EPS Transforms Interactive Playspaces

By: Greg Gibson, EPS Sales Specialist

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We all know about the many applications of EPS insulation in the construction fields, commercial, residential, and industrial. We see it used as a very economical insulation delivering a stable R-value on roofs, walls, above and below grade applications. It is used in external insulation finish systems (EIFS) for both walls and architectural shapes and garage door insulation. We even see it used as substrate in place of dirt and backfill (Geofoam). Beyond insulation, EPS is used in packaging such as insulated shipping containers and protective packaging.

An EPS OEM application that many may not be aware of is the use as a structural cavity fill for children’s playground sculptures. Inside that Bug’s Bunny and colorful climbable cartoon tortoise lies EPS.

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Playtime Creations in Denver, CO buys EPS blocks and artistically transforms them into works of art and entertainment worldwide. The artists carve, cut, and sand the EPS into the desired shape, then coat it with a durable outer layer that is painted. Every time I stop by their office it is absolutely fascinating to see what their artists are creating and carving in their quest to turn someone’s ideas into Playtime Creations.

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Learn How It’s Made in Person with a Plant Tour

By: Joe Kurz, Packaging Specialist

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In my free time, I enjoy visiting breweries and wineries. It is enjoyable to sample products that are the result of knowledge, effort and experience by enthusiastic individuals producing these liquid refreshments. Often, a tour of the facility is offered to give us a basis of what it takes to produce the product.

At ACH Foam Technologies, we encourage all of our customers and their staff to take an hour or two out of their week and visit us for a tour of our manufacturing facility. All of our locations nationwide can accommodate these informative visits. You will see, in detail, the entire process of how EPS is formed into many of the everyday products you use. A plant tour is far better than watching an episode of “How It’s Made” on television and give you a better understanding of the knowledge, effort and experience it takes to produce these products used in insulation, geotechnical, packaging, and OEM applications.

Contact us to book a plant tour at one of our nationwide locations.

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Flute Fillers are Roof Insulation

By: Jim Nugent, Regional Sales Manager

Walgreen's Distribution Center, Windsor, WI

Walgreen’s Distribution Center, Windsor, WI

Foam-Control® and Foam-Control® Plus+® roof insulation can be used in a variety of roof assemblies. Fully adhered, mechanically attached membranes. Also green roofs, inverted roofs, protected membranes and many others. Foam-Control® and Foam-Control® Plus+® is available in flat, tapered, fan fold, and as composite insulation with a fiberglass facer. One of the most common uses of Foam-Control® and Foam-Control® Plus+® roof insulation is filling flutes when re-roofing a metal roof, commonly known, the product is know as Flute Filler.

Because the EPS industry can offer Flute Filler in a wide range of sizes, material types, and configurations, EPS is the preferred material for this application, although polyiso is also used in this application.

The EPS industry is known to be able to produce material types with high recycled content that do not meet the code requirements for roof insulation, but can be used in industrial applications for packaging and dunnage. Some may consider Flute Filler a dunnage material to level a metal roof to receive a new roof, but make no mistake about it Flute Filler is a roof insulation and needs to meet code requirements.

1,175,625 Board Feet of Foam-Control® PLUS+® 250 Angle Cut EPS Flute Filler Roof Insulation.  Walgreen's Distribution Center.

1,175,625 Board Feet of Foam-Control® PLUS+® 250 Angle Cut EPS Flute Filler Roof Insulation. Walgreen’s Distribution Center.

The International Building Core requires that EPS roof insulation used above the deck (including metal roofs) must meet the physical properties of ASTM C-578 and must be labeled as such. EPS products with high recycled content may not meet all the physical properties of ASTM C-578. These high recycled content products may even have a UL label and be the right density but it will not meet the code.

At ACH Foam all our Foam-Control® and Foam-Control® Plus+® and Polar® products, including flute fillers, fully meet ASTM C-578 and fully meet the code requirements for roof insulation. For the roofing industry professionals reading this post, the next time you request pricing for EPS Flute Fillers you may want your supplier to provide documentation that their flute fillers meet ASTM C-578 and have the independent third party documentation to support that they are code compliant.

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ACH Foam Loose Fill Peanut Locations

By: Ryan Olson, Packaging Specialist

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Did you know ACH Foam manufactures loose fill peanuts in Colorado, Kansas, and Utah? We manufacture anti-static loose fill and biodegradable loose fill.

Versatility is what comes to mind when our customers think about loose fill peanuts. They offer a cost effective solution of protection and flexibility.

Key Benefits of Loose Fill Peanuts

  • Lightweight
  • Economical
  • Prevents product migration
  • Anti-Static treated
  • Custom Bag size offerings
  • Bulk Shipments available

Recycling info for Loose Fill

Plastic Loose Fill Council (loosefillpackaging.com) offers drop off recycling centers in each state.  They also have a peanut hotline if you are trying to locate one of the many 1,500 collection centers.

In many instances, peanuts can be recycled at a UPS store. Contact your local UPS store for more information.

Contact ACH Foam Technologies for more info on loose fill packaging peanuts.

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What Does UL Classified Mean?

By: Tamara Middleton, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

UL FC PLUS

UL, Underwriters Laboratories, is an American consulting company that provides certification on the safety and environmental claims of a product.  In order to be classified under UL a product must meet specific standards.  These standards are determined by risks such as fire or shock, performance under certain conditions, regulatory codes, and other standards set by UL.  In order for a product to be labeled with a UL Classified mark it must meet the standards determined specifically for the product.

For EPS, Expanded Polystyrene, the standards include surface burning characteristics, density, dimensional tolerance, flexural strength, thickness, trueness, and squareness to name a few.  EPS manufacturers must test regularly for these standards.  Every batch produced must be tested daily for its density, flexural strength, thickness, and trueness.  A batch is a number of pounds of bead (raw material) molded at one time of one density from one lot# from an approved bead manufacturer. Dimensional tolerance is tested one series per production run.  The testing is completed by the manufacturer with full reports maintained and audited by a UL representative.  A UL representative will also periodically audit the manufacturers testing equipment, processes, and procedures.

All products manufactured for ASTM D6817 must also meet a compressive resistance standard determined by its density.  Compressive resistance testing is completed by an independent lab, using samples collected by the manufacturer.  Samples for each lot, density and day must be collected.

An EPS board with a UL classified mark has met all standards required by either ASTM C578 for insulation, ASTM D6817 for geofoam and ASTM E2430 for WSG.

ACH Foam Technologies Foam-Control® expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation and EPS geofoam, along with Foam-Control® PLUS+® architectural rigid foam insulation, are recognized by UL.

All-Spec’s Official Blog, ‘What is UL certification’ by Andy, September 27, 2011
Cabling Install, ‘UL’s Listed, Classified and Verified Marks explained’ August 1, 2012
GAPS Guidelines, ‘Definitions of “listed,” Classified,” “Recogonized,” Approved,” “Acceptable”
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