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Plastics & Elastomers
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS): Ultimate Guide on Foam Insulation Material

Popular Applications of Expanded polystyrene (EPS)

The properties and technical characteristics of expanded polystyrene allow it to be used for a large number of applications - from building and construction to food packaging. Among them, the most common ones are those related to thermal insulation and mechanical resistance as well as low weight and resistance to moisture. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is used for the production of a number of applications listed below.

Overview

Key Applications

Building and Construction

EPS is widely used in the building and construction industry thanks to its insulation properties, chemical inertness, bacterial & pest resistance, etc. Its closed-cell structure allows only a little water absorption. It is durable, strong and can be used as insulated panel systems for facades, walls, roofs and floors in buildings, as flotation material in the construction of marinas and pontoons and as a lightweight fill in road and railway construction.

Expanded polystyrene insulation offers numerous environmental advantages, including:
  • Reduced energy consumption
  • Recycled content
  • Localized distribution and
  • Improved indoor air quality

Food Packaging

EPS can be extruded using conventional equipment to form a continuous sheet. This sheet may later be formed (e.g. using vacuum forming, pressure forming) to produce articles such as fruit trays, etc.

EPS does not have any nutritional value and hence it does not support fungal, bacteriological, or any other microorganism growth. Therefore, it is widely used in the packaging of foodstuffs such as seafood, fruit, and vegetables. The thermal insulating properties of EPS helps keep food fresh and prevent condensation throughout the distribution chain.

It is a widely used material to produce food service containers like drink cups, food trays and clamshell containers.

When packed in EPS, fruits and vegetables retain their vitamin C content longer than food packaging in other materials.

Industrial Packaging

EPS packaging is often used for industrial packaging. It provides industrial products with the ideal material for complete protection and safety from risk in transport and handling thanks to its shock absorption property. This rigid lightweight foam can be molded into any shape for protecting and insulating sensitive products such as delicate medical equipment, electronic components, electrical consumer goods, toys as well as horticulture products during transport and storage.

EPS is also used to make disposable foam coolers and packing peanuts for shipping. In packaging applications, packaging density must be considered when choosing the correct level of cushioning needed for the job.

Other Applications of Molded EPS

EPS can be molded into any shape, examples:
  • Sports helmets
  • Infant car seats
  • Chairs
  • Seating in sports cars
  • Load-bearing structurally insulated panels etc.

EPS is widely used in building and construction industry thanks to its insulation properties
EPS is widely used material to produce food service containers like drink cups, food trays and clamshell containers
EPS can be molded into any shape e.g., widely used in sports helmets liners

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