrong in the Excel spreadsheet, available at the Laramie Railroad Depot's website,
www.laramiedepot.org

So I checked the scanned image of the page (Traud 1b) and began transcribing carefully: That first letter certainly appears to be an "S", and the second one is undoubtedly a "t", and then "y", "r", "o", "n" – hmmm, that seems to spell... "Styron".

I Googled "Styron" and sure enough, the author of "Sophie's Choice", born in 1925, popped up as the first entry. To ascertain whether he was the content of the car, I next checked the car's gross tonnage (49) and deducted the tare (23). This gave 26 tons, or 52,000 lbs. Seems awfully heavy for someone who would have been 26 years old in 1951.

I next examined Google's second entry: "Dow to Sell Styron Unit for $1.63 Billion". This seemed more promising. A little further checking showed that Dow introduced its Styron line of polystyrene resins in 1937. My best guess is therefore that NW boxcar 50064, westbound and headed to "La", was carrying a load of plastics from Dow's Styron unit on October 26, 1951. Polystyrene, a widely used plastic, is used in the manufacture of plastic models, among other things.

If "Styron" poses a problem, I wonder how people will cope when they encounter "Wuce" (train 18, first car listed)?

Best wishes,
Larry Ostresh
Laramie, Wyoming


Chris Sawicki
 

Larry- Dow's tradename for polystyrene resin is Styron

Chris Sawicki



________________________________
From: laramielarry <larryostresh@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Tue, March 30, 2010 10:06:42 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Styron

 


--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, "gary roe" <wabashrr@.. .> wrote:

I started looking at these records this AM and already have a question. The very first train has 2 car loads of "styron". A check of the internet tells me he is "a writer born in 1925"; but for some reason, I doubt that's what's in these cars. A check of the rest of the records in the Excel file brought up no more loads of this type. Could someone tell me what "styron" is?

gary roe
quincy, illinois
When I first read this, I thought perhaps I had gotten the spelling wrong in the Excel spreadsheet, available at the Laramie Railroad Depot's website,
www.laramiedepot. org

So I checked the scanned image of the page (Traud 1b) and began transcribing carefully: That first letter certainly appears to be an "S", and the second one is undoubtedly a "t", and then "y", "r", "o", "n" – hmmm, that seems to spell... "Styron".

I Googled "Styron" and sure enough, the author of "Sophie's Choice", born in 1925, popped up as the first entry. To ascertain whether he was the content of the car, I next checked the car's gross tonnage (49) and deducted the tare (23). This gave 26 tons, or 52,000 lbs. Seems awfully heavy for someone who would have been 26 years old in 1951.

I next examined Google's second entry: "Dow to Sell Styron Unit for $1.63 Billion". This seemed more promising. A little further checking showed that Dow introduced its Styron line of polystyrene resins in 1937. My best guess is therefore that NW boxcar 50064, westbound and headed to "La", was carrying a load of plastics from Dow's Styron unit on October 26, 1951. Polystyrene, a widely used plastic, is used in the manufacture of plastic models, among other things.

If "Styron" poses a problem, I wonder how people will cope when they encounter "Wuce" (train 18, first car listed)?

Best wishes,
Larry Ostresh
Laramie, Wyoming




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Gary Roe
 

Larry & Jim,

Thanks for your humorous and informative replies! Seems I gave up my search
for the truth too soon. Sorry.

gary roe
quincy, illinois


_____

From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
laramielarry
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 10:07 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Styron






--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com> com, "gary roe"
<wabashrr@...> wrote:

I started looking at these records this AM and already have a question.
The very first train has 2 car loads of "styron". A check of the internet
tells me he is "a writer born in 1925"; but for some reason, I doubt that's
what's in these cars. A check of the rest of the records in the Excel file
brought up no more loads of this type. Could someone tell me what "styron"
is?

gary roe
quincy, illinois
When I first read this, I thought perhaps I had gotten the spelling wrong in
the Excel spreadsheet, available at the Laramie Railroad Depot's website,
www.laramiedepot.org

So I checked the scanned image of the page (Traud 1b) and began transcribing
carefully: That first letter certainly appears to be an "S", and the second
one is undoubtedly a "t", and then "y", "r", "o", "n" - hmmm, that seems to
spell... "Styron".

I Googled "Styron" and sure enough, the author of "Sophie's Choice", born in
1925, popped up as the first entry. To ascertain whether he was the content
of the car, I next checked the car's gross tonnage (49) and deducted the
tare (23). This gave 26 tons, or 52,000 lbs. Seems awfully heavy for someone
who would have been 26 years old in 1951.

I next examined Google's second entry: "Dow to Sell Styron Unit for $1.63
Billion". This seemed more promising. A little further checking showed that
Dow introduced its Styron line of polystyrene resins in 1937. My best guess
is therefore that NW boxcar 50064, westbound and headed to "La", was
carrying a load of plastics from Dow's Styron unit on October 26, 1951.
Polystyrene, a widely used plastic, is used in the manufacture of plastic
models, among other things.

If "Styron" poses a problem, I wonder how people will cope when they
encounter "Wuce" (train 18, first car listed)?

Best wishes,
Larry Ostresh
Laramie, Wyoming


Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

And many resins were shipped in drums, in box cars, as an alternative to tank
car shipment, especially where the end user desired smaller quantities.

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Chris
Sawicki
Sent: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 12:43 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: Re: [STMFC] Styron



Larry- Dow's tradename for polystyrene resin is Styron

Chris Sawicki

________________________________
From: laramielarry <larryostresh@... <mailto:larryostresh%40gmail.com>
To: STMFC@... <mailto:STMFC%40yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Tue, March 30, 2010 10:06:42 AM
Subject: [STMFC] Styron



--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, "gary roe" <wabashrr@.. .> wrote:

I started looking at these records this AM and already have a question. The
very first train has 2 car loads of "styron". A check of the internet tells
me he is "a writer born in 1925"; but for some reason, I doubt that's what's
in these cars. A check of the rest of the records in the Excel file brought
up no more loads of this type. Could someone tell me what "styron" is?

gary roe
quincy, illinois
When I first read this, I thought perhaps I had gotten the spelling wrong in
the Excel spreadsheet, available at the Laramie Railroad Depot's website,
www.laramiedepot. org

So I checked the scanned image of the page (Traud 1b) and began transcribing
carefully: That first letter certainly appears to be an "S", and the second
one is undoubtedly a "t", and then "y", "r", "o", "n" – hmmm, that seems to
spell... "Styron".

I Googled "Styron" and sure enough, the author of "Sophie's Choice", born in
1925, popped up as the first entry. To ascertain whether he was the content
of the car, I next checked the car's gross tonnage (49) and deducted the tare
(23). This gave 26 tons, or 52,000 lbs. Seems awfully heavy for someone who
would have been 26 years old in 1951.

I next examined Google's second entry: "Dow to Sell Styron Unit for $1.63
Billion". This seemed more promising. A little further checking showed that
Dow introduced its Styron line of polystyrene resins in 1937. My best guess
is therefore that NW boxcar 50064, westbound and headed to "La", was carrying
a load of plastics from Dow's Styron unit on October 26, 1951. Polystyrene, a
widely used plastic, is used in the manufacture of plastic models, among
other things.

If "Styron" poses a problem, I wonder how people will cope when they
encounter "Wuce" (train 18, first car listed)?

Best wishes,
Larry Ostresh
Laramie, Wyoming

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Gatwood, Elden J SAD " <elden.j.gatwood@...> wrote:

And many resins were shipped in drums, in box cars, as an alternative to tank
car shipment, especially where the end user desired smaller quantities.

Elden Gatwood
Polystyrene resin "feedstock" is shipped as pellets, as are most thermoplastic resins used by the extrusion and molding industry. The polymerization process yields a molten blob that would solidify into one giant rock at room temperature, so the blob is extruded into strands maybe 3/32" or 1/8" in diameter, then immediately diced into pellets of about the same length by calender rolls. These pellets are then remelted in an extruder and further made into extruded profiles, bottles, or molded parts, such as our kits.

Most plastic feedstock is shipped today in covered hoppers; the largest sizes on the rails, since the material is so light in weight. In years past, however, 50 pound bags on pallets or fiberboard drums were the norm. I worked in a molding shop back in the sixties, and almost all of our material arrived (by truck) in bags on pallets. The big "Gaylord" boxes (named for the originator, the Gaylord Container Corp) were just then coming into widespread use.

Dennis


Tim O'Connor
 

I remember those fiberboard drums, a very common item. Were they about
the same size as metal drums? (55 gallons, I think?) I think dozens of
HO scale models exist of ribbed metal drums, but I can't recall seeing
any models of smooth-side fiberboard drums. A manufacturer would be a
good lineside industry -- receiving kraft paper box cars (or ?) and
shipping out box cars of empty drums.

Tim O'Connor

And many resins were shipped in drums, in box cars, as an alternative to tank
car shipment, especially where the end user desired smaller quantities.
Elden Gatwood
Polystyrene resin "feedstock" is shipped as pellets, as are most thermoplastic resins used by the extrusion and molding industry. The polymerization process yields a molten blob that would solidify into one giant rock at room temperature, so the blob is extruded into strands maybe 3/32" or 1/8" in diameter, then immediately diced into pellets of about the same length by calender rolls. These pellets are then remelted in an extruder and further made into extruded profiles, bottles, or molded parts, such as our kits.

Most plastic feedstock is shipped today in covered hoppers; the largest sizes on the rails, since the material is so light in weight. In years past, however, 50 pound bags on pallets or fiberboard drums were the norm. I worked in a molding shop back in the sixties, and almost all of our material arrived (by truck) in bags on pallets. The big "Gaylord" boxes (named for the originator, the Gaylord Container Corp) were just then coming into widespread use.

Dennis


Gatwood, Elden J SAD
 

Dennis;

The only resin operation I was familiar with was the old Pennsylvania
Industrial Chemical Corp that was taken over in the mid-70's by Hercules.
They made PICCOLASTIC among others, lots of it used in the rubber and
plastics industry, among what I understand were literally hundreds of varied
end users. I believe they were once users of coke by-products but gradually
turned to shipment of petroleum derivatives for use in their resin
production, and I have photos of insulated ICC 103 tank cars with platforms
going in and out of there; they also shipped out drums in box cars, but I do
not remember at what point. I would love to know more about how the
industry, and they in particular, got and shipped their products. Do you
know how that end of the industry worked and how and when it evolved? I
worked in a Styrofoam manufacturer in the 1970's, and by then, it had all
gone to pellets that were heated in giant molds, and I never saw any liquids
in that product. Even my stepfather, who worked as an organic chemist on
hydrocarbon research, has been unable to tell me how it worked at the working
level, for resins like they made at PICCO.

Thanks,

Elden Gatwood

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of Tim
O'Connor
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 10:29 AM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Styron




I remember those fiberboard drums, a very common item. Were they about the
same size as metal drums? (55 gallons, I think?) I think dozens of HO scale
models exist of ribbed metal drums, but I can't recall seeing any models of
smooth-side fiberboard drums. A manufacturer would be a good lineside
industry -- receiving kraft paper box cars (or ?) and shipping out box cars
of empty drums.

Tim O'Connor

And many resins were shipped in drums, in box cars, as an alternative
to tank car shipment, especially where the end user desired smaller
quantities.
Elden Gatwood
Polystyrene resin "feedstock" is shipped as pellets, as are most
thermoplastic resins used by the extrusion and molding industry. The
polymerization process yields a molten blob that would solidify into one
giant rock at room temperature, so the blob is extruded into strands maybe
3/32" or 1/8" in diameter, then immediately diced into pellets of about the
same length by calender rolls. These pellets are then remelted in an extruder
and further made into extruded profiles, bottles, or molded parts, such as
our kits.

Most plastic feedstock is shipped today in covered hoppers; the largest
sizes on the rails, since the material is so light in weight. In years past,
however, 50 pound bags on pallets or fiberboard drums were the norm. I worked
in a molding shop back in the sixties, and almost all of our material arrived
(by truck) in bags on pallets. The big "Gaylord" boxes (named for the
originator, the Gaylord Container Corp) were just then coming into widespread
use.

Dennis


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...> wrote:


I remember those fiberboard drums, a very common item. Were they about
the same size as metal drums? (55 gallons, I think?) I think dozens of
HO scale models exist of ribbed metal drums, but I can't recall seeing
any models of smooth-side fiberboard drums. A manufacturer would be a
good lineside industry -- receiving kraft paper box cars (or ?) and
shipping out box cars of empty drums.

Tim O'Connor
That's likely because fiberboard drums were seldom seen outside, since they didn't hold up any better in the rain than cardboard boxes did.

As to size, anything was possible, from short little ones not much bigger than a 5 gal. pail up to the 55 gallon size.

Speaking of that, considering the cut-off for this list is 1960, does anyone know when the ubiquitous 5 gal. plastic pail was first introduced? Wikipedia doesn't supply a date, and for the life of me, I can't remember when I first saw one. As far as modeling goes, in HO these wouldn't look any different from the metal pails that preceded them, except the metal pails were almost always painted either black or gray, while the plastic pails are often white or blue.

Dennis


soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
 

--- In STMFC@..., "Gatwood, Elden J SAD " <elden.j.gatwood@...> wrote:

Dennis;

The only resin operation I was familiar with was the old Pennsylvania
Industrial Chemical Corp that was taken over in the mid-70's by Hercules.
They made PICCOLASTIC among others, lots of it used in the rubber and
plastics industry, among what I understand were literally hundreds of varied
end users... I would love to know more about how the
industry, and they in particular, got and shipped their products. Do you
know how that end of the industry worked and how and when it evolved?...
Elden,

It turns out Eastman Chemical still makes the stuff:

http://www.eastman.com/Brands/piccolastic/Pages/Overview.aspx

We need a bit of discussion about the term resin, a generic term that covers a lot of territory. Since the original question was about Styron polystyrene, I wanted to correct the impression that it was a liquid. Almost all thermoPLASTIC resins (that's the PLASTICS that Dustin Hoffman was advised to get into in the movie The Graduate) are reacted during manufacture so they become fully polymerized, and are delivered to the "processor" (molder, extruder, etc.) as a solid, either pellets or powder. The processor simply melts it to make it change shape; no further chemical reaction takes place at this stage.

But the broader use of the term includes the material in the un-reacted state, and this is typically a liquid. These are used in paints and coatings, for adhesives, and as a binder for some molding processes. They can be naturally occurring compounds, such as linseed oil, or synthetics, such as polyester. In use, the chemical reaction that turns the resin into a polymer occurs at the point of use. That is the common thread that ties all these together; enamel paints technically don't dry, they cure, same for most adhesives and THERMOSET molding compounds. The defining feature of all these is once reacted, they can't be undone; the paint or glue or molded parts can't be dissolved in solvent to return to the virgin material. Paint may dissolve in some solvent, but it won't become paint again.

There is a sub-set of the molding industry that deals with thermosets, indeed, one of the earliest synthetic molding compounds, Bakelite, is a thermosetting resin. The resins used are typically endothermic, that is, they need to absorb heat to cure. The "BMC" Bulk Molding Compound as it is known, is made by blending resin, catalyst, fillers and reinforcements to a putty-like consistency, catalysis to a level that that won't react at normal temperatures. This is then fed into an extruder and forced into a heated mold, the temperature of which is high enough to "kick off" the polymerization. The process is the exact opposite of thermoplastic molding, which uses a heated extruder and chilled mold; thermosets require a chilled extruder, to keep it from reacting prematurely, and a heated mold to drive the reaction.

I don't have enough experience with the thermoset molding industry to say whether it is common to blend BMC in the same facility that molds it; the company next door to Accurail used to compound BMC and ship it out in boxes with plastic liners to another facility where it was molded. There was no rail service, but inbound was tank trailers of resin and solvents for cleaning equipment, and van trailers of powdered clay fillers and chopped glass fiber for reinforcement. The boxes of BMC went out in van trailers.

Dennis


LOUIS WHITELEY <octoraro1@...>
 

Since this thread has finally drifted toward Bakelite, I would like to know more about rail shipment of the ingredients and products.  Bakelite is a trade name for a thermosetting phenolic resin, as Dennis mentions.  As I understand it, the primary ingredients are formaldehyde and phenol (carbolic acid), which are both solid at ambient temperatures.  Dow and Monsanto each had a couple of Type 27 tank cars identified as built for phenol shipment that I believe had heater coils to liquify it for unloading.  Richard Hendrickson helped me sort out these couple of cars in the ORERs.

Railway Prototype Cyclopedia Volume 3 shows a Shippers Car Line tank car leased to the Bakelite Corporation.

On-line literature also mentions catalyist for the polymerization process -- either acid or base.  Apparently, the product took several forms such as moldings that used a filler such as sawdust; and sheets using paper into which the resin was impregnated.

I'm looking forward to some enlightenment about this tangent from the Styron thread.

Lou Whiteley
Lawrenceville, NJ




________________________________
From: soolinehistory <destorzek@...>
To: STMFC@...
Sent: Thu, April 1, 2010 2:05:15 PM
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Styron

 
--- In STMFC@yahoogroups. com, "Gatwood, Elden J SAD " <elden.j.gatwood@ ...> wrote:

Dennis;

The only resin operation I was familiar with was the old Pennsylvania
Industrial Chemical Corp that was taken over in the mid-70's by Hercules.
They made PICCOLASTIC among others, lots of it used in the rubber and
plastics industry, among what I understand were literally hundreds of varied
end users... I would love to know more about how the
industry, and they in particular, got and shipped their products. Do you
know how that end of the industry worked and how and when it evolved?...
Elden,

It turns out Eastman Chemical still makes the stuff:

http://www.eastman. com/Brands/ piccolastic/ Pages/Overview. aspx

We need a bit of discussion about the term resin, a generic term that covers a lot of territory. Since the original question was about Styron polystyrene, I wanted to correct the impression that it was a liquid. Almost all thermoPLASTIC resins (that's the PLASTICS that Dustin Hoffman was advised to get into in the movie The Graduate) are reacted during manufacture so they become fully polymerized, and are delivered to the "processor" (molder, extruder, etc.) as a solid, either pellets or powder. The processor simply melts it to make it change shape; no further chemical reaction takes place at this stage.

But the broader use of the term includes the material in the un-reacted state, and this is typically a liquid. These are used in paints and coatings, for adhesives, and as a binder for some molding processes. They can be naturally occurring compounds, such as linseed oil, or synthetics, such as polyester. In use, the chemical reaction that turns the resin into a polymer occurs at the point of use. That is the common thread that ties all these together; enamel paints technically don't dry, they cure, same for most adhesives and THERMOSET molding compounds. The defining feature of all these is once reacted, they can't be undone; the paint or glue or molded parts can't be dissolved in solvent to return to the virgin material. Paint may dissolve in some solvent, but it won't become paint again.

There is a sub-set of the molding industry that deals with thermosets, indeed, one of the earliest synthetic molding compounds, Bakelite, is a thermosetting resin. The resins used are typically endothermic, that is, they need to absorb heat to cure. The "BMC" Bulk Molding Compound as it is known, is made by blending resin, catalyst, fillers and reinforcements to a putty-like consistency, catalysis to a level that that won't react at normal temperatures. This is then fed into an extruder and forced into a heated mold, the temperature of which is high enough to "kick off" the polymerization. The process is the exact opposite of thermoplastic molding, which uses a heated extruder and chilled mold; thermosets require a chilled extruder, to keep it from reacting prematurely, and a heated mold to drive the reaction.

I don't have enough experience with the thermoset molding industry to say whether it is common to blend BMC in the same facility that molds it; the company next door to Accurail used to compound BMC and ship it out in boxes with plastic liners to another facility where it was molded. There was no rail service, but inbound was tank trailers of resin and solvents for cleaning equipment, and van trailers of powdered clay fillers and chopped glass fiber for reinforcement. The boxes of BMC went out in van trailers.

Dennis




[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


Kurt Laughlin <fleeta@...>
 

While it may be a broad or incorrect use of the term "resin", the plastic plant where my mother worked (Sinclair-Koppers, makers of Dylite, a competitor to Styrofoam) used to - and perhaps still does - receive tank cars labeled Styrene Monomer and Vinyl Chloride. Empty coming or going, I don't know, but this was pretty much common since this ex-Rubber Reserve butadiene plant was converted to plastic manufacture in 1946 or so. In non-technical literature this may be what they meant.

I also remember in the 60's and 70's fiber drums with the S-K logo on them.

KL

----- Original Message -----
From: soolinehistory

We need a bit of discussion about the term resin, a generic term that covers a lot of territory. Since the original question was about Styron polystyrene, I wanted to correct the impression that it was a liquid. Almost all thermoPLASTIC resins (that's the PLASTICS that Dustin Hoffman was advised to get into in the movie The Graduate) are reacted during manufacture so they become fully polymerized, and are delivered to the "processor" (molder, extruder, etc.) as a solid, either pellets or powder. The processor simply melts it to make it change shape; no further chemical reaction takes place at this stage.

But the broader use of the term includes the material in the un-reacted state, and this is typically a liquid.