What is cellular plastic?

What is cellular plastic?

Cellular plastic is used as a collective name for a variety of different expanding plastics. Depending on the chemical composition and the method used to expand it, products ate received that have a lot of different qualities.

Cellular plastic has qualities such as good insulation ability, strength, low weight, and is easy to process. It is suitable for applications such as insulation and foundation material in buildings and other facilities, as well as different types of packaging.

Commonly occurring types of cellular plastics are EPS and EPP.

  • EPS, expanded polystyrene, consists of small beads that are melted together under heat and pressure. EPS has a good insulation ability since it consists of 98 percent contained air. It has also a high humidity resistance and therefore it provides good protection against cold, wind, humidity and mold.
  • EPP is expanded polypropylene. The raw material for EPP is polypropylene granulate. EPP has a very good shock absorbing ability, good heat resistance, good insulation properties, and is resistant to most chemicals. These unique qualities makes EPP useful in many areas of application, such as different types of recycling systems, packaging for instruments, cameras, technical insulation, car components, neck protection etc.
  • XPS, extruded polystyrene, is a smoother material than cellular plastic of EPS type. It weighs more, can withstand higher compressive pressure and provides even better protection against humidity. XPS is extraordinarily well equipped to withstand great stress, humidity and frost.

Below is an information graphic that illustrates what EPS is, and how it is structured.
Click on the image for full size!