About EPS/Introduction to EPS
3 types of expanded polystyrene
What is commonly referred to as expanded polystyrene in fact consists of three types, which are distinguished according to how they are made and used. As the recycling schemes for each differ, recycling efforts are pursued by each of the industry associations concerned.
Expanded polystyrene (in the narrow sense) or expanded polystyrene made by the beads method.
Used mainly as containers for Agricultural and marine products and as cushioning packaging for equipment. Mainly discharged as waste by businesses
Widely used for food trays. Discharged as waste mainly by the household sector
Extruded polystyrene board
Used widely as thermal insulation in building materials
Mostly discharged as waste during construction work.
Of these three types, JEPSA promotes the recycling of EPS only
Expanded polystyrene was developed in Germany in 1950 and the domestic production of the raw material beads started in Japan from 1959.
For inquiries about other two types of expanded polystyrene please contact the following addresses respectively ;
JASFA (Japan Polystyrene Foamed Sheet Industry Association)
Tokon Bldg. 3 fl. 26 Higashikonya-cho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0034 JAPAN
EPFA (Extruded Polystyrene Foam Industry Association)
Toranomon Bldg. 1-1-12 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001 JAPAN
How expanded polystyrene is made
Upon exposure to steam, the polystyrene resin softens, and the expanding agent causes the beads to begin to expand (pre-expansion).
The pre-expanded beads are fed into a mold and steam heated again. The beads expand further, and the heat causes the beads to stick together in the shape of the mold.
EPS products are 98% air and only 2% raw material, and are therefore resource efficient materials.
EPS is really an aggregate of countless tiny air cells. These cells are subject to little convection, and so transmit heat poorly. This is the reason why EPS does not transmit heat. So warm things stay warm and cold things stay cold. Thanks to its insulating property EPS products contribute to the energy saving and CO2 reduction.