What is EPS?

EPS, or expanded polystyrene, is a rigid cellular plastic originally invented in Germany by BASF in 1950. It has been used in packaging solutions since 1958. It is 98% air but the rest is made from tiny, spherical EPS beads - themselves made only of carbon and hydrogen.

What is EPS?

3 Stage Process

EPS structures are produced through a 3 part process called steam moulding that expands these tiny beads to more than 40 times their original size. This expanding process is precisely timed to determine the size the beads will finally reach. It is this final density of the expanded beads that determines the strength of the structure.

After the first stage the beads are left to absorb air for between 24 and 48 hours. In the final stage the freshly expanded beads are poured into individually manufactured moulds where steam and pressure are applied to compress and bond the beads into a final structure of the required strength and density.

Polystyrene Beads

The Benefits of EPS

EPS offers a range of benefits over alternative materials. It is:


Unaffected by moisture, damp, heat, its soft surface protects against impact damage and dirt.


98% Air, EPS is one of the lightest packaging materials on earth


Outstanding shock absorbency and compression resistance


Suitable for the smallest and the largest components


Outstanding thermal properties make EPS ideal for applications from food through to construction

6Easily Branded

The surface can be printed upon or labels can be attached

7Easily Recycled

"EPS is 100 per cent recyclable and in the UK is currently being recycled at higher levels than either glass or aluminum. If environment credentials are important to you organization you need have no qualms about using EPS"