Polystyrene, advantages and some of the fields where it exceeds customer’s expectations
Polystyrene is a versatile plastic used to make a wide variety of consumer products. Since it is a hard and solid plastic, it is frequently used in products that require transparency, such as food packaging and laboratory equipment. When combined with various colorants, additives and other plastics, polystyrene is used to make appliances, electronics, automotive parts, toys, pots and garden equipment, among others.
Polystyrene is also manufactured in the form of foam material called expanded polystyrene (EPS) or extruded polystyrene (XPS), valued for its insulation and quilting properties. Foamed polystyrene can have more than 95 percent air and is used as a household and appliance insulator, lightweight protective packaging, surf boards, food service and food packaging, automotive parts, road stabilisation systems and boundary much more.
Polystyrene is manufactured by spinning or polymerising styrene, a fundamental chemical used in the manufacture of various products. Styrene is also found naturally in foods such as strawberries, cinnamon, coffee and beef.
Refrigerators, air conditioners, ovens, microwave ovens, vacuum cleaners, blenders; These and other appliances are usually made of polystyrene (solid and foam) because it is inert (does not react with other materials), economical and durable.
Find the most remarkable EPS is the industry here at NPS which the leading manufacturer of high quality is expanded polystyrene (EPS) products used as the preferred material for building, construction, civil engineering and more.
Polystyrene in the automotive industry
Polystyrene (solid and foam) is used to make many auto parts, such as knobs, instrument panels, mouldings, energy absorption panels for doors and foam to mitigate noise. Styrofoam is also used in child safety seats.
Polystyrene in electronic devices
Polystyrene is used for housings and other component parts of televisions, computers and all types of IT equipment, where a combination of form, function and aesthetics is essential.
Polystyrene in the food service sector
Packaging for polystyrene food service is usually better insulating, keeps food fresh longer and costs less than other alternatives.
Polystyrene in insulation systems
Lightweight polystyrene foam provides excellent thermal insulation in various applications such as building walls and roofs, refrigerators and refrigerators, and industrial cold storage facilities. The polystyrene insulation is inert, durable and resistant to damage caused by water.
Polystyrene in the medical sector
Given its transparency and easy sterilisation, polystyrene is used in a wide range of medical applications, such as culture trays, test tubes, Petri dishes, diagnostic components, housing for testing equipment and medical devices.
Polystyrene in packaging methods
Polystyrene (solid and foam) is used to protect consumer products. Among others, CD and DVD cases, peanut containers for shipping, food containers, poultry and meat trays and egg cartons are usually manufactured with polystyrene to protect them from damage or deterioration.
Advantages and disadvantages of expanded polystyrene in construction
Expanded polystyrene is a very light and economical material, which means that we find it easily fulfilling different and varied functions, such as serving as thermal insulation or being a packaging element for electrical appliances, among others.
Its usefulness as a structural element in construction is marked by the controversy between the defenders of using it and the detractors. To shed a little light on this issue, in this post we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of polystyrene vaults so that you can then choose.
This material is also known as porexpan or more technically as EPS (expanded polystyrene). Its apparent fragility invites us to think that it is not suitable as a structural element and to consider the other possible alternatives, which are the ceramic vault or the concrete one. From this comparison arises the need to detail the strengths and weaknesses of the polystyrene vault.
Advantages of putting polystyrene vault in a structure:
- Lightening of the slab. Being a less dense material than ceramics or concrete, it covers the same surface, supporting less weight, which will allow more freedom when locating the pillars of the building and will make more difficult the deformation of the roof.
- Ease of placement. Due to its lightness, the placement of the pieces is quicker, which allows considerable time savings and, therefore, labour.
- Big size. Its reduced weight allows the manufacture of larger pieces that cover the same surface with fewer parts, with the consequent time saving.
- Thermal isolation. Polystyrene is a material that is used as thermal insulation in the form of panels, so that a slab with these vaults will better thermally insulate the building, provided that care is taken not to leave thermal bridges in the installation.
The cost is reduced in other materials, such as steel, due to the reduction of the weight of the floor. It is not necessary to use cranes and elevators to transport them, which means that costs are minimised.
Disadvantages of using a polystyrene vault in a structure:
- Reduced acoustic insulation. The density of a material is key to its behaviour against airborne noise. As the polystyrene is not very dense, this vault does not acoustically isolate efficiently, so it is necessary to add other acoustic insulation systems to compensate this factor.
- They are flammable. Another system that protects the structure of the fire must be added. Inside the vault cannot put high heat sources such as heating tubes or bulbs that reach high temperature.
- Bad adhesion of plasters and mortars. This circumstance can be saved with pastes with added additives or by making slots in the vault so that the paste has greater mechanical grip.
- It supports lower loads on the roof. This is an aspect to keep in mind when hanging items such as a lamp.
Knowing these advantages and disadvantages, you can already make an assessment on whether it is preferable that in your project you use polystyrene vaults or instead put concrete or ceramic. The balance will be tilted for one option or another depending on each specific case and the needs of each construction.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) provided by NPS is an engineered material that can be shaped or profile cut into any simple or intricately designed object with the added benefit of being thermally efficient, lightweight, simple and safe to work with, fully recyclable and cost effective. Contact us today if you need more information about our services and products.