What Is Expanded Polystyrene (Eps) Foam?

What Is Expanded Polystyrene (Eps) Foam?

Expanded polystyrene (EPS foam) provides a lightweight (comprising nearly 90% of air) yet rigid, closed insulation and comes in different strengths and densities to accommodate various uses to withstand load as well as providing needed insulation.

EPS has been a favorite material as it’s versatile, provides necessary protection and insulation without the extra weight, yet durable and strong enough to absorb shock effects.

How Expanded Polystyrene Is Manufactured

Expanded polystyrene is created in two different process:

Raw beads (pictured below) are expanded via hot steam to create a pre-puff beads before transfered into a pre-designed mold. The beads are again steamed at high temperature, to form a block. The EPS blocks are then transfered to storage to age before being cut into different shapes and sizes.

Expanded polystyrene
Credit: https://epsfoamprodotcom.sharepoint.com/

Fore detailed explanation on EPS, read here.

Expanded Polystyrene Properties And Advantages

Among properties of EPS that makes it a favorite:

Lightweight

EPS are extremely lightweight compared size-wise to otehr materials, making it a perfect choice for packaging and insulation without added significant weight. Hence, it reduce a plethora of costs involved – time, money, space, and energy

Durable

EPS foam is durable enough to provide protection for packaging, and it doesn’t detoriate with age.

Protection

From moisture, thermal, compression, and shock-wise, EPS does not absorb water/water vapour, making it ideal for cool/frozen products and the shape itself unchange; excellent for provide protection in materials (fresh produce, medical products to name a few) that are sensitive to temperature and fluctuations; as well as absorbs shock well, perfect material for protection for fragile materials (electronic products and even chemicals).

Versatile and ease of use

All in all, EPS foam is versatile – you can have it in various strength, shapes, and sizes for any purposes.

Can be recycled

Believe it or not, this material can be readily recycled, making it as one of the items considered as a “green product”.

Click here to read more on EPS recycle process.

The issue is since EPS products itself are quite large and takes a lot of space, making the whole transporting and collection of the used EPS costly – hence, the solution is a thorough partnership with companies that uses EPS to collect the used materials together and shipped it to a nearby facility where it “can be aggregated and either compressed or densified” (quote from the link here) for effective transportation.

Styro UAE

Drawbacks From Using Expanded Polystyrene 

EPS foam is not suitable to be used with organic solvents, unless they’re in a bottle of their own. And although EPS is resistant to heat, they can be flammable if the material is oil painted.

EPS Market Applications

EPS itself is popular, and among it’s market applications include:

  • Insulation and uilding applications: Used in closed cavitites in walls, roofs, and floor to name a few.
  • Packaging: (obviously) fresh and/or cool foods are suitable to be used with EPS foam, as well as packaging non-food products and it’s practically everywhere
  • Filler: Compressed EPS has been used thanks to it’s thermal and shock absorption properties. One example include: Crash helmets
  • Products that uses EPS itself: Toys, windsurfing board

For forecast on EPS, click here to know more.

Source: 1,2,3

*Kindly take note, that while we strive to keep the information here as correct as possible, it should be treated for general purposes only. Read more on our disclaimer page here.

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