Everything About Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)28/12/2022
Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) is a white foam plastic material produced from solid beads of polystyrene. It is primarily used for packaging, insulation, etc. It is a closed-cell, rigid foam material produced from:
Styrene – which forms the cellular structure.
Pentane – which is used as a blowing agent.
Both styrene and pentane are hydrocarbon compounds and are obtained from petroleum and natural gas byproducts.
EPS is very lightweight with very low thermal conductivity, low moisture absorption and excellent cushioning properties. One of the serious limitations of polystyrene foam is its rather low maximum operating temperature ~80°C. Its physical properties do not change within its service temperature range (i.e. up to 167°F/75°C) for long-term temperature exposure.
Its chemical resistance is nearly equivalent to the material upon which it is based – polystyrene.
EPS is 98% air and it is recyclable
Expanded Polystyrene Benefits.
EPS offers outstanding benefits:
- Thermal Insulation:
Due to its closed cell structure, comprising 98% air bound by a cellular polymer matrix, EPS has exceptionally low thermal conductivity. This helps keep food such as fish, meat and produce fresher for longer. It means less food wastage from temperature degradation.
- Impact Protection and Mechanical Strength:
EPS has extremely high shock absorbency characteristics and exceptional mechanical/compressive strength. These attributes help protect everything from fish and fresh produce to delicate electrical or electronic goods. EPS packaging is also widely acknowledged for its ability to protect high value and/or heavy goods – from domestic appliances to computers and TV sets.
EPS is 98% air, helping make it one of the lightest of all packaging materials. This brings significant beneficial impacts when it comes to handling, transportation and fuel costs.
- Moisture Resistant and Rot-proof:
EPS is non-hygroscopic which means it does not readily absorb or retain moisture from the atmosphere. It is also rot-proof. These are crucial attributes when it comes to protecting goods which may be affected by moisture.
- Environmentally Safe and Recyclable:
EPS is non-toxic, inert and contains no CFCs or HCFCs. It is odourless and tasteless and does not support fungal, bacteriological or animal growth. It has no attraction for vermin and is therefore ideal for food packaging. EPS can easily be recycled or beneficially recovered where facilities exist.
- Branding Options:
The smooth surface of EPS is suitable for printed or embossed corporate or product branding or adhesive labelling.