EPS Insulation: The Tough Stuff!

By:  Rick Shinn, Sales Representative – Architectural Products

Over the past two and a half years, I have presented numerous AIA/CES programs on subjects related to the performance of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) rigid insulation for construction applications. These applications include perimeter, cavity wall, freezer floor and precast insulated concrete panel insulation where extruded polystyrene (XPS) has long been the insulation of choice.  A substantial part of each presentation and much of the dialog following the presentations is in regard to R-Value and moisture resistance. The long term R-Value performance of Foam-Control Plus+ expanded polystyrene (EPS) products is equal to that of XPS.  Additionally, ACH Foam Technologies offers a 20-Year, 100% R-Value Warranty. Long-term testing in below grade applications has shown that EPS outperforms XPS in moisture resistance over the long term.

With that said, occasionally a design professional will call out the structural integrity of EPS with a comment such as “but isn’t this beadboard”? After biting my lip and restraining the urge to scream out loud, I calmly reply that “it is NOT beadboard.” Although beadboard is made of expanded polystyrene, the similarities end there.  Foam-Control Plus+ products are a high quality architectural grade EPS with compressive strengths equal to those found with XPS.  Foam-Control Plus+ offers 15, 25, 40 and 60 PSI.  Usually, after a discussion about EPS in Geofoam applications, review of Foam-Control Plus+ Tech Data, and handing out samples of all four of our compressive strength products (Foam-Control Plus+ 150, 250, 400 and 600), confidence in the durability of our architectural grade material is established.

Of course, as they say, there’s one in every crowd.  Several months ago during a presentation I noticed an individual in the back of the room, red faced and concentrating on something other than the presentation.  Turns out he was trying to break the sample of 1 ½” thick Foam-Control Plus+ 600,  unsuccessfully I might add.  In telling this story at other firms, I regularly have everyone give it a quick try so they can learn just how strong it is.  I did have an individual at one presentation that was successful in snapping a sample, however he used clever means and excessive force to do so.  Surprisingly, there was widespread attention and interest shown by the others in the room. Not because the sample was broken, but because not a single bead separated from either half of the broken sample.

Attendees at our education presentations are surprised to learn that EPS offers:

Going into any presentation, I never know for sure what is going to be the most effective at gaining the confidence of those in attendance. Our AIA/CES Programs are full of informative and useful information. Comments such as “I did not know that” are common from design professionals. Open discussion and sample testing generally result in a better understanding of EPS. Whether you are an Architect or General Contractor, I invite you to take advantage of the educational programs offered by ACH Foam Technologies.

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