EPS possesses the physical and mechanical properties ideal for most insulation and specifications. EPS insulation is easily fabricated to meet specific design and dimensional requirements. Block molding plants manufacture billets in varying densities, usually from 1.0-2.0 pounds per cubic foot (pcf) but can produce up to 3.0 pcf for customized applications. Further, because of its light weight, it is easily stored, handled and installed on job sites. Due to its design flexibility and versatility, it can be cut in to sheets, slabs, or any design requirement to meet specific building code standards. It can be cut to shape with ordinary tools to assure tight joints thus reducing heat loss. EPS can also be molded in to custom designs for insulation applications including concrete block insulation systems.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has developed the Standard Specification for Rigid Cellular Polystyrene Insulation Thermal Insulation, C578. This provides EPS manufacturers as well as specifiers with the types, properties, dimensions, sampling, test procedures and ordering instruction for EPS foam insulation. The Physical Properties table below indicates the minimal requirements for each classification. Specifiers can use this information to accurately determine the type of EPS needed to meet the required energy codes so manufacturers can easily provide the appropriate product without confusion or problems.
Standard for Thermal Insulation, Polystyrene, Boards and Pipe Covering
This Canadian standard specifies the requirements for factory made rigid polystyrene insulation in the form of pipe coverings and boards with or without facings or coatings made by molding of pre-expanded beads (EPS). This standard does not apply to laminated products manufactured with any type of rigid board facer including fibreboard, perlite board, gypsum board, or oriented strand board.
Continuous insulation is required by ASHRAE 90.11 , the U.S. energy standard for all commercial and some residentialbuildings. Continuous insulation is defined in 90.1 as “insulation that is continuous across all structural members without thermal bridges other than fasteners and service openings. It is installed on the interior, exterior, or is integral to any opaque surface of the building envelope”. This technical bulletin lists the amount of insulation required for each climate zone in the United States.