On This Day In Chemistry

August 24th

American engineer Ray McIntire was born on this day in 1918

He invented foam polystyrene, or Styrofoam. McIntire had been trying to develop a flexible electrical insulator for coating wires. Polystyrene, although a good insulator, was too brittle. He thought he could soften it by adding isobutylene under pressure, but instead made the light foamy substance.
 
Day In Chemistry