As people look for creative solutions in their professional and personal lives, materials that were once only used in one or two applications are now being used for a range of applications that they were never considered for. Size, weight, versatility and affordability are some of the largest factors driving individuals to re-evaluate the status quo and find a new way to accomplish their goals. One such material that has proven to be valuable in far more applications than traditionally thought is polystyrene.
With its primary use as a packaging and insulating material, expanded polystyrene (EPS) has proven its worth as a lightweight, high-performance product. With a non-absorbing, rigid form, it stands up for years of use in conditions that many materials would not last long in. Because of these qualities, polystyrene has been applied to a widening spectrum of applications, including home construction and furnishings, prototyping and advertising. And with their computer controlled machinery and cutting capabilities, Foam Factory can help you use EPS for nearly any idea you can dream up.
As an insulator, polystyrene has been used for years to keep homes and buildings at the right temperature and free of drafts, moisture and insects. But even as an insulator, new uses for EPS have arisen over the years. One of today’s most common insulating requests for EPS is in hot tub covers, and Foam Factory’s cutting capabilities allow them to meet virtually any request. With their computer-controlled hot wire cutter, Foam Factory is able to produce covers from their three EPS foam densities in any shape, size or design. This technology allows for unique covers to be made for one-of-a-kind spas that may be difficult to cover using cookie-cutter products. Tapers and rounded edges are able to be cut into these covers with the hot wire technology, allowing the runoff of rain and moisture and creating a more streamlined appearance to your hot tub.
But perhaps the most unique and interesting application of EPS cutting is in the decorating and building of homes, and the ability to create unique custom shapes with specialized machinery is the reason why. As a rigid material, polystyrene foam is easily cut into the sheets and boards that we see in home insulation. However, when trimmed by the proper machinery, that rigidity also allows it to be manipulated to create resilient, form-retaining structures that can replicate the appearances of materials that are much greater in weight and cost than polystyrene.
Foam Factory’s custom hot wire cutting allows them to replicate many features of home and building décor, quickly and affordably. And with its non-absorbing, water resistant structure, EPS is perfect for outdoor décor installations that would otherwise require expensive materials, like crown molding. Nearly any application needing a decorative touch but not requiring structural support can be created from EPS. Foam Factory has produced architectural foam columns, foam crown molding, caps and bases, brackets, balustrades, and railings that can be decorative or encase less elegant support structures.
These additions to a home, when made out of wood and stone, like molding for example, can add hundreds of pounds in weight to a structure and thousands of dollars to a renovation bill. With construction foam, these kinds of additions can be made for a fraction of the cost but with an appearance that can mirror the more expensive materials.
The cutting machines of Foam Factory allow them to create four-sided 3-D shapes as well as lathe-style twists along the body of a form. This allows the formation of contoured caps and bases for columns of any size, as well as the formation of the column itself, to your design specifications. Brackets can be made to simulate the appearance of an outdoor support system or cut to physically encase an existing support system. Foam Factory specializes in the creation of indoor polyurethane foam products, but weather resistant outdoor molding in many sizes and designs can be cut from EPS to add an understated elegance to a home or business. Decorative balustrades can be added to railing and balcony systems outside of upper-story windows. The application of hard coat sealants to these forms further protects the material against the elements and creates a surface that can be painted, stained or treated to mimic that of more expensive building materials, like marble, stucco and sandstone.
For businesses, custom EPS pieces have another outdoor application: signs. 2-D signs can be easily created using the aforementioned hot wire cutter, as well as Foam Factory’s computer controlled waterjet cutting machine. Signs that stand out, both because of size and design are excellent uses for EPS due to the level of customization and precision available with the material in addition to its adaptability to outdoor purposes. The process of water cutting shoots an incredibly thin but powerful stream of water through the foam sheet, and is able to trace outlines as well as make interior cuts that the hot wire foam cutter is unable to create. The hot wire cutter however, is able to make much smoother cuts due to it melting the foam as it passes, rather than cutting it. Having both machines gives Foam Factory the versatility to produce virtually any kind of sign. Depending on the design, the cutouts can be laminated to a solid base or left as a stand-alone shape for branding your company and creating an eye-catching sign.
Beyond these applications, Foam Factory’s EPS foam cutting machinery is able to produce custom packaging designs, prototypes and even toys like gliders. So, the next time you’re weighing your options for materials on a project, consider EPS foam and the versatility custom cutting services provide.
Note: EPS home décor products are designed as decoration only and not as a structural, support or weight-bearing system. This information is provided at your own risk. Foam Factory is not responsible for injury, death or loss arising out of the use or misuse of our products.