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What is EPS?
E.P.S. (Expandable Poly Styrene) is a lightweight, rigid, plastic foam insulation material produced from solid particles of polystyrene. Expansion is achieved by virtue of small amounts of pentane gas dissolved into the polystyrene base material during production. The gas expands under the action of heat, applied as steam, to form perfectly closed cells of EPS. These cells occupy approximately 40 times the volume of the original polystyrene bead. The EPS beads are then moulded into appropriate forms suited to their application.

Prices for EPS rawmaterial changed drastically in the past 2 years, ask your local manufacturer for an offer.

The manufacture of EPS conforms to the most stringent health and safety requirements in India.

There are 5 manufacturing stages:

1) Pre-expansion:
Polystyrene granules are expanded by free exposure to steam to form larger beads, each consisting of a series of non-interconnecting cells.

2) Conditioning:
After expansion, the beads still contain small quantities of both condensed steam and pentane gas. As they cool in the silos, air gradually diffuses into the pores, replacing, in part, the other components.

3) Moulding:
The beads are moulded to form boards, blocks or customised products. The mould serves to shape and retain the pre-foam, and steam is again used to promote expansion. During moulding, the steam causes fusion of each bead to its neighbours, thus forming a homogeneous product.

4) Shaping:
Following a short cooling period, the moulded block is removed from the machine, and after further conditioning, may be cut or shaped as required using hot wire elements or other appropriate techniques.

5) Post-production processing:
The finished product can be laminated with foils, plastics, roofing felt, fibreboard or other facings such as roof or wall cladding material.

Properties :
The properties of EPS insulation materials for buildings and their test methods are defined in EN 13163, which is mandatory since 13 May 2003 for all EU countries. Further standards are under development, such as for installed equipment and for civil engineering applications.

These harmonised European standards include of a list of properties and test methods, both for general and for specific applications.

The manufacturer declares the properties of the specified product, and is allowed - after initial type testing by a notified body and taking into regard the conformity rules in EN 13172 - to put CE marking on the product. Compliance with 'local' building regulations is based on the performance level of the finished product and settled in each EU country still on its own way.

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