Expanded polystyrene packaging – EP

What is protected by expanded polystyrene EPS? How is EPS Expanded Polystyrene manufactured? What are the industries that primarily benefit from Expanded Polystyrene EPS?

Theme: Expanded polystyrene packaging – EPS

Perhaps best known for the commercial term Unicel or “white cork”, the packaging of Expanded Polystyrene – EPS are familiar to us all. They are used for the protection of all types of products during distribution and transport. Its unparalleled performance in terms of damping, thermal insulation and protection has turned Expanded Polystyrene – EPS into a common use material.


The most familiar and well-known applications are packaging of electronic equipment and appliances, as well as boxes for the transport and distribution of fresh fish and seafood.

Manufacture of Expanded Polystyrene-EPS

Expanded polystyrene is obtained from expandable polystyrene containing an expansion agent.

Expandable polystyrene in turn derives from oil, like all other plastic materials.

The processing process to manufacture finished articles in Expanded Polystyrene takes place in three stages:

PREEXPANSION: The raw material is heated with water vapor, in some machines called pre-expanders, at a temperature between 80 and 100 ºC. Material density decreases from 630 kg / m3 to 10-50 kg/m3. During this process, compact raw material pearls are converted into cellular plastic pearls with an interior structure of small cells filled with air.

RESTING AND INTERMEDIATE STABILIZATION: When it cools the particles newly expanded a vacuum is created in its interior that it is necessary to compensate with the penetration of air by diffusion. In this way the pearls reach a greater mechanical elasticity and improve their expansion capacity, which is advantageous for the next stage of transformation. This process takes place during the intermediate rest of the preexpanded material in ventilated silos. At the same time, the pearls dry up.

EXPANSION AND FINAL MOLDING: At this stage preexpanded and stabilized pearls are transported to molds where water vapor is again communicated to them and the pearls are released to each other. In this way you can obtain large blocks (which are later cut in the desired forms such as plates, bovedillas, cylinders, etc.), or products conformed with their definitive finish.

What is expanded polystyrene-EPS used for?

Due to its versatility and ease of shaping, in addition to its excellent qualities and properties, the Expanded Polystyrene – EPS has a wide range of applications. In the construction sector it is used as thermal insulation and lightening material. It is also used as packaging material for all types of products in various application sectors. In addition, it presents other applications not previously framed called miscellaneous applications.

Can Expanded Polystyrene-EPS be used in direct contact with food?

It can be used. The evaluation of plastic products with regard to the health implications and test methods for this evaluation has been established in several countries.

Expanded Polystyrene-EPS meets all the requirements of food contact legislation and there is no restriction whatsoever on the use of Expanded Polystyrene – EPS as packaging or items intended for the consumer, such as coffee glasses, plates.

For example, expanded polystyrene fish boxes are globally accepted. Fruit and vegetables are also packed in boxes of Expanded Polystyrene – EPS. This is not only for hygienic reasons, but the fact that the packaging of Expanded Polystyrene – EPS to maintain the temperature over long periods of time, have become the Expanded Polystyrene in a packaging material suitable for the food sector.

Expanded polystyrene is a material that, due to its low weight and high resistance, is ideal for the manufacture of packaging for the various products of the electronic, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, chemical, artisanal, etc.

Expanded polystyrene packaging is designed to fit perfectly into the product shape, combining various options of wall thickness, density and number of reinforcements.

On the other hand, the lightness of expanded polystyrene reduces transportation costs, labor and thanks to its resistance eliminates breakages, facilitating stowage, being able to withstand more than 1000 times its own weight.

The damping power of the expanded polystyrene allows it to absorb the energy produced by shocks and vibrations, preventing the packaged product from being damaged. Products requiring temperature control, for example fish, can be packaged in expanded polystyrene as their multiple cells act as independent air chambers insulating it thermally.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of various industries

Why use Expanded Polystyrene EPS construction? In which areas of the food sector is expanded polystyrene EPS used? How do EPS expanded polystyrene benefit industries?

Theme: Expanded polystyrene packaging – EPS

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in beverage packaging:

Expanded Polystyrene-EPS maintains the temperature conditions necessary for the preservation of drinks such as wine throughout the distribution process, as well as avoiding breakages due to its high capacity to cushion impacts.

On the other hand, it is possible to develop in Expanded Polystyrene – EPS presentation cases that enhance the image of bottled wine.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in ice cream and pastry packaging:

Ice cream and pastry products contain ingredients as delicate and sensitive to temperature changes as eggs or dairy products, which require a material such as Expanded Polystyrene – EPS that guarantees total protection, in terms of Hygiene and temperature requirements, to reach the consumer with all its flavor and consistency.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of various industries

Appliances, consumer electronics and computing

The adaptability of Expanded Polystyrene – EPS containers and packaging must be coupled with excellent impact damping behaviour. For this reason, a TV, computer, fridge or any other electronic or computer product of any size have in the Expanded Polystyrene – EPS its best ally to avoid damage during transport. In addition, the Expanded Polystyrene – EPS is perfectly integrated into the automation of the production chain and allows the possibility to stack the goods without problems, both in the warehouse and at the point of sale.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of electronic components and electrical material

The fragility of chips and other electronic or electrical components requires a solid protection that offers no doubt Expanded Polystyrene – EPS. Thanks to the studied design, Expanded Polystyrene – EPS containers are especially suitable for use in packaging, transport and storage chains and with the incorporation of certain additives in their manufacturing process the possible accumulation of static electricity is not a problem.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in Furniture packaging

In the form of corners or major pieces of protection the Expanded Polystyrene – EPS allows furniture to travel fully protected against knocks or falls, also allowing it to be stacked again in warehouses.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packing of Tools and machinery

The ease of shaping the Expanded Polystyrene-EPS makes it able to adapt to any form that a machine, tool or set of tools can have, allowing its full protection. Expanded polystyrene also protects metal tools or machinery from the harmful action of moisture due to its high resistance to moisture.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of Automotive Components

Used for the transport of all types of car parts, from headlights to rear – view mirrors, the Expanded Polystyrene-EPS protects them again thanks to its impact and humidity resistance.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in optical packaging, photography and precision apparatus

It is clear that optical, photographic and precision products are extremely sensitive in handling and during transport. A microscope, a camera lens, or a scale, among others, require a packaging material or packaging that guarantees this protection. Expanded Polystyrene-EPS then becomes indispensable for many of these products.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in toy packaging

In this application is important the “display effect” of the packaging of Expanded Polystyrene – EPS, capable of becoming good exhibitors of toy products. Expanded Polystyrene-EPS containers allow safe handling and transport of toy containers by protecting them from shocks or falls.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of Pharmacy, perfumery and cosmetics

Containers and packaging Expanded Polystyrene – EPS ensure the safety of goods during transportation and to turn become attractive “presenters” of the same when they are placed in the showcase or counter in the point of sale. Likewise, expanded polystyrene-EPS offers the guarantees of total hygiene and thermal insulation so important in vaccines and other pharmaceutical products.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in Horticulture and gardening packaging

Since the trays for the transport of plants, passing by the nursery, to special plates for the heating installations in greenhouses or elements of hydroponic cultivation, the Expanded Polystyrene – EPS offers a range of solutions covering all stages of the development and growth of the plants, protecting them during transit to their final destination.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of Building materials

Various building materials such as marbles, ceramic products, bath accessories, radiators, doors, etc.find in the Expanded Polystyrene – EPS a perfect ally to guarantee its perfect state of preservation until the moment of installation. The versatility of shapes that allow the packaging of Expanded Polystyrene-EPS makes it possible to design suitable solutions for each need.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in Food

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of Fish and shellfish:

The maximum guarantees of Hygiene and the maintenance of optimal levels of thermal protection are, together with the possibility of stacking without risk for the goods, the greatest advantages that expanded polystyrene – EPS packaging offers to fish, seafood and salazones.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of Meat and Poultry products:

The versatility in the design of Expanded Polystyrene – EPS enables the development of packaging suitable for small and large portions of processed or fresh meat products. On the other hand, Expanded Polystyrene – EPS ensures the hygiene guarantee and adequate thermal protection that meat and poultry products need.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in Fruit and Vegetable packaging:

Fruits and vegetables, from lettuce to melons, travel in the best conditions of hygiene thanks to the packaging of Expanded Polystyrene – EPS, prolonging their state of preservation thanks to the excellent thermal and mechanical protection of these containers, as well as bearing the moisture without problems.

Uses of Expanded Polystyrene in the packaging of Dairy products:

Thanks to its thermal qualities, Expanded Polystyrene – EPS guarantees the perspiration of tender cheeses so that they reach and maintain the appropriate ripening point, isolating the moisture and liquids they can generate. In this way, dairy products reach the consumer in perfect hygienic conditions.

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