Products made of expanded plastics are an integral part of our lives. Much like modern telecommunication technologies, they have provided innovative solutions that significantly impact our daily lives, while often going unnoticed… When we think about the materials that surround us, those that first come to mind are traditional materials like wood and metals. Then by taking a quick glance around us, we also realize the importance of rigid plastics that can be seen everywhere in our homes, like polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC: outer casings of electronic devices and household appliances, containers and utensils, and all kinds of consumer goods. But did you know that expanded plastics, which are more readily associated with protective packaging, have become indispensable in many sectors because of their low cost and unique characteristics?
Common Applications for Expanded Plastics
Expanded plastics are in ever-increasing demand in a wide array of commercial and industrial sectors. The reason is simple: savvy business owners understand that the end quality of the product depends on the performance of its raw materials.
Polyform uses a diverse range of high-performance materials that have been tried and tested, and that possess highly sought-after qualities for a large variety of applications. Here are just a few examples:
- Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is ultralight, waterproof, insulating and impact resistant. These properties make it an ideal material for protective packaging, insulated containers like coolers, insulating boards that protect our houses against cold and humidity, and for a myriad of other uses such as bean bags, foam planters, floating docks and spa covers!
- Expanded polypropylene (EPP) is similar to EPS, but with added value: its shape memory makes it a highly prized material for flotation products, many automotive components such as bumpers and dashboards, protective helmets for sports and, after a hard workout, even foam rollers to relieve muscle pain!
- Expanded polyethylene (EPE), which combines the advantages of EPS and EPP, also offers more elasticity, a highly sought-after characteristic when high impact absorption and bending resistance are paramount, as for the packaging of very fragile objects, and for a wide variety of components for items like life jackets, baby play mats, or seats for various vehicles.
These three main categories of expanded plastics are the most common, but know that other varieties of EPS exist that offer a superior insulation factor, while others are biodegradable or contain a percentage of recycled material. As for EPP, it can be rendered antistatic, or offer higher bending resistance when combined with EPE. And the possibilities don’t stop there…
To get to know the full range of expanded plastics in Polyform’s arsenal, visit our raw materials page, where you will discover the depth of creative genius devoted to researching expanded plastics transformation techniques!