Polystyrene Bead Molder

Operate preexpanders that expand and mold polystyrene beads.
picture of Polystyrene Bead Molder

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$21,000 – $47,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Polystyrene Bead Molders do?

Operates preexpander and continuous molding machine that expands and molds polystyrene beads under heat and pressure, forming bead board: Reads work order to determine resin type and density requirements for bead board production. Shoves intake tube in resin and presses tube into coupling of venturi feed system. Presses buttons and turns valves to activate centrifuge, supply steam, and feed resin to expander. Fills volumetric can with beads and weighs beads to determine density, using balance scale. Compares bead density with production requirements. Reads steam pressure and temperature gauges and turns steam valve or rotates auger disk, adjusting heat and resin feed rate to control bead density. Connects hose of molder feed hopper to aging bin and pushes feed hopper into place to feed molding machine. Turns venturi feed valve, sending air through feeder to draw beads from hopper into molder. Starts molding machine. Guides bead board from molder through rollers of trimmer and saw to start board. Monitors gauges and observes operation of molding machine and equipment to ensure operation according to specifications. Inspects bead board for specified fusion and finish. Turns steam and air valves to adjust heat and bead feed rate to prevent machine overload and to correct flaws in bead board. Records lot number of resin, feed rate, and steam pressure, for various densities and board dimensions. Computes production in board feet to determine output.

Should I be a Polystyrene Bead Molder?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Polystyrene Bead Molder

    Most Polystyrene Bead Molders have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9gaaaa&chl=no+college+%2891%25%29|certificate+%289%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,91,91
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