Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

Definition - What does Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) mean?

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) refers to a rigid, tough and lightweight thermoplastic product. EPS is generally white and made of pre-expanded polystyrene beads. EPS is ideal for the packaging and construction industries due to its light weight, strong and excellent thermal insulation properties. It is the largest commodity polymer produced in the world.

EPS is highly resistant to biological corrosion. It also minimizes the effects of moisture and water vapor, which is why it is used as an insulation product.

Corrosionpedia explains Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

Expanded polystyrene is solid foam or thermoplastic product that has characteristics such as low weight, insulation properties and durability. The thermal qualities of expanded polystyrene improve with its strength (density). EPS has a variety of applications such as for thermal insulation boards in building constructions and packaging products. EPS insulation foam is also used in closed cavity walls, roofs and floor insulation. It is the automatic choice for electronic goods cushioning and packaging. Manufacturers rely heavily on EPS due to its insulation and shock absorption capacity, as well as its ability to prevent or minimize product damage during the transportation of sophisticated equipment.

EPS is easy to install on the construction site. Besides construction and packaging, EPS is also used to make protective crash helmets for sports personnel and others.

EPS is manufactured through a polymerization process and is a derivative of ethylene and benzene. EPS uses two molding processes:

  • Block molding – produces large blocks of EPS that later cut into shapes or sheets for using packaging and building/construction applications.
  • Shape molding – produces parts that are made as per custom design; used mainly for the packaging of electronic products.

EPS is completely recyclable, which means less demand for raw materials and low energy consumption.

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