Project Overview

Have you ever seen a lorry wearing a hard hat and ear defenders? Not something you ask yourself every day, but for Molygran, it’s nothing unusual! How would you begin to make a hard hat big enough to sit on top of the cabin of a lorry but light enough not to crush it? Think polystyrene!

Based in Preston, Lancashire, Conlon undertakes construction projects, design and build, new build and refurbishment for public sector and private clients. On their 50th anniversary, they were proud sponsors of the UK Corporate Games which coincided with the Preston Guild 2012 festivities. They needed something unique for their float display, and polystyrene props was the way forward.

conlon hat and ear defenders
giant prop hire


  • As 98% air, giant props made out of polystyrene are not too heavy to handle
  • Polystyrene can be easily cut and sanded to any shape
  • Polystyrene can be decorated to make eye catching features for float displays
  • Molygran took the challenge with eagerness
  • Molygran were able to provide the whole process from draw up to painting
  • Molygran were extremely helpful and approachable

The brief The brief

Looking to make their float display stand out in the grand parade, they needed a unique design – hence the idea of a lorry with hard hat and ear defenders to represent their line of work. Next they required a material which would be lightweight enough to sit on the cabin of the lorry but be durable enough to withstand the elements. It also needed to be malleable, to create the 3D shapes of the hard hat and ear defenders, but rigid enough to keep its shape once created.

The solution The solution

Introducing Molygran – convertors of polystyrene. No task is too strange or big for Molygran, and a giant hard hat with ear defenders was right up our street! A full design service was required to take the idea to the model stage. Molygran worked alongside Conlon drawing up the desired products from the samples provided. Through CAD, we then accurately replicated and proportionally increased the different pieces to fit the lorry.

The polystyrene props were sanded down to achieve the final shape of the hard hat and ear defenders, then painted to improve the visual appearance and protect the props from the elements.

Polystyrene comes into its own in unique projects such as this. Made from 98% air, when the bead is small and the correct equipment is used, polystyrene can be cut extremely accurately. Despite being lightweight in comparison to competing materials, the density of polystyrene enabled it to be strong enough to be fixed to the lorry cabin.

“It was a strange one to be honest!,” admitted Lynsey. “Polystyrene was chosen because I thought the shape would be easy to create in this material.

“I found Molygran on the web at the time and actually came down to the offices with a hard hat and ear defenders – I remember thinking that it would probably be a strange request but the office seemed to take it in its stride!”

Lynsey Scruton - CSR Team