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EPS is a lightweight cellular plastics material consisting of small spherical shaped particles containing about 98% air. This micro cellular closed cell construction provides EPS with excellent insulating and shock absorbing characteristics.

EPS is produced in a wide range of densities providing a varying range of physical properties. These are matched to the various applications where the material is used to optimize its performance.

EPS is widely used in many everyday situations where its light weight, strength, thermal insulation and shock absorption characteristics provide economic, high performance products.

 

 

 

 

DURABILITY  

 

EPS is an inert, organic material, and therefore will not rot and is highly resistant to mildew. It provides no nutritive value to plants, animals, micro organisms or rodents.

EPS will last the life of most buildings in which it is used, provided it does not suffer physical damage.

 

SHOCK ABSORPTION

 

EPS exhibits excellent shock absorbing characteristics making it the first choice for packaging of a wide range of products including appliances, electronic products, computers and chemicals.

Its predictable characteristics enable packaging to be accurately designed to suit each product, and provide cost effective packaging.

 

 

MOISTURE RESISTANCE

 

EPS is a closed cell material and does not readily absorb water, unless subjected to prolonged saturation. Even in this situation it maintains its shape, size, structure, physical appearance and approximately 85% of its insulation value.

The ability of EPS to resist moisture is exemplified by its widespread use in fishing floats and marinas, involving exposure to water for prolonged periods of time.

 

Properties of the Various Classes of EPS Produced to as 1366-Part 3, 1992

 

 

PHYSICAL PROPERTY

UNIT

SL

S

M

H

VH

TEST METHOD

Compressive stress at 10% deformation (min)

kPa

70

85

105

135

165

AS 2498.3

Cross-breaking strength (min)

kPa

135

165

200

260

320

AS 2498.4

Rate of water vapour transmission (max) measured parallel to rise at 23oC

mg/m2s

630

580

520

460

400

AS2498.5

Dimensional stability of length, width, thickness (max) at 70oC, dry condition 7 days

%

1

1

1

1

1

AS2498.6

Thermal resistance (min) at a mean temperature of 25oC

m2.K/W

1.13

1.17

1.20

1.25

1.28

AS 2464.5 or
AS2464.6

Flame propagation
characteristics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

AS 2122.1

median flame duration (max)

s

2

2

2

2

2

 

eighth value (max)

s

3

3

3

3

3

 

median volume retained

%

18

22

30

40

50

 

eighth value (min)

%

15

19

27

37

47

 

 

 

 SAFETY

 

LIGHT WEIGHT

EPS is environmentally friendly, containing no CFCs or HCFCs, it is inert and safe for contact with food products, and requires much less energy to produce than many other materials.

In applications where fire resistance is necessary or desirable, such as building products, EPS is supplied containing a flame retardant which in normal use prevents ignition of the EPS if exposed to a flame. In a fire situation EPS generates less heat and smoke than most timbers and wood based products.

 

 

EPS is an extremely light weight material. Typically weighing between 12 and 30 kg per cubic meter, EPS has many advantages over other materials in packaging applications.

Equally in building situations, this lightweight characteristic is a major advantage in providing structural design economies. Additionally, when shaped to provide intricate architectural features, it allows architects the freedom to create historical, innovative and economic enhancements to buildings while still meeting strength and earthquake codes.

 

 

 

 

 

Fire Resistance

 

All EPS used in construction products in New Zealand contains a flame retardant conforming to AS 1366, part 3 - 1992.

The flame retardant reduces the flammability and spread of flame on the surface of EPS products, to such an extent that it is classified as "flame retardant" according to the European Standard DIN 4102.

The flammability of EPS construction products is reduced with surface coatings, such as plaster, and metal cladding as in sandwich panels. Non flame retardant EPS, typically used in packaging, will sustain combustion and the resultant fire spread at a rate of about 3cm per minute over the surface. This is comparable to other combustible solid materials. EPS does not catch fire spontaneously, and small sources of ignition will not ignite it

For more information on EPS, see New Zealand Plastic's  website

 

 

  CHEMICAL RESISTANCE
 

 

EPS is resistant to almost all aqueous media including dilute acids and alkalis, methanol, ethanol and silicone oils.

It has limited resistance to paraffin oil, vegetable oils, diesel fuel and Vaseline.

 

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