Charting the rapid rise of expanded polystyrene (EPS) in the building and construction industry.
In short time expanded polystyrene (EPS) has rapidly grown in popularity to become one of the most versatile and widely used materials in the construction industry. Indeed, EPS is now depended upon in some capacity for the majority of building projects.
While German apothecary Eduard Simon discovered polystyrene way back in 1839, it wasn’t until nearly a century later that scientists at German chemical company BASF discovered a way to commercially manufacture it in 1930. And it was another 21 years after that that BASF developed and patented EPS, under the name ‘Styropor’, in 1951.
EPS from insulation to innovation
Since being introduced to the building industry in the mid-1950s as an effective insulation material for floors, walls and roofs, EPS has become one of the most versatile and cost-effective materials commonly used by builders and the construction industry.
Beyond insulation, EPS is also used for facades (extruded polystyrene) and as a void-forming fill material in concrete housing slabs (pods). EPS is particularly useful for builders as it is lightweight yet doesn’t degrade when exposed to the elements and is of no interests to vermin or termites.
EPS building products make a major contribution to the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of construction projects as well as contributing to the long-term sustainability of completed projects. EPS is now recognised as a sustainable alternative to traditional building products and is an ideal choice for smart green building design due to its:
- energy efficiency;
- environmentally friendly production;
- cost-effectiveness; and
Beyond building and construction, the durability and strength of EPS has also seen it used to support civil engineering projects such as roads and railways.
Foamex EPS solutions in the Australian construction industry
Foamex is Australia’s leading manufacturer of EPS products. Our EPS building products make a major contribution to the Australian construction industry. We provide builders with quality, safe and cost-effective EPS solutions that promote the sustainability of building projects.
Our Styroboard EPS sheets can be cut to suit specific shapes and sizes and are used in the following types of commercial and residential building projects:
- Shop fronts
- Office buildings
- Apartment blocks
- Garden sheds
As well as Styroboard EPS sheets for wall insulation, these Foamex products are also being utilised in the Australian construction industry:
- Diamond Pods (underslab insulation void filler)
- Expol (underfloor insulation)
- Purlink (purlin roofing insulation)
- Expanded Polystyrene Blocks
- Expanded Polystyrene Cut Shapes
- Rigid Polystyrene (environmentally friendly rigid polyyurethane for insulation)
- Extruded Polystyrene (insulation for walls, floors and ceilings)
While those not in the construction industry may more commonly see EPS being used as packaging for furniture and electrical consumer goods or at the fish market, the virtues of EPS arguably shine brightest in the building and construction industry. In short time EPS has become a staple product in building and one of the most relied upon materials in the construction industry.