Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) Sets A Standard For Performance

Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) (previously referred to as Airehide®) sets a standard for performance.  EPP is a highly durable, reusable, recyclable polypropylene composite material. Its lightweight foam bead characteristic also provides excellent sound absorption and sound transmission reduction, component cooling efficiency, thermal insulation, vibration dampening, and electrical insulation. As a result, EPP is a perfect choice for product weight reduction, component housings, fastening and mounting, and wire routing with overall assembly time reduction on the production line. We have reduced components by over 50% in some cases through design integration.  

EPP materials density ranges from 1.2# (20 g/l) to 14# (225 g/l). The more common density is 1.9# (30 g/l) to 3.7# (60 g/l). EPP is widely used in Europe and Asia. In the US, most of the material is used in the automotive industry.  Plymouth Foam has worked with customers to develop products outside of the automotive industry.  We are “evangelists” for the properties of these materials.

We have designed and developed products and technology in multiple applications and industries.

Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) Properties

The air technology (interior) combined with the protective, rugged and durable hide (exterior) provides unique product solutions.

  • Vibration Dampening: Good vibration dampening and even isolation can be readily achieved with Airehide® materials. This is highly application specific engineered on an ad hoc basis.
  • Chemical Resistant Properties: Very good chemical resistance overall, particularity against acids and alkalines, solvents, grease, oil, etc.
  • Ultraviolet Radiation Resistance: Good UV resistance for most applications. Long-term exposure primarily affects surface color while some embrittlement, chalking and crazing can occur depending on exposure levels and durations.
  • Humidity and Water Resistance: Good resistance to humidity and water exposure. Typical water absorption, density dependent, is 0.1% to 0.3% by volume after 24 hours submersion and 0.6% after 1 week.

Expanded Particle Foam (EPP, EPE, xEPE, PEPP, ETPU, ETPO) Applications

The strength and lightweight properties fill the needs of a wide array of applications which can drive industry growth. Due to their ability to absorb massive impacts, these below materials are ideal for:

  • Cushioning (xEPE): back rests, head rests, arm rests, tools and pad holders
  • HVAC Enclosures (EPP): Enclosures for outdoor and indoor control panels, fan housings and shields, integrated wire management guides, lightweight structures
  • Impact Protection (EPP): Automotive door inserts and impact protection parts, car seats for infants, booster seats, helmet inserts
  • Travel and Storage Protection (EPP): Bicycle travel case, gun cases, delicate instrument cases
  • Totes and Returnable Packaging (EPP): Pallet totes, stackable trays, bins and trays for kitting, collapsible coolers and totes, custom fit totes
  • Structure and Buoyancy (EPE): Personal watercraft components, flotation parts, structural core
  • Impact and Resilience (ETPU / ETPO): BASF (Infinergy®) used in Adidas Boost Shoe Line, JSP working with PUMA and NIKE for ETPU Fit to Shape JSP, ISPO AWARD WINNER 2017 SALOMON Sense Ride Sole, VIBE Technology

Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) Industry Applications

Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) polymer materials have successfully been utilized in a variety of industries and applications where it is well suited to solve a number of common and difficult design, application and manufacturing problems.

  • Food & Beverage / Food Services / Pharmaceutical
  • Consumer Electronics
  • Medical Devices
  • Industrial Systems
  • Tools (Power and Hand)
  • Household Appliances
  • Returnable Systems
  • Transportation (Automotive, etc.)

Why Choose Expanded Polypropylene (EPP)?

“In addition to the unique properties for product performance, Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) provides 100% recyclable material properties” said Doreen Lettau, Vice President Market and Business Development.

For further assistance with polymer composite materials including; EPP, EPE, ETPU AND MORE…please contact sales@plymouthfoam.com.