Online shopping has become second-nature. Whether it is a new household appliance or a handmade vase from halfway across the world, technology has made it easy for us to place an order online and expect it on our doorstep a few days later. But, have you ever thought about the packaging for that blender? Or just how that beautiful vase can make it to your living room without even a tiny crack?
Transport packaging materials are intended to protect and preserve a product through the manufacturing process until delivery; it isn’t as simple as dropping the product into a box, filling it with packing peanuts (which, by the way, are made of EPS) and sending it away. Choosing the correct packaging materials includes taking many factors into account such as ease of handling and storage, weight, cushion and cost (among many others). It’s important to remember that a package encounters a variety of potential dangers on its journey. Those can include temperature extremes, pressure changes, humidity, shock and vibration (shock is defined as a brief, intense force like when a product is dropped while vibration is less intense but has a longer duration during transportation).
Cushioning properties are determined by their ability to provide the necessary protection for occurrences such as shock and vibration; the shock resistance of EPS depends on the thickness and density of the foam. In a recent cushion curve drop height analysis, results proved that EPS foam can absorb impacts efficiently and recover its physical shape quickly. These properties suggest that EPS foam is an ideal material for packaging fragile items within a wide range of weights and sizes. Not only that, but EPS resists deformation when compressed to 50-60% of its original thickness.
Whether it’s home goods or something more fragile like that homemade vase from Europe, take notice next time an item is shipped to your doorstep and how it’s packaged. Most likely, the packaging material will include some form of EPS foam. The most ideal material is EPS protective packaging because it offers a wide range of properties to allow packaging designers to meet protection and distribution needs of a variety of customers. Plus, it’s cost effective and in today’s market, quality and price are crucial.