Arcel Foam- A perfect blend of EPS & PE

By:  Chris Benson, Packaging Specialist

ARCEL is the brand name of NOVA Chemicals’ PE+PS Inter-Polymer. The bead has a polystyrene core surrounded by an exterior coating of polyethylene. This unique combination gives ARCEL a special structure, which enables the best combination of PE and EPS.

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When used for protective packaging, ARCEL resin is a solution that reduces packaging size and weight, while maintaining great protective properties. ARCEL resin can reduce package size up to 40%, which cuts energy consumed in the manufacturing of packaging, lowers fuel consumption and emissions throughout the supply chain, and reduces the waste stream for both foam and corrugate materials.

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Other benefits of ARCEL include the following:

  • Reduced fracturing- has great tear, puncture & flexibility strength.
  • Multiple drop performance
  • Reduced rub abrasion- ARCEL can eliminate having to bag parts

ACH Foam Technologies has the ability to manufacture with ARCEL material at any of our shape molding facilities.

Please contact your local ACH salesperson for more information.

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Polar-R & Polar Fold Film Laminated EPS

By: Doug Wehrwein, Sales Representative - Architectural Products

The ACH Foam group of film laminated EPS is called Polar-R, 4ft. x 8ft. panels, and Polar Fold, 4 ft x 50 ft bundles. Our Polar products are commonly used as a wall leveler for residing or sheathing applications, a roof recover board, below-grade insulation for both perimeter wall and underslab, and as protection for waterproofing materials. An added benefit available with all Polar products is a reflective facer which, according to ASRAE when applied allowing a ¾” dead airspace, allows for a 2.1 gain in R-value.

Polar-R (4 ft. x 8 ft.) or Polar Fold (4 ft. x 50 ft. fan fold sheets) when used as a wall leveler for residing applications will help to provide a flat and level surface for new siding along with the added benefit of more insulation. Polar-R or Polar-Fold wraps your home in a continuous insulation that reduces air infiltration and gives you a lifetime of energy savings. Use Polar tape on all the seams to reduce air infiltration even more.

Polar Fold Roofing recovery board is a favorite among designers and contractors for re-roofing applications. The film facers of Polar Fold or Polar-R are engineered to be compatible with single ply ballasted and mechanically attached roof systems alike, without the use of additional slip sheets.

Polar Fold Roofing Recover Board

Polar Fold Roofing Recover Board

Below grade insulation – perimeter wall and underslab: In many places around the country well-insulated foundations are required. Polar-R’s high R-Value and tough film facings provide for an ideal below-grade insulation helping to prevent heat loss through the foundation. This application will also protect the foundation’s sheet membrane or liquid-applied waterproofing. Both the facers and the expanded polystyrene core are not affected by chemicals or moisture.

All Polar products are available in a variety of compressive strengths, from 5 psi to 25 psi, to best serve any of your construction needs. In addition, Polar-R and Polar Fold allow for less than 1% water absorption and has a flame spread index of less than 25 and a smoke-developed index of less than 450.

Polar-R and Polar Fold, like all ACH Foam EPS products, are environmentally safe and contain no CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs or formaldehyde.

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Geofoam Helps Brigham City

By: Terry Meier, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

In the year 1917 my father was born in a small town in northern Utah called Brigham City. Ninety seven years later I returned to that city to be a part of a large embankment reconstruction project.

A total of 4 embankments were widened to help facilitate the growing traffic volume in that area. The people of Brigham City rely heavily on those embankments to access the freeway (Interstate 15).  It was of paramount importance that this reconstruction project be completed quickly. The soil conditions at the jobsite are very poor and there was a concern that long term settlement would occur. Up to 3 feet of settlement was expected. If this settlement problem was not solved in a timely manner the people of Brigham City would be inconvenienced for a very long time.

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The engineers who designed these embankments came to the conclusion that the best way to solve the settlement problem was to replace heavier conventional fill material with lightweight Geofoam. The weight reduction difference between Geofoam and conventional fill is an astounding 100 to 1 ratio in weight reduction. This difference in weight solved the settlement problem and by so doing kept the project within the desired construction time frame hoped for.

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Brigham City has changed a great deal since that September day in 1917 when my father was born there. It is now a thriving community of over 18,000 people and is the BoxElderCounty capital.

It gives me a great deal of satisfaction knowing that I was part of a Geofoam project which helped the people of my Fathers home town.

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The History of Laminated EPS Sheathing

By: Nick Harvill, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

ACH Foam Technologies produces Polar-R®, a 4’ x 8’ laminated sheathing, and Polar Fold®, a 4’ x 50’ sheet that comes folded in a 24” x 48” bundle.  The durable facers make these products to be strong and are used to wrap your home in continuous insulation and a weather resistive barrier to reduce air infiltration and energy loss.  Why were these products developed?

Up until the 1970’s, contractors frequently used wood fiberboard for wall sheathing.  As energy costs rose, the need for thermal insulation grew.  Contractors began using sheets of unfaced EPS on the walls to gain insulation value, usually ¾” or 1” thick.

In the early 80’s companies began to laminate a paper layer to the EPS, usually with a foil facing to achieve reflective R-Value when air space was present such as in brick sheathing applications.  The facer made the sheet stronger, more durable and flexible.   The early versions of laminated EPS sheathing used melted asphalt as the adhesive.   This method was followed by latex and hot melt adhesives, which were much safer.  The manufacturing process most common today is a plastic film facer that thermally laminates to the EPS. The plastic film is co-extruded with an adhesive layer that, when heated, bonds aggressively to the EPS sheet

Over time contractors had a growing need for larger sheets of insulation that could be easily transported and handled on the jobsite.  This need led to both sides of the EPS insulation being laminated.  Each side of the laminate and foam was cut every 2 feet to allow the material to fold.  ACH Foam Technologies produces its 4’ x 50’ Polar Fold® in thicknesses from 3/8” thick to 4” thick in a variety of densities ranging from Type I to Type IX EPS.   Polar Fold® is used as a backing for siding underlayment, protection board for foundation waterproofing, sheathing, and as a recover board for single ply roofing applications.

Polar-R and Polar Fold, like all of ACH Foam Technologies products, are safe for the environment and have never contained CFCs, HFCs, HCHC’s or formaldehyde.

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EPS Insulation Prevents Your Roof from Becoming a Waterin’ Hole

By:  Rick Shinn, Sales Representative - Architectural Products

Driving the rural highways of my territory, I often see a bulldozer or other equipment pushing dirt around in a large field. Always strategically placed in a low-lying area of the field, a berm is being created to catch the rainfall runoff from the surrounding area. To the rancher, this oasis will help sustain his herd. Strangely enough, a very similar thing can occur on a flat or low-slope roof. Unfortunately, on a roof this “ponding” will result in major problems.

I recently searched the Internet for leading causes of flat and low-slope roofing problems. The results were numerous and consistent. Most websites pertained to materials and workmanship. Only one design-related issue showed up regularly and it always listed near the top of my searches. Ponding water!

Standing or ponding water on a roof WILL find any hole or gap in the roofing membrane to create a leak. The standing water will also cause the membrane to degrade faster and put a substantial additional load on the roof structure itself. Whether new construction or the reroof of an existing structure, if proper care is not taken in roof design to move rainwater efficiently and quickly from the roof area, major damage can occur. The best way to accomplish that task is with tapered insulation. Foam-Control EPS Roof Insulation offers the versatility needed to design highly efficient drainage for your roof. Consisting of flat and tapered foam pieces, slopes, crickets and saddles can be provided to create positive drainage in as few as two layers of material and to thicknesses as great as 36”. That versatility offers substantial savings in both material and labor costs compared to the most common polyiso materials, which are available only in relatively thin sheets.

So the next time you inspect a roof for a building owner, notice if you happen to be standing in water, mud, a layer of dirt, or just a dark ring on the membrane. If so, be sure to design the new roof with Foam-Control EPS Roof Insulation. Figuratively speaking, you’ll be protecting his herd.

This insulation consists of flat and tapered foam pieces from which slopes, crickets, and saddles can be provided to create positive drainage in as few as two layers of material and to thicknesses as great as 36”.

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