Noryl is a blend of polyphenylene oxide (PPO) and polystyrene (PS) which was developed in 1966 by General Electric Plastics (now owned by SABIC). It is a rare example of a homogeneous mixture of two polymers. Most polymers are incompatible with one another, so tend to produce separate phases when mixed. The two polymers compatibility in Noryl is due to the presence of a benzene ring in the repeat units of both chains.
The addition of polystyrene to PPO increases the glass transition temperature above 100 °C, owing to the high Tg of PPO, so Noryl is stable in boiling water. The precise value of the transition depends on the exact composition of the grade used. There is a smooth linear relation between weight content of polystyrene and the Tg of the blend. Due to its good electrical resistance, it is widely used in switch boxes. However, product design is important in maximising the strength of the product, especially in eliminating sharp corners and other stress concentrations. Injection molding must ensure that moldings are stress-free.
Like most other amorphous thermoplastics, Noryl is sensitive to environmental stress cracking when in contact with many organic liquids. Compounds such as gasoline, kerosine, and methylene chloride may initiate brittle cracks resulting in product failure.
Noryl has numerous applications in electronics, electrical equipment, coating, machinery, etc.
Noryl has possible applications in the production of hydrogen, where it could serve as cost-effective electrodes in an electrolyzer, replacing expensive rare elements. It is highly resistant against the alkaline potassium hydroxide. For conductivity, the plastic is sprayed with a nickel-based catalyst.