All Things You Didn't Know Were Made With EPS: Unveiling the Versatility of Expanded Polystyrene

expanded polystyrene beads

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a remarkable material renowned for its lightweight and rigid foam properties, making it an excellent choice for insulation on walls, roofs, and floors. However, its versatility extends far beyond the realm of construction. EPS finds widespread application in diverse fields, such as packaging, shipping, and even the production of flotation devices.

What is Expanded Polystyrene

EPS is a lightweight, rigid, closed-cell foam. It is manufactured in different compressive strengths depending upon its desired use. Its closed-cell structure reduces water absorption and enables low vapor permanence. Molded blocks are manufactured in a two-stage process:

  • Stage One – Raw polystyrene beads are expanded with steam. This creates larger pre-puff beads. These beads are dried and cured in large bags. They are then put into a block-shaped mold and steamed again to create a block.
  • Stage Two – The blocks are aged and dried before being cut into necessary sizes and shapes based on need and project type.

EPS in Everyday Life

EPS is used across industries as it is a versatile material that is easy to produce, manipulate, and distribute. You can find expanded polystyrene used in the following applications:

  • Insulation and Construction – EPS is used in walls, roofs, and floors and can be tailored to meet the needs of specific construction systems like beam and block construction, below concrete slabs, and underfloor heating systems. It acts as energy-efficient insulation for buildings. It can also be used as void filling and fill material for road or rail embankments. It has soundproofing abilities and can soundproof walls, windows, RV insulation, and doors.
  • Packaging and Shipping – EPS is often used as protective packaging for fragile items. It adds very little weight to packaging, making it a cost-effective option for shipping and distribution companies.
  • Food and Beverage Industry – EPS is often used in the food and beverage industry to create food-safe insulated containers for food transportation and distribution. It also makes disposable food service products like bowls, cups, plates, and take-out containers.

Surprising Applications of EPS

Manufacturers of EPS have discovered surprising applications for their products. Because expanded polystyrene is lightweight, dense, and buoyant, it can be used for:

  • Surfboards and Water Sports – EPS is the perfect core material for crafting surfboards, wakeboards, and bodyboards. It is easily sculpted and manipulated into the appropriate shape but isn’t easily broken. With the proper treatment, it can create a very durable and versatile material for water sports.
  • Set Design and Props – EPS is often used in theater and movie productions, as it is lightweight and can be sculpted, painted, and added to fulfill a wide range of visual needs. Because EPS is inexpensive, flexible, and recyclable, it is a low-risk way to create believable props for short-term productions without dramatically affecting the budget.
  • Synthetic Ice Rinks – EPS can create artificial ice surfaces to insulate synthetic or mechanically-frozen ice rinks. A board of EPS is placed beneath the slabs of artificial ice to reduce the risk of soil frost heaving below. EPS also shortens the timeframe for removing ice surfaces, as well as the capacity of the equipment used for refrigeration. This can lower energy costs and reduce operating costs for the risk.

Introducing Epsilyte: Leading the Way in Advanced EPS Materials

Epsilyte is a leading North American producer of advanced EPS material used in construction, packaging, and safety equipment materials. We specialize in durable, sustainable building materials and applications committed to creating eco-friendly manufacturing and distributing processes. We focus strongly on sustainability and innovation while balancing production and profitability. We operate three production sites and sell products in over 16 countries.

EPS in Environmental Sustainability

EPS is a green material. It has always been free of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC). Manufacturing facilities that produce EPS are environmentally conscious and recycle all trim. They also accept recyclable EPS from the public to reduce the amount in landfills. These manufacturing facilities use a process that captures the pentane released during production and reroutes it through the boiler, thus reducing the amount of natural gas needed to create various products and reducing their carbon footprint. This keeps the air clean and lessens the dependence on landfills.

EPS is created from organic elements, namely carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. It does not contain harmful chemicals or create toxic byproducts like CFCs and HCFCs. Epsilyte is committed to maintaining a sustainable manufacturing process that does as little harm to the environment as possible. We are also dedicated to advancing production efficiencies and reducing their carbon footprint. Epsilyte stays current on continuing advancements in the industry, keeping up with trends, research, and studies that improve production, sustainability, and eco-friendly initiatives. Manufacturers, recyclers, and distributors work together to ensure sustainable practices and make recycling products easier for consumers and buyers.

Learn More About the Versatility of EPS

The versatility and ease of EPS production, its low carbon impact, and the fact that it is recyclable make it a wise choice across applications and industries. At Epsilyte, our role as a prominent producer of advanced EPS materials makes us a natural choice for your future needs. To learn more about innovative and sustainable solutions in your industry, contact us today.