Expandable Polystyrene (EPS)
Expandable Polystyreen (EPS, or Styrofoam) is a plastic material (pure carbon hydrogen) derived from oil.
Liquid styrene monomer is heated slowly in a reactor with water, untill polystyrene grains are formed. At the same time, pentane (a natural gas comparable to methane) is added. After drying and sieving, the grains are ready to be used for the moulding proces at LEMAHIEU.
By heating with steam, the pentane and the EPS grains expand to 40-50 times their original size. This first step determines the density of the final product.
The prefoamed beads are blown in a mould and heated for a second time. The particles expand again and are fused creating a homogenuous part in EPS. Mouldings in EPS consist of 2% of polystyrene and 98% of pure air. No CFC's are used, nor during the production of the raw material, nor during the processing at LEMAHIEU. EPS is chemically neutral and doesn't dissolve in water, so it doesn't cause pollution of the ground water. EPS has a low specific weight compared to other materials, reducing the use of raw materials.
EPS can be recycled 100%.
Reuse after grinding in new EPS mouldings
Reuse for production of light concrete
Grinded EPS in walls (insulation)
Recycling by extrusion to compact polystyrene
Thermal energy recuperation (1 kg EPS = 1.2 to 1.4 liter oil)
The applications of EPS are mainly situated in the field of packaging and insulation, because of following properties:
High energy absorption (during impact)
Excellent thermal insulation
Resistent to moisture and temperature changes, no influence on packed goods.
Low specific weight
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