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Properties of Expanded Polystyrene

Properties of Expanded Polystyrene

Expanded polystyrene is widely used in building and construction as its inherent strength, durability, and thermal insulation properties make it an ideal choice for energy efficient buildings.

Foamex polystyrene building products make a major contribution to the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of construction as well as contributing to the sustainability of completed projects.

Light Weight
Comprised of about 98 percent air, expanded polystyrene is extremely lightweight, making it ideal for transport and installation. According to Expanded Polystyrene Australia, the lightweight nature of expanded polystyrene means energy consumption for transport fuel is also reduced and vehicle emissions minimised – all contributing to minimising global warming.

Moisture Resistant
EPS is a closed cell material and does not readily absorb water. Even when subjected to prolonged saturation in water, EPS will still maintain its shape, size, structure, and physical appearance and will retain 80% of its thermal value.

Durability
The cellular structure of expanded polystyrene makes it dimensionally stable and therefore does not deteriorate with age. A study undertaken in Norway monitoring the effects of time on the performance of EPS have concluded that no deficiency effects are to be expected from EPS fills placed in the ground for a normal life cycle of 100 years.

Thermal Efficiency
When compared to brick veneer, there’s no doubt that expanded polystyrene has superior thermal properties. This is quantified through the “R-value” of the two materials, or thermal resistance, which is an approximate measurement of how much the material impedes the transfer of heat.

According to the Australian Government’s Your Home website, traditional brick veneer walls offer a R-value of 0.45 which does not meet the recommended levels of thermal resistance according to Choice. Depending on your choice of thickness for expanded polystyrene, this translates to being only between 18% and 45% as effective as expanded polystyrene which has an R-value of up to 2.78.

Versatility
EPS can be manufactured to almost any shape or size, or it can be easily cut and shaped when required to suit any application. Widely used across a number of building applications, Styroboard EPS is a versatile and well proven construction material.

On-Site Ease of Use
For building and construction applications, EPS is widely considered to be one of the easiest materials to install on site thanks to its versatility and lightweight properties.

Environmental Sustainability
The manufacture of Styroboard EPS produces no ozone depleting gases and uses no chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

For each kilogram of oil used in the manufacture of Styroboard insulation, savings of up to 200kg of heating fuel can be made over the average lifespan of a house. In turn this plays a positive role in reducing carbon dioxide emissions and the effects of global warming.

Styroboard EPS from Foamex does not degrade into harmful substances or contaminate ground water.

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