Expanded Polystyrene Foam- What is it and how do we use it?
Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS) is made by combining polystyrene beads with heat and steam, which works to expand the beads. The beads sit for 24 hours then are placed in a mold, combined with more steam and heat to allow for further expansion and to fuse the beads together. The foam blocks then go through a drying process that can last a few days or up to two weeks, depending on whether a drying room is used or not. (source:EPSfoampro.com)
Traditional uses for EPS foam include insulation and road construction. However, here at Smash, we like to break out of the ordinary. Uses for EPS foam here included architectural work, prop making, themed environments and more.
Why use EPS foam?
One reason EPS foam is so great to work with is because it can be cut into any shape. As is explained in the previous blog, with many of our EPS foam projects, the design is communicated to our 3D router, which subtracts away the foam that is not needed. A 3D CNC can easily cutout pieces that, when put together, create any shape needed- elephants, giraffes, cars, baseball bats, or trees- the possibilities are endless with EPS foam.
Another reason EPS is preferred over other alternatives, such as metals or wood, is because it is so lightweight. EPS foam is comprised of over 95% air. Because of it’s lightness, EPS is uses in boats, or in some cases, can be used to create a golfer’s dream green, floating in water!
At the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Spa, they did just that. Famous among the golfing world, the floating green is made of EPS foam because it is so light- it floats! This is important for us here at Smash, because once our product is completed, the transportation and installation is made much more do-able with lightweight EPS foam. We’re sure clients don’t mind a lighter, easily installable product!
EPS foam- It’s light, easily shaped, and is perfect for many projects