Foam plastic: what it is, types, what it is made of, dimensions, characteristics, where it is used

Insulation is essential for maintaining a warm and energy-efficient home. Foam plastic is one substance that has grown in popularity for use as insulation. However, what is foam plastic precisely, and why is it becoming more popular? Let’s explore the realm of foam plastic insulation to learn about its varieties, makeup, measurements, features, and uses.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS), two more names for foam plastic, are lightweight, multipurpose materials used for insulation in commercial, industrial, and residential buildings. Rigid foam boards are created by expanding and molding polystyrene beads. To accommodate varied insulation needs, these boards are available in a range of sizes and shapes.

EPS and XPS are the two primary varieties of foam plastic insulation. EPS is a highly insulating and lightweight material that is created by using steam to expand polystyrene beads. However, the process used to make XPS involves forcing liquid polystyrene through a die, expanding it, and cooling it to form stiff boards.

Excellent thermal insulation qualities are shared by EPS and XPS, which means that they both contribute to the regulation of indoor temperatures by preventing heat gain in the summer and loss in the winter. Foam plastic insulation is also resistant to mold, moisture, and pests, which makes it a long-lasting and robust option for raising building energy efficiency.

The versatility of foam plastic insulation in terms of application is one of its benefits. It can be applied to a building’s foundation, walls, floors, and roofs, among other places. Foam plastic insulation can be easily installed to improve comfort and lower energy costs in new construction or retrofitted homes.

To sum up, foam plastic insulation provides a thin, strong, and efficient way to enhance a building’s thermal efficiency. It is understandable that foam plastic is turning into a preferred material for both builders and homeowners due to its adaptability, resilience to moisture and pests, and superior insulating qualities.

  1. How foam is made
  2. Stages of foam plastic production technology
  3. Raw materials in the production of expanded polystyrene (expanded polystyrene, EPS)
  4. List of domestic producers of raw materials for foam plastic production:
  5. Foreign manufacturers:
  6. What else to pay attention to when choosing raw materials for foam:
  7. Scheme of application of different grades
  8. Use of foam plastic PSB-C-15
  9. What PSB-C-25 is suitable for
  10. Application of foam plastic PSB-S-35
  11. How to choose equipment for the production of polystyrene foam?
  12. Equipment for the production of foam plastic
  13. How to choose a steam generator?
  14. What to consider when buying a foaming machine
  15. Foam plastic production technology
  16. Raw material procurement
  17. Aging
  18. molding
  19. Foaming the granules
  20. Drying
  21. Cutting
  22. Documentation
  23. List of required documentation:
  24. Dimensions
  25. Energy consumption
  26. Speed of operation
  27. Thickness
  28. Density
  29. Cost price
  30. Personnel
  31. Profit and costs
  32. Recycling the material with your own hands
  33. Processing of foamed polystyrene
  34. Pre-foaming
  35. Maturation of granules – preliminary maturation
  36. Molding of polystyrene foam
  37. Two schemes for obtaining polystyrene foam products
  38. Shelf life of raw materials for foam plastic production.
  39. Safety precautions for the production of polystyrene foams
  40. Video on the topic
  41. How to determine the density of the foam?
  42. Foam production. How and from what foam plastic is made?
  43. Extruded polystyrene foam review of the material and spheres of application
  44. Choosing foam without fooling How to choose foam glass
  45. Insulation with foam 50 or 100 mm? Which density is better – 25 or 35 kg/m.cube?
  46. Insulation. Foam, mineral wool. Heat or Life Threatening?
  47. Don"t be fooled!!! Part 1 Checking Foam and Foamlax (TECHNONICOL CARBON) with a thermal imager.

How foam is made

We clarified earlier. Keep in mind that this substance is made up of many air-filled cells. Foaming of the material is therefore a necessary step in the manufacturing process.

Stages of foam plastic production technology

Typically, the procedure entails:

1. Rising foam. The raw material is put in a special container called a foam generator during this process, and there, it is compressed (a steam generator is used) to cause the granules to expand by about 20 to 50 times. The procedure takes five minutes to complete. The operator deactivates the steam generator and removes the foamed material from the container once the pellets have reached the desired size.

2. Desiccating the produced pellets. Currently, the primary objective is to eliminate any surplus moisture remaining on the pellets. Hot air is used to accomplish this; it is directed from the bottom to the top. We shake the granules to promote optimal drying. This procedure takes only a few minutes, approximately five.

3. Curing, or stabilization. The maturing process is carried out in the bunkers that contain the pellets. The process takes four to twelve hours, depending on the granule size and the ambient air temperature.

Important note: The second step (drying) may not be included in Styrofoam manufacturing technology. Stabilization (curing) in this instance will take up to 24 hours.

4. Baking. It’s common to refer to this phase of the foam production process as molding. The key is to mix the granules that were previously acquired with one another. This is accomplished by placing them in a specific mold, following which the granules sinter under pressure and the influence of hot water vapor. About ten minutes is how long it lasts.

5. Development (aging). The goal is to remove any remaining internal stresses and surplus moisture from the resulting sheets of polystyrene foam. The sheets are left in a clear section of the production hall for a few days in order to accomplish this. Maturation can occasionally take up to 30 days.

6. Slicing. The manufactured foam blocks are fed into a specialized machine that slices them into sheets with the proper dimensions—thickness, length, and width. Temperature-controlled nichrome strings are used in this manufacturing process. Blocks are thus cut in both the horizontal and vertical directions.

Of course, recycling the leftover scraps can be done as the seventh step after these six. They are therefore combined with other granules and put through the same procedures (sintering, curing, etc.).

The following table displays the machinery used to produce polystyrene foam:

A lightweight, adaptable material that is frequently used for home insulation is foam plastic. It is composed of various chemicals that combine to form a structure resembling foam, providing superior thermal insulation capabilities. Expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), and polyurethane foam are three different kinds of foam plastic. Every variety has distinct qualities of its own and comes in a range of sizes to accommodate different insulation requirements. Walls, roofs, and floors are constructed with foam plastic to keep heat from escaping and to keep interior temperatures comfortable. It is a well-liked option for home insulation projects due to its effectiveness, affordability, and simplicity of installation.

Raw materials in the production of expanded polystyrene (expanded polystyrene, EPS)

It is "bead" polystyrene, suspension foaming type PSV. The granules can expand up to 10-15 times their diameter, or up to 10-15 mm, during foaming. Foam plastic raw materials are supplied in bigbags weighing 500 or 800 kg, or in bags weighing 25 kg.

List of domestic producers of raw materials for foam plastic production:

Alfapor (g. Perm) 1.

2. Plastic (e.g. Tula region, Uzlovaya).

3. g. Angara, Angarsk Polymer Plant

Foreign manufacturers:

  1. Loyal Chemical – China,
  2. LG Chemical – Korea,
  3. Styrochem – Finland.

What else to pay attention to when choosing raw materials for foam:

  1. Presence of flame retardant. In Russia today it is prohibited to produce raw materials without fire retardant (an additive that eliminates the support of combustion by the foam plastic). Hence the names of domestic brands of raw materials for the production of foam ends with the letter "C" – self-extinguishing. Foreign, respectively, contains the letter "R".
  2. Foreign raw materials may not contain flame retardant. Then the foam produced from it will be flammable.
  3. Storage period of raw materials. Limited – 6 months. Expired pentane-depleted raw materials will not allow the production of lightweight foam grades.
  4. Different raw materials are used for heavy and light grades of foam plastic.
  5. For the filling of frameless furniture, it is better to take raw materials with small granules

Scheme of application of different grades

Produced important varieties of polystyrene foam with varying densities and other attributes, such as:

  • PSB-C-15, the density of this foam grade is up to 15 kg/cubic meter.м.
  • PSB-C-25, from 15 kg / cube.м. up to 25 kg/cubic meter.м.
  • PSB-C-35, from 25 kg/cubic meter.м. up to 35 kg/cubic meter.м.
  • PSB-C-50, from 35 kg/cubic meter.м. up to 50 kg/cubic meter.м.

When given a numerical value, the expanded polystyrene’s thermal conductivity component falls between 0.037 and 0.043 W/mK. This value and air’s thermal conductivity, which is 0.027 W/mK, can be correlated.

Use of foam plastic PSB-C-15

House facades can be insulated with Styrofoam PSB-S-15. Almost no construction uses this kind of insulation. It is utilized in structures that are joined to other buildings. These can be open verandas or balconies with decorative purposes. With the use of PSB-S-15 foam plastic form shapes for facades, it is possible to:

  • to frame corners of the house, windows;
  • to divide floors through the creation of cornices.

What PSB-C-25 is suitable for

By using an analogy with the calculation of brick density, the density of foam can be determined. For instance, one cube of expanded polystyrene with a density of 25 kg will weigh that amount. The density of the foam affects its bending and compressive strengths. The qualities of foam density and its brand are entirely distinct. For instance, the density parameter will change between 35–50 or 15–25 if we take into account SPB-C25 or SPB-C50.

The house’s facades are insulated using boards that have a density of twenty-five. A standard thickness of 5 cm is regarded as appropriate for foam plastic. There are numerous uses for this kind of insulation. Depending on the customer’s preferences, the thickness can be altered.

Maximum thickness foam plastic can be used to insulate walls that come into contact with air masses. Because it is a great fungus preventer, it can also be used to insulate walls.

According to the material’s designation, it can be used in a variety of construction structures without losing any of its qualitative qualities.

Application of foam plastic PSB-S-35

You can adjust the polystyrene foam tile thickness to achieve precisely level walls. It is not advised to abuse the ability to change the material’s size or thickness because this may lead to issues with the water drain system’s repair at the building’s corners.

It is advisable to ascertain the quantity of gas pipe stock before selecting the insulation that meets the required thickness, as it should never be closed as this could compromise the structure’s aesthetic appeal. Given that their prices are nearly equal, it is preferable in this instance to use the PSB-C-35 material with a thickness of 5 cm rather than the material with a density of 25 and a thickness of 10 cm.

With insulation, which has a density of 35, you can insulate building facades as well as the sloping windows and doors. Generally speaking, the cost is double that of the same material composed of density 25 polystyrene. It can be used to insulate garages and non-residential structures because of its 5 cm thickness. It is suitable for use in residential buildings’ thermal insulation with a thickness of 7 centimeters.

The ability to apply an insulator with a minimum thickness without sacrificing insulation quality is made possible by the normal level of density. Ideal insulation of basement walls and foundations can be achieved with the aid of the polystyrene foam insulator, should it prove to be more solid.

How to choose equipment for the production of polystyrene foam?

Fully functional production line for foam plastic.

Selecting the appropriate tools for your workshop is essential if you want to create polystyrene foam on your own. equipment parts for the production of certain products, depending on the volume of production you intend to achieve.

For instance, you need a line with a capacity of 40 cubic meters per shift if the required amount of material is not more than 1000 cubic meters per month. It has the capacity to provide this amount of Styrofoam.

Remember that the line’s computed productivity might not match its actual productivity. It is dependent upon these instances:

  1. The most important factor – the origin of raw materials: imported or domestic. On Russian pellets the productivity may be slightly reduced.
  2. The second nuance – the brand of foam plastic, which you will produce. So, polystyrene foam PSB-12 has a density of less than 12 kg per cubic meter. Therefore, it can only be obtained by double foaming. This reduces the productivity of the line.

When producing foam plastic, it is best to use equipment with a large capacity. A low-power line should not be pushed past its breaking point because this could cause it to fail too soon.

Equipment for the production of foam plastic

We have gathered all the equipment required to start the foam plastic production line in our catalog.SALEPPV-1 redvespenizerThe purpose of predvespenizer is to foam raw materials (PSVs) in order to produce foam plastic.

How to choose a steam generator?

High-capacity gas steam generator that can produce up to 12,000 kg of steam in a shift.

A steam generator, also known as a steam boiler, is a steam source. It ought to have a minimum capacity of 1200 kg per shift. Nonetheless, getting a larger capacity steam boiler is preferable. Future equipment productivity increases will be possible as a result of this.

Electric, gas, and diesel steam generators are used, according to the energy carrier. Every variety has benefits and drawbacks of its own:

One benefit of a gas boiler is that the cost of the steam it produces is very low.

Drawbacks with gas boilers:

  1. Gas can be connected to the steam generator only if there is a project approved by the State Gas Company. The boiler should be connected by an employee of this organization. In addition, the gas steam generator should be registered with Gostekhnadzor.
  2. These units are slightly more expensive than their electric and diesel counterparts.
  3. Need mandatory installation of a water treatment system.

These drawbacks all result in more time and money spent.

A diesel steam boiler is a low-key and efficient boiler.

Benefits of steam generators powered by diesel:

  1. It is the simplest.
  2. The device does not require a project and connection permit.
  3. The capacity of diesel generators can be from 1,200 to 12,000 kg of steam per shift.
  4. The boiler spends 10-50 liters of diesel fuel per hour.

One drawback of diesel boilers is that water treatment must also be installed.

Electric steam boilers are lightweight, but they need a strong 380 W power grid.

Electric steam generators are likewise simple to set up and run. Compared to gas and diesel units, they are smaller.

Their drawback is that they need a lot of power—150 kWh at the very least. This makes it impossible to place the electric steam boiler everywhere.

What to consider when buying a foaming machine

For the first steam treatment of polystyrene pellets, a pre-foamer is needed. At this point, the raw materials are first foamed and then made to the appropriate density.

Granules can expand in volume by 30 to 50 times when exposed to saturated water vapor. This indicator will determine the density of polystyrene foam slabs to come.

Unstable raw materials are produced by a continuous foaming machine.

The most prevalent kind of device is the continuous pre-foamer:

  1. Polystyrene granules are fed into it without interruptions.
  2. Already foamed raw material is continuously poured through a sliding gate, which can be adjusted in height.
  3. Due to the different height and speed of granules, they are brought to the required density.

A continuous pre-sprinkler’sdrawbacksinclude product instability and challenging density adjustment. The apparatus has electronic units for temperature control and pellet dosing to address these deficiencies. These systems lower the price of polystyrene foam and conserve raw materials.

A continuous foaming machine needs to be fed saturated water vapor in order to function:

  1. Its costs at the foaming stage are low.
  2. It is not always possible to regulate the volume of the incoming steam.
  3. In addition, not all steam generators are capable of foaming pellets and molding foam boards at the same time. This reduces the capacity of the production line.

Use a small, autonomous steam boiler in a workshop, per my instructions. The range is 15–30 kWh. The steam generator’s ability to regulate power is highly desirable.

The productivity of the cyclic type foaming machine is low.

Pre-sprinklers that are cyclic are less common than those that are continuous. It operates on a different principle:

  1. A measured volume of pellets is fed into the foaming chamber.
  2. Steam under pressure is injected there as well.
  3. Under its action, the raw material increases in diameter.
  4. When the total volume of pellets reaches a predetermined value, they are unloaded.

The stabilized density of the processed raw material is a benefit of the cyclic foaming machine.

A drawback is the lack of productivity. This drawback is removed through production automation.

Only by repeatedly foaming the raw material can polystyrene foam grades with densities less than 12 kg per meter cubic be obtained. High granule processing accuracy is required for this method. It is accomplished by using foaming machines of both the continuous and cyclic types and automating production.

Foam plastic production technology

Technology used in the manufacture of foam plastics includes steps like primary and secondary foaming, drying, air curing, molding, and cutting of the final product.

The production process is as follows in specifics: Initially, the required quantity of polystyrene granules is loaded and the pre-foamer is turned on. The pre-foamer is then filled with steam, and the steam is turned off as soon as the granules foam to the desired degree. After being unloaded, the foamed pellets are brought to the dryer. The pellets are fed into a hopper after the dryer and given 12 hours to age. The dried granules are then put into a block mold and suctioned.

After a predetermined amount of time, the pressure is released from the granules and the block mold is allowed to cool. The completed block is then unloaded with the use of a pneumatic pusher that passes through the block mold’s wall. Finished foam plastic sheets are divided using a specialized horizontal cutting machine. Following the division of the sheets, the resulting trimmings are fed into the crushing plant where they are ground to the necessary fraction and then loaded into a hopper where they are repeatedly mixed in a 1:8 ratio with the primary foamed granules.

Raw material procurement

In this instance, expanded polystyrene—that is, chemical industry products—serves as the raw material. The characteristics of the material that is produced determine its quality and longevity. Ultimately, the longer the raw material has been stored and the higher its "age," the more challenging it will be to foam its granules. Regarding density, the indicator is directly correlated with the final pellets’ dimensions; the larger the pellets, the higher the indicator. On the other hand, low-density products can be produced using tiny pellets.

Reminder: Make sure to include fire retardant (a material that inhibits igniting) in the production process if the foam you intend to sell is going to be utilized in construction.

The actual manufacturing process should start with the formation of water vapor, which will have a temperature between 115 and 170 degrees and a pressure between 0.8 and 6 atmospheres. Such foam plastic production machinery, like a steam generator, is used for this purpose. By the way, the steam generator itself can be powered by the following kinds of energy sources:

  • diesel;
  • electric;
  • gaseous.

Additionally, the use of a vapor reservoir is required in order to utilize the maximum volume of steam generated.


The raw material is processed and then moved to a special tank (hopper) after foaming. Because it needs to dry thoroughly, the raw material is cured there for 12 to 24 hours. The internal pressure is stabilized during the curing process as well. Following that, the raw material goes through the foaming process once more before molding can begin.


The prepared raw material takes on a specific shape in the block mold due to the influence of steam. The raw material’s structure expands during the molding process, which causes the mass to fuse together.

Foaming the granules

Steam is then supplied after the raw material is fed into the foaming machine in the quantity required to produce the material of a specific grade. Pellets are affected by this steam, causing them to start foaming and increasing in volume by a factor of 25 to 50. Generally speaking, approximately 15 kilograms of raw materials are needed to produce 1 cubic meter of foamed raw material.

The actual foaming process only takes a maximum of seven minutes. Following this process, the pellets are fed into a specialized drying unit to remove any remaining moisture that may have formed due to the influence of steam.


As we just explained, additional granules are fed into the drying machine and treated with heated air, eliminating excess moisture, all while maintaining the original volume. Air enters from below, mixing the particles permanently, which is characteristic.

Kindly take note! The wet granules are lifted during the drying process, whereas the dried granules are lifted and moved via a pneumatic conveying pipeline to the settling hopper.


The blocks ought to be left to stand for roughly a full day following the removal of the foam from the mold. The blocks are cut into sheets once the material has dried.

Waste-free foam plastic production can be planned so that goods that don’t meet specifications or are spoiled are added to the raw material during the block formation stage. The price of raw materials will go down with this mode of operation.


It is required to gather a set of documentation approving this or that activity before beginning production. We will go into detail about the documents required to set up the foam plastic production process here.

A lot of business owners first register as sole proprietorships and only pay one tax. Since it can be challenging at first to pay tax contributions in full, this is the best course of action. It is feasible to increase production at any point and re-register it in an LLC in order to take advantage of the simplified taxation structure.

You must pay the state fee and gather the required paperwork. Five different tax systems could have been selected in this instance.

The OKVED code is then ascertained. Code 22.21 "Manufacture of plastic products (pipes, blocks, plates, sheets, profiles, etc.)" applies in this instance to the production. You can then begin gathering documents.

List of required documentation:

  1. Passport (and a photocopy of the passport certified by a notary).
  2. Copy of TIN certificate.
  3. Application for state registration.
  4. Power of attorney for a representative who will provide documents for the entrepreneur.
  5. Duty payment receipt.
  6. Notification for application of the simplified taxation system (simplified taxation system), if it was chosen (two copies are needed – for the stamp of acceptance of the application, as well as for the tax office).

The tax inspection is referred to for all documentation. The entrepreneur must appear to pick up the paperwork and the record sheet on the commencement of work as an individual entrepreneur after a few days (between three and seven).

Furthermore, a bank current account needs to be opened. In order to sign contracts with companies that provide production services, it is also required to obtain a permit for activity from the fire inspection (waste disposal and removal).

Furthermore, a collection of internal records must be created:

  • contract for hiring employees;
  • collective agreement;
  • Work instructions of employees;
  • safety regulations;
  • working rules.


Height, Width, and Length: 25 x 2 x 2 meters.

100–150 m² of workshop space is needed.

Energy consumption

The line’s total power, 10kW, is 380 volts at 50 Hz (not including power for mold heating).

You could save up to $20,000 on energy bills with our energy tune-up.besides the earnings, from 1 line in 1 shift.

Speed of operation

80 m3 of polystyrene foam with a density range of 11 to 35 kg/m3 can be filled in one shift.

Monthly production volume: 2400 m3 of polystyrene foam produced in one shift and 4800 m3 produced in two shifts.


Any thickness up to 200mm can be used. Foam comes in the following standard thicknesses: 50, 100, 150, and 200 mm.


Density of the foam blocks generated increased from 11 kg/m³ to 35 kg/m³.

The brand of foam plastic reflects the density of the material.

Cost price

One m3 (25 packs) costs approximately 27 rubles.

The cost is computed using the 56 ruble cost of raw materials per 25 kg.


Two to four workers can work in a single shift. It is feasible to reach a labor agreement with a large number of individuals when organizing a large volume of production. The following professionals work on the foamed polystyrene production process:

  • process technology;
  • sales manager;
  • driver for deliveries;
  • several workers (from 8 persons if it is planned to work in two shifts).

It is possible to outsource accounting, which will free up time to concentrate on selling products and production-related tasks.

Profit and costs

Since foam plastic is one of the most widely used building materials, producing it as a business can be highly profitable.

Given that the market value of one meter of foam plastic is approximately $20 and the cost of production is approximately $10 per meter, foam plastic is quite expensive. (Rough materials, steam, and electricity).

For instance, if the plant produces forty cubic meters a day, its monthly profit, if it operates twenty-four hours a day, will be approximately $20,000. But only roughly half of this sum—roughly $9,000—should be allocated to monthly expenses. Net profit: between $9,000 and $10,000,000.

The amount of product produced, the rate at which sales are realized, and other factors determine how profitable the production of foam plastic is. д.

This is an estimated breakdown of expenses and revenue needed to start such a business from scratch:

  1. Opening a business – about 25 000$ (purchase of equipment, registration of activity, collection of documents, purchase of raw materials, etc.). д.).
  2. Expenses per month – about 9-10 thousand. The total cost of the plant is $ (purchase of raw materials, wages, taxes, utilities), as well as rent – (2.5 USD). for 1 m2) – about 400 dollars. per month for a rental of 150 m2.
  3. Approximate revenue for a month – about 9000 $.

This leads us to the conclusion that this kind of production has a 22% profitability margin and a 5–6 month payback period.

Recycling the material with your own hands

We recommend that you take a look at the step-by-step instructions if you’re curious about the precise method for processing foam plastic. A crusher and an adequate quantity of foam are all that are required. After that, you can obtain foam granules and utilize them as needed. You can make it with your hands if you don’t have a Styrofoam crusher. Factory models are expensive, after all.

To have a new, practical tool in your home, you’ll need to do the following:

  • PVC sewer pipe, 50 mm in diameter;
  • tape measure and marker;
  • metal saw;
  • A wooden bar that would fit inside the pipe;
  • metal self-tapping screws;
  • screwdriver and drill;
  • metal studs with bolts;
  • Chipboard or plywood, to create a box.

This set of equipment and supplies will allow you to build a functional foam crusher. Sheets or other materials will be reduced to crumbs with its assistance. The mechanism consists of a movable toothed part that breaks up the foam into small pieces. Furthermore, it is simpler to direct material toward the rotating mechanism because of the container or box. You will learn how to make a crusher precisely from this video.

So, work can begin as soon as the crusher is prepared. What you should do is as follows:

  1. Choose a suitable location. As an option, choose a garage, warehouse, storeroom or shed.
  2. Install the crusher, taking care of the container under it, where the crumb will fall. It can be a bucket, a bag or a wooden box.
  3. It is easy to crush foam sheets. As for shaped products, it is better to break them into pieces by hand in advance.
  4. Now it remains to turn on our homemade unit and gradually process the raw material.

This technology will keep the majority of the pellets whole. which implies they’ll perform their duties more effectively than anyone else. You just need to use caution because the foam is electrified and extremely thin.

Ensuring that the room is free of drafts is crucial, as it will require you to clean the entire area afterward. The foam can now be stored until needed or bagged and used right away.

Kindly take note! Styrofoam can be used as a liquid adhesive if it is melted with acetone. Even so, the combination cannot be deemed safe.

Processing of foamed polystyrene

There are three steps involved in making foamed polystyrene foam:

  1. Pre-foaming.
  2. Intermediate maturation (ripening).
  3. Final foaming with molding.

Quality control is necessary for specific parameters at every stage.


Granules swell during pre-foaming as a result of saturated steam. The temperature of pellets is between 80 and 110°C. The densities of polystyrene range from 15–30 kg/m² cube, depending on processing time and steam pressure. The final density of the completed product determines the pre-foaming density.

Pellets can typically be re-foamed for building blocks after 4-6 hours of intermediate aging in order to achieve a low density in the final product. To attain low volumetric density, a cube weighing 15 kg/m or less, double foaming is employed.

The bulk density of the final product produced by the initial pre-foaming is 1.5 times lower than the intended final density. The first granules form foam granules with closed cells because the pentane in them inflates them up to 50 times their original volume. Granule size following 3.6–6 mm pre-sprinkling.

Maturation of granules – preliminary maturation

Air diffuses into the cells more readily in silos during intermediate drying, when pentane and water vapor condense in the cells and cause a rarefaction. Polystyrene hardening occurs simultaneously. Depending on the quality of polystyrene and the outside temperature, the curing period typically lasts between six and twenty-four hours.

After the granules are dried (the residual moisture content can reach 5% after foaming), extra pentane is released and stabilized in silos with adequate ventilation. Drying must take place in warm, draft-free rooms to prevent the pellets from "clumping up." The newly foamed material’s thin cell walls are especially vulnerable to temperature variations and the medium’s added pressure. As a result, as soon as the polystyrene foams, it is stabilized.

The granules must not be mechanically damaged when being transported from the pre-sprinkler to the silos for the same reason. The recommended material feed linear velocity is no more than 8 m/s.

Pneumatic feeding at regulated speed has thus far shown to be the most effective method. It is best to avoid making abrupt bends in pipelines to prevent pellet damage.

Molding of polystyrene foam

Subsequently, the pre-foamed pellets are placed into vacuum molds, where they expand and soften due to the impact of steam under vacuum, and are then fused together using a pressing technique. This is not a chemical process; rather, it is thermal. After being cooled with water, the completed product is taken out of the mold. That is, no extra chemicals, like resins, are needed during the production process to create completed polystyrene foam products.

High and stable thermal insulation is achieved in this way by creating a molded foam with a high air content and a large number of closed cells. For at least another twenty-four hours, the remaining pentane stays out of the cells. Granules become more robust during the curing process as heated polystyrene continues to undergo polymerization.

Two schemes for obtaining polystyrene foam products

The types of polystyrene foam that can be produced from expanded polystyrene are currently determined by two different technological schemes.

In the first scenario, pre-foamed polystyrene granules—most frequently, polystyrene foam for packaging applications—are used to mold products. The second technique enables the creation of polystyrene foam that has been "extrusiond."

In this instance, general purpose polystyrene pellets of particular grades are heated before being extruded from the extruder and foaming agent is fed in at the same time. Usually, Kirish Polystyrene Plant produces general purpose polystyrene of grade 585.

Previously, a variety of freons were used as foaming agents; however, freon-free systems based on CO2 are replacing these ozone-depleting agents.

This post will explain everything there is to know about this kind of polystyrene foam and go into great detail about the process of making products out of foamed polystyrene through molding.

Shelf life of raw materials for foam plastic production.

PSV-c is the raw material used in the production of foam plastic.

Pentane is a raw material used in the manufacturing of foam plastic. Pentane actually "inflates" PSV-c granules, transforming them into the well-known white balls when water vapor acts upon them.

Pentane continually evaporates because it is a volatile hydrocarbon compound. Pentane evaporates in an irreversible manner. As a result, the raw materials used to make foam plastic have a limited shelf life. The raw materials used to make foam typically have a six-month shelf life.

The pentane content of the raw materials varies over the course of their guaranteed shelf life in the production of foam plastic. In other words, raw materials that are fresher have a higher pentane content than raw materials that have been stored for three or four months. Raw materials that have been stored for six months or more might not contain any pentane at all, or the gas content might be so low as to be insufficient for even one foaming.

There are certain nuances when working with raw materials that have varying pentane contents due to differences in production times.

If the raw material is very fresh, i.e. "from the machine", the foaming of the foam is very good. Foam molding also does not cause any difficulties. The only problem may be the continued foaming of the foam block. That is, when the foam block has already been removed from the block mold, the foaming process is still in progress. This can cause the foam block to swell somewhat, losing its shape. In fact, this does not cause any problems for production. All irregularities, all bloating can be cut without problems on the foam cutting machine. Unless, of course, it is a normal machine that cuts in three planes.

Long-lasting raw materials are a far greater issue. Such raw materials no longer contain enough pentane to allow for high-quality foaming and molding of the foam block. Additionally, the foam block may shrink if the raw material contains very little gas. shedding five to ten percent of its volume.

In my practice there was such a case: we purchased (at the request of the customer) raw materials from BASF company. We thought that with real German raw materials we would get real German quality. No way. The seller, modestly silent, that this raw material has been lying in the warehouse for a year. No one wanted to buy expensive raw materials for the production of Styrofoam, until we found provincials from the village – we J. So when molding the block, the foam gave shrinkage up to 10cm per 1m in height. After some hustling, we made some foam out of that expired raw material. The output was found experimentally. We were double molding the block. That is, first we did everything as usual, then we opened the block mold and added more raw materials, filling the volume that sat down. So we kind of welded a piece of foam to the block. It"s a good thing there were only 5 tons of raw materials. With a small profit we processed the raw material, the customer was satisfied with it

Safety precautions for the production of polystyrene foams

The industry that produces polystyrene foam is prone to fire and explosion, so safety precautions must be taken. Because pentane is heavier than air and is actively released during the pre-foaming and curing of polystyrene in silos, it accumulates at the floor level of manufacturing facilities. Consequently, sensors to check the safe level of pentane must be provided, along with intrinsically safe equipment and pipework.

Locations of pentane accumulation: storage facilities for raw materials, maturation, and completed products.

Now for the safety measures:

  1. A minimum of 2 escape routes must be provided.
  2. Storage areas for pellets and finished products must be separated by fire walls.
  3. Optimum temperature in the silo is 24 ᵒC.
  4. The silo volume should be 2-2.5 times the daily production rate.
  5. Store the material at a temperature of at least 20 ᵒC and relative humidity of at least 70%.
  6. The walls and floors should be made of fireproof materials and all processing equipment should be of intrinsically safe design.
  7. Passages – at least 1.2 m.
  8. Flame and smoke detectors and automatic fire extinguishing system.

Facilities used to produce Styrofoam have been known to burn down in 12 seconds. Because of this, expanded polystyrene processing is done in different buildings.

Foam plastic Lightweight plastic material made up of tiny bubbles
Types Expanded polystyrene (EPS), extruded polystyrene (XPS), polyurethane foam
Composition Primarily composed of polystyrene or polyurethane
Dimensions Available in various thicknesses and densities to suit different applications
Excellent thermal insulation, lightweight, moisture-resistant, easy to cut and shape
Usage Commonly used for insulating walls, roofs, and floors in residential and commercial buildings

Modern construction now relies heavily on foam plastic insulation, which provides an effective way to keep indoor temperatures comfortable while using the least amount of energy. There are several varieties of this adaptable material, each designed to meet particular requirements and applications.

Comprehending the composition of foam plastic is imperative for making well-informed decisions regarding building projects. Foam plastic, which is usually made from petrochemicals, is formed into stiff or pliable boards by expanding polystyrene beads. As a result, a lightweight material with superior insulating qualities is produced.

Depending on the intended use and manufacturing process, foam plastic insulation has different dimensions and qualities. Foam plastic comes in a variety of thicknesses and sheets to meet a wide range of building needs. It is moisture and heat resistant. Its lightweight design also makes installation easier, which lowers labor costs and shortens construction time.

The broad applicability of foam plastic insulation in various construction domains is one of its main benefits. Foam plastic is useful for walls, roofs, floors, and foundations in both residential and commercial buildings. It provides dependable thermal insulation and moisture control.

To sum up, foam plastic insulation shows to be a flexible and effective way to improve a building’s thermal performance. Foam plastic is a highly valuable material in contemporary construction practices due to its versatile types, adjustable dimensions, and advantageous properties that enhance both energy efficiency and occupant comfort.

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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