There are significant changes underway in the supply of Styrofoam the market leading extruded polystyrene. During 2018 Dow Chemical will cease the manufacture of blue Styrofoam and replace with a new improved product called Xenergy Styrofoam. This product will be grey in colour and offer the same mechanical properties but will provide improved thermal performance. The process of winding down stocks of blue Styrofoam is already underway with some grades already exhausted such as RTM, these will be supplied in the new improved grade of Xenergy. Other grades will be phased in over coming months. Full technical data sheets on the new improved product are available to download here and here.
Styrofoam Sheets are available from Panel Systems Limited. Our distributorship with Dow Chemical enables us to offer a comprehensive range of Styrofoam Extruded Polystyrene sheets, hot-wire styrofoam cutting sheets to any thickness and CNC machined components. Our commitment to Styrofoam is demonstrated by a stock holding of 3000M3 and is the largest single stocking point in the UK. Our warehouse is one minute from Junction 31 of the M1 and is ideal for delivery or collection.
What is Styrofoam?
Styrofoam is an extruded polystyrene and is uniquely identified by its blue colour. It was first developed and produced in the 1940’s by Dow Chemical in the USA. The process of extruding polystyrene results in a material with uniformly small, closed cells and an unrivalled set of properties which make it ideal for insulation and also as a core in lightweight structural panels. Styrofoam combines low thermal conductivity and low water absorption to make it the choice of specifiers in a wide range of demanding insulation applications.
Styrofoam also has excellent mechanical properties including high strength in compression, tension, bending and shear which are essential for a core material in structural panels used in a range of markets including coldstores, touring caravans, truck panels, building and curtain-walling. The small uniform cell structure of Styrofoam is also ideally suited for use in markets such as hobby and craft where traditional modelling tools can create three-dimensional models.
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Hot-Wire Styrofoam Cutting
Panel Systems has one of the largest specialist fabrication units for the hot-wire cutting of Styrofoam in Europe. Hot-wire cutting facilities include large volume and small batch capability. Blocks and/or sheetscan be cut to a thickness of 5mm and by 0.5mm increments to around 150mm.
Our purchasing power enables us to source an extensive range of fabrication blocks from Dow with lengths up to 3025mm, widths up to 1200mm and thickness up to 165mm. This ensures that the customer is able to achieve his required sheet size with the minimum of waste. The hot-wire cut surface of Styrofoam is ideal for the application of adhesives and is fully compatible with metals, plastics, and timber based products for bonding purposes. For pricing information please contact our sales office on 0114 249 5635.
Panel Systems operates three large 3-axis Cnc routers able to machine sheets up to 3650mm x 1525mm. In the case of Styrofoam, blocks up to 165mm are machined. In house CAD/CAM facilities enable us to rapidly prototype customer requirements and undertake both large and small production runs.
We are able to import an extensive range of file formats eg. dxf, dwg and we will also create CAD drawings and machining programs from customers rough outlines.
For pricing information please contact our sales office on 0114 249 5635.
The production of Styrofoam is primarily based on the extrusion of polystyrene with a blowing agent. There are two type of Styrofoam insulation products in the UK:
Type X which are foamed by a HFC. The ODP and GWP of the HFC foaming agent are 0 (kg CFC11 equivalent/kg HFC) and 1300 (kg carbon dioxide/kg HFC) respectively.
Type A which are foamed by carbon dioxide. The ODP and GWP of the carbon dioxide foaming agent are 0 (kg CFC11 equivalent/kg carbon dioxide and 1 (kg carbon dioxide/kg carbon dioxide) respectively.
The vast majority of Styrofoam waste created during our production is compacted and recycled.
For some of our customers it has proved to be beneficial for Panel Systems to undertake additional fabrication and machining to minimise their waste.