At Plymouth Foam, an Altor Solutions Company, you hear us talk extensively about expanded polystyrene foam or EPS. EPS remains the product we produce the most of, so we are eager to educate readers and users about the material’s potential. But EPS is not the only commercial foam available in the market; multiple types, each with unique properties and advantages, exist.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam
EPS foam is a widely used material known for its excellent insulation properties, durability, and air-like weight. You hear us talking about it all the time on this blog! It is an affordable option widely used in the construction industry for insulation purposes. Furthermore, it is popular in packaging applications due to its shock-absorbing properties. In addition, EPS foam is environmentally friendly and can be easily recycled.
One of the significant advantages of EPS foam is its moldability, allowing for the creation of various shapes and sizes. This moldability makes it an excellent choice for creating intricate shapes and designs. It is famous for this reason among our clients who pack and ship products in non-standard dimensions. One of the most fun uses for the EPS is in creating surfboards! Its lightweight durability makes it an ideal material choice for the sport.
Expanded Polypropylene (EPP) Foam
EPP foam is a highly durable polypropylene composite made from closed-cell beads. It is exceptionally reusable and recyclable. It is lightweight due to the bead structure and provides excellent sound absorption and transmission reduction. It is the more popular choice in Europe than EPS; in the United States, primarily the automotive industry makes wide use of it.
EPP foam is known for its durability, making it an excellent choice when the elements or chemicals break down other materials. It is highly chemically resistant to acids and alkalis (alkaline chemicals). Finally, its ability to withstand high UV exposure and its insulation properties make it a sound choice for many building situations.
Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Foam
XPS foam is another popular foam material known for its excellent insulation properties. It is more expensive than EPS foam but offers superior insulation performance, making it a popular choice in the construction industry. Builders and construction companies use it in below-grade applications such as foundation walls, under concrete slabs, and roofing applications.
Unlike EPS foam, XPS foam is not easily recyclable, and it can be challenging to mold into complex shapes. In addition, it is a more brittle material and can easily crack or break, making it less suitable for packaging applications.
Polyurethane (PU) Foam
Polyurethane foam is a versatile material used in various applications, including automotive, construction, and furniture. It is known for its excellent thermal insulation properties and offers high comfort and support. It is also lightweight and durable, making it an ideal choice for transportation applications.
One of the drawbacks of polyurethane foam is that it is not environmentally friendly and can release harmful gasses during production. It is also more expensive than EPS foam and requires specialized manufacturing equipment.
Foam’s versatility makes for a long list of applications and advantages. Altor Solutions core business is EPS, which offers the most applications while still being environmentally friendly. If you are not sure which foam is best for your applications, reach out to us. We’re always happy to share our knowledge of the market. Our broad customer base trusts us to help them find solutions to their unique needs. If we can help you, please contact us.
We look forward to serving you!