Expanded Polystyrene: Characteristics, Advantages, Disadvantages

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Expanded Polystyrene: Characteristics, Advantages, Disadvantages
Expanded Polystyrene: Characteristics, Advantages, Disadvantages

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Expanded polystyrene is one of the most popular materials used in modern construction for effective thermal insulation of any residential and business premises.

Expanded polystyrene
Expanded polystyrene

It is safe to say that the modern construction market cannot offer a more efficient and cheaper solution to protect buildings from the cold season than expanded polystyrene sheets. In addition to the fact that this material is lightweight and durable, it also has a number of undeniable advantages.

Characteristic of expanded polystyrene

Externally, expanded polystyrene is a white material with a foam structure containing 98% air and 2% polystyrene. The manufacturing process of this material consists in foaming of polystyrene granules and their treatment with hot steam. This procedure is repeated several times in the production of expanded polystyrene, which makes the material much less dense and lighter.

After steam treatment, the raw materials are dried, for which special drying tanks are used. After drying, the resulting material is ready for use. According to experts, expanded polystyrene is considered to be of the highest quality, consisting of granules (white balls) of the correct shape and the same size.

Advantages of the material

The main advantage of expanded polystyrene is its excellent thermal insulation properties. With proper installation, this material serves as a reliable barrier against cold penetration.

The use of expanded polystyrene as insulation eliminates the need for additional work to protect the internal space of the room from noise penetrating from the outside. In other words, expanded polystyrene is an excellent soundproofing agent and to be sure of this, it is enough to install a layer of material only 2-3 cm thick on the wall. It should also be noted that expanded polystyrene is also an effective windproof material.

Among the advantages of expanded polystyrene boards, one cannot fail to note their low water absorption (hygroscopicity). The material does not get wet even when moisture gets on it directly, so there is no need for additional wall protection. As a rule, it is possible to "sheathe" a building with siding or block-house immediately after the installation of expanded polystyrene plates.

Due to its unique structure, expanded polystyrene is able to withstand quite noticeable pressure for a long time. Among other things, this material is very durable and can serve for several decades.

Flaws

Like any material used in construction, expanded polystyrene has its drawbacks. First of all, we are talking about its flammability. Expanded polystyrene can easily ignite and at the same time release a "whole bunch" of toxic substances. To protect a house insulated with polystyrene from fire, all fire safety rules must be strictly observed.

The second disadvantage of polystyrene is its low resistance to ultraviolet radiation, therefore, the plates of this material must be protected from direct sunlight.

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