Styrofoam Blocks: The New Wave In The Building Market
Styrofoam is a feather-light, durable, strong and recyclable foam material made from expanded polystyrene foam (EPS), which is different from the extruded polystyrene foam (XPS). It is used in walls, roofs, foundations as water and thermal barriers, and cushioning material in packaging. It is cost-effective and energy-saving, hence, is recommended for all types of buildings and craft applications, with R-value of its insulation being up to five per inch.
It is used in absolute thermal and sound insulation of walls of buildings, because of the energy-efficient blocks. Though Styrofoam block is strong, the building structure is reinforced using steel bars and concrete to fill the spaces. Because of the ease with which it can be cut, wirings can be done, and plumbing pipes can be passed through the blocks without any difficulty.
Styrofoam blocks, like Lego blocks, can be stacked on itself to almost any height; hence, skyscrapers and multi-story buildings can be constructed with ease and cost-effectiveness. Due to the way the block is made; buildings can be constructed with remarkable speed.
The main advantages were found to be its high thermal insulation performance and its high tensile strength despite it being easy to cut. Other of its advantages are:
It decreases sound conduction outside the building.
It can be easily recycled.
It can be decorated with paint, for craft application.
It is relatively cheap.
It does not rot, hence has a long lifespan.
Risks of leakages are drastically minimized.
Uses of Styrofoam blocks
The main applicable forms were found to be in constructing walls for all types of buildings, including apartments, offices. It was also discovered as a suitable tool in the construction of factories that produce a high amount of sound or those where energy (heat) saving is important. Other important uses include:
It is used in creating lasting furniture, like tables, chairs, etc. It is also employed in plumbing, being used for in-house piping systems. It is applied in making of utensils, such as coffee cups.
It can be used for arts and crafts, in making sculptures.
It is importantly used in producing food service products, such as food flasks.
Its uses are not just within the confines of the building of walls; it is also used in making roofs and floors for buildings.
It is vital in transportation because it can be used under roads to prevent soil disturbances due to freezing and melting.
Limitations of Styrofoam blocks
It is combustible and should be kept away from heat sources, and protected from the flame. Also, it is resistant to photolysis, so does not biodegrade even after discarded for a long time. When incinerated – whether partially or completely, carbon soot is left behind, and this could contribute to global warming. It is also not recognized as artificial by animals and can be mistaken as food, leading to poisoning.
Even with its varied importance in the building, Styrofoam block is not limited to building. It is actively used in arts and craft, and also in the production of furniture and food service products. Styrofoam is the new raving product in building market and can be all over the house and the office.
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