Expended Polystyrene Properties

 

 

As said earlier there are many possible alternatives for construction of Pre-Fabricated Construction Solutions, especially in terms of core material used but mostly our company uses EPS (Expended Polystyrene) as its core material. The reasons for use of EPS are:

Light Weight

EPS is a lightweight cellular plastics material consisting of small spherical shaped particles containing about 98% air. This microcellular closed cell construction provides EPS with excellent insulating and shock absorbing characteristics.

EPS is produced in a wide range of densities providing a varying range of physical properties. These are matched to the various applications where the material is used to optimize its performance.

EPS is widely used in many everyday situations where its light weight, strength, thermal insulation and shock absorption characteristics provide economic, high performance products.

 

Thermal Insulation

EPS has exceptional insulation properties, with a thermal resistance (R value) of 1.31 per 50mm of thickness for S class material, as defined by AS 1366 part 3: 1992. This makes it ideal for wall and under floor insulation and external cladding of buildings.

Because of its cellular structure EPS is dimensionally stable, and will not settle over time. EPS used and installed correctly does not deteriorate with age and as such is able to deliver constant R values for the life of the building.

Typical k Values (W/mK)

Brick                      

1.15

Glass

1.05

Concrete

1.25

Plaster Board(19mm)

0.23

Wood

0.14

Compressed wood

0.06

Fibreglass

0.05

EPS-Class SL

0.04

EPS-Class VH

0.03

 

The almost exclusive use of EPS as the insulation material for cool stores and freezers is testament to its insulation ability in the most demanding of all insulation applications.

Equally, for the transport of chilled food such as fish, EPS is the ideal material for the boxes used in this application.

Variation in k Value with mean temperature kValue (W/mK)

EPS Class - from AS 1366.3

Mean Temperature

SL

S

M

H

VH

0C

0.04

0.04

0.03

0.03

0.03

2.5C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.03

0.03

5C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.03

0.03

7.5C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.03

10C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.03

12.5C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.03

15C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.03

17.5C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.03

20C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

22.5C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

25C

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04

0.04


Shock Absorption

EPS exhibits excellent shock absorbing characteristics making it the first choice for packaging of a wide range of products including appliances, electronic products, computers and chemicals.

Its predictable characteristics enable packaging to be accurately designed to suit each product, and provide cost effective packaging.

 

Durability

EPS is an inert, organic material, and therefore will not rot and is highly resistant to mildew. It provides no nutritive value to plants, animals, micro organisms or rodents. EPS will last the life of most buildings in which it is used, provided it does not suffer physical damage.

 

Moisture Resistance

EPS is a closed cell material and does not readily absorb water, unless subjected to prolonged saturation. Even in this situation it maintains its shape, size, structure, physical appearance and approximately 85% of its insulation value.

The ability of EPS to resist moisture is exemplified by its widespread use in fishing floats and marinas, involving exposure to water for prolonged periods of time.

 

Light Weight

EPS is an extremely light weight material. Typically weighing between 12 and 30 kg per cubic metre, EPS has many advantages over other materials in packaging applications.

Equally in building situations, this lightweight characteristic is a major advantage in providing structural design economies. Additionally, when shaped to provide intricate architectural features, it allows architects the freedom to create historical, innovative and economic enhancements to buildings while still meeting strength and earthquake codes.

 

Safety

EPS is environmentally friendly, containing no CFCs or HCFCs, it is inert and safe for contact with food products, and requires much less energy to produce than many other materials.

In applications where fire resistance is necessary or desirable, such as building products, EPS is supplied containing a flame retardant which in normal use prevents ignition of the EPS if exposed to a flame. In a fire situation EPS generates less heat and smoke than most timbers and wood based products.

 

Ease of Use

EPS is supplied either molded to the exact shape required for its use, or can be easily cut and shaped when required to suit any application. Its light weight makes handling easy and safe. EPS does not irritate the skin and is non allergenic.

 

Proven Experience

EPS has been used throughout the world for over 40 years in an extremely wide range of applications. Experience has proven that EPS performance can be reliably predicted wherever it is used. Manufacturers have developed and refined processes so products are consistent and of a high quality. Regulatory authorities are familiar with EPS and generally well aware of its excellent properties. EPS is widely respected throughout the world as a versatile, efficient material which plays an important part in our everyday life.

 

Chemical Resistance

EPS is resistant to almost all aqueous media including dilute acids and alkalis, methanol, ethanol and silicone oils. It has limited resistance to paraffin oil, vegetable oils, diesel fuel and Vaseline.