Styrofoam is a familiar material we see everywhere from insulated coffee cups to packing peanuts. What we know as styrofoam insulation, however, is actually closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam board (EPS or XPS).
Foam boards are rigid panels that can be used to insulate any exposed cavity in your home or pole barn. They’re lightweight, inexpensive and moisture resistant.
Polystyrene foam board is a versatile and effective form of insulation. It is an eco-friendly choice for builders and homeowners seeking to meet energy efficiency standards. Unlike PIR and PUR, which contain chemical products that decrease their insulating abilities over time, EPS and XPS are made with only one material and are easy to recycle.
XPS is manufactured using an extrusion process, which produces a rigid insulation board that has a high R-value and no moisture absorption. It is a durable and cost-effective alternative to other insulation materials, such as wood framing or drywall.
It is easily installed in stud walls with a box knife or a carpenter’s handsaw. To prevent water from penetrating the insulator and causing mold or mildew, it is important to cover it with a layer of drywall upon installation. Properly installed XPS sheathing can significantly reduce air movement through wall cavities, which can rob buildings of energy. It can be secured to studs with 25.4-mm head plastic cap nails or staples long enough to penetrate framing at least 19 mm (0.75 in).
The insulating and packaging properties of foam polystyrene are very useful in commercial applications. Food containers like cups, plates and clamshells are often made from this material. This is because EPS can be molded into many shapes to accommodate different products. Moreover, it is lightweight and has superior moisture resistance to protect products from damage and spoilage during transportation.
Unlike other materials, EPS is not a fire hazard, as long as no flame retardant additives or coatings are used. This makes it a good choice for transporting delicate medical equipment and electrical consumer goods. It is also great for insulating products requiring temperature control during storage and shipping.
Foam boards are also commonly used for professional presentations. Stylish and affordable, these thick panels can easily be printed with texts and infographics for a variety of uses. They are also an ideal option for dressing up a stand at a market or conference. This is because they are easy to cut and can be shaped into any shape.
You can use these foam rectangles to create one-of-a-kind decorations or party centerpieces. They have a smooth surface that can be decorated with stencils, paint, twine, ribbon and other embellishments to make your project truly unique. The possibilities are endless!
Foam board is lightweight, making it ideal for designers, prop specialists and model crafters. It is also easy to cut and comes in a range of thicknesses. Glues such as hot glue and PVA adhere well to foam boards without damaging the glossy covering.
You can choose between expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) and plastic-based foam options that are more moisture resistant than EPS. The process of producing EPS involves mixing unexpanded styrene beads with a liquid bonding agent and heating them. The resulting material expands and hardens as it cools. This type of foam does not absorb water unless it is subjected to prolonged exposure. For this reason, EPS used in building construction must be covered with an exterior vapor barrier to prevent water-logging.
The smooth panels of foam board can be used for a number of creative applications. For example, they can be easily cut and pasted to produce a unique memory board. Photographers, designers and sculptors use the material to help reflect light or to make models. Foamboard is also commonly used in business windows as a way to draw attention to the services or products they offer. It is often favored by those who enjoy art as it is simple and inexpensive to mount photos on.
Polystyrene board can be cut with a laser, hot wire or razor knife. It can be sanded, painted and coated to enhance its appearance. It is less expensive than other materials, but it will not last as long as wood or other hard boards. It also does not hold paint as well as those materials. Expanded polystyrene (EPS), sometimes called Styrofoam, is a lightweight cellular plastic material made from expanding beads of polystyrene and a bonding agent. It has a relatively low R-Value for its weight and uses up to 98% air. It is the least expensive of today’s foam boards.