Styrene Insulation Industry (SII) the UAE-based company developed “Polystyrene insolite block inserts.” It is the brand known for producing Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) molding and blocks since 1995. SII is a huge manufacturer and supplier of polystyrene across the UAE. Polystyrene block inserts are widely used in the construction industry. They are used in building structures such as floor, wall, roof, ceiling, and under-slab.
EPS is made of tiny polystyrene beads, and these beads are manufactured by the polymerization process, where styrene is a monomer. The foam quality varies with the size distribution of the beads. EPS is made up of 98% air which makes it eco-friendly. Using polystyrene block insert for construction provides better thermal insulation and high impact resistance. These block inserts are light but are rigid, and they can increase structural integrity and enhance the building’s design. There is a steady rise in the requirement for the EPS due to sustainability benefits. These blocks are used in building structures because of increased energy efficiency, durability, and indoor environmental quality.
EPS insolite block inserts have physical and mechanical properties that are suitable for the construction industry. Due to its manufacturing process, Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) remains unchanged. Its flexibility and versatile nature allow cutting the blocks into customized designs as per the building requirement for insulating foundations, roofs, and walls. These blocks serve as an integral component of insulated concrete forms (ICF), Exterior Insulation, and Finish Systems (EIFS) and Structural Insulated Panels (SIP). Let us explore the applications of Insolite Blocks in the construction industry. EPS blocks are used in the construction industry because the price of material hasn’t changed with time.
The sheathing is the most basic application for EPS insulation in the construction industry. The sheathing technique is the technique in which EPS blocks are used to cover the wall cavities and studs, create an envelope around the structure to increase the thermal resistance, and prevent moisture penetration.
The sheathing is non-structural and used for exterior insulation. Different densities of blocks help provide the R-Value according to the local body energy codes. The thermal conductivity of the EPS decreases with an increase in the density of the material.
EPS Insolite blocks are compatible with various construction materials like wood and steel framing and masonry. The boards are installed vertically over the cavities and studs using the vapor retarder outside, where the structure is heated.
EPS blocks are used as aggregate in manufacturing of the lightweight concrete. If EPS is used as aggregate then the concrete is tested to be lighter and have more strength than other aggregates like vermiculite.
Due to their lightweight characteristics, the EPS blocks are used in floatation devices like docks, billets, and rafts. EPS is the most eco-friendly product because no CFCs are involved in the manufacturing process. They are no food for the marine animals.
In the areas where moisture is a significant concern, EPS is a solution. Fungi, rot, and bacteria cannot affect the performance of the inserted blocks. The performance is not affected by the exposure of EPS to water or moisture. At very high densities EPS has poor water absorption capacity.
Decorative molding is helpful to conceal the transitions and gaps between the surfaces. EPS is replacing the stones as decorative moldings in recent days. EPS is embedded along with reinforcing mesh before cement coating is applied on it.
Heavy filling material in the construction of the embankment may cause slope instability and bearing failure. Insolite block usage can reduce these problems due to its lightweight properties. It can reduce the weight of the embankment especially when it is erected on the soft soil. ES is used in bridge abutment and road widening. Insolite blocks can be transported easily and positioned in right place, this can reduce the transportation cost.
Expanded polystyrene has numerous applications in the construction industry. It still has to catch the attention of the designing community. If a proper awareness is created about EPS, we can expect more usage. As the number of construction professionals grows who have education and exposure to EPS, EPS block inserts application also increases. Growth in the technology sector will lead to the invention of more applications of this product.