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Is EPE Foam Recyclable?

Sep. 09, 2022
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Table of Contents

1. What is EPE Foam?

2. Is EPE Foam Recyclable?

3. What Are The Advantages of EPE Foam?

4. What Are The Applications of EPE?

5. Are EPE Foam and EVA Foam Different?

 

Is EPE Foam Recyclable?

 

What is EPE Foam?

EPE foam, or Expanded Polyethylene foam, is one of the most widely used plastics in production. What is polyethylene foam? It is a thermoplastic resin, which means that it can be melted by heating and cooled to form different shapes and objects.

 

What Are The Chemical and Physical Properties of EPE?

The physical and chemical properties of EPE foam are what give it its desirable characteristics. It is due to these properties that this plastic has avariety of applications in different industries such as EPE foam padding, EPE foam tube, and EPE foam sheet.

 

Chemical Properties of EPE Foam

The chemical makeup of expanded polyethylene is similar to most plastics, and of the form (C₂H₄)nH₂. EPE is usually white in colour unless a dye or other colour pigment is added to it during the melting process. 

EPE foam is also referred to as bead board in the plastic industry. It is a closed cell foam, which allows it to take up more volume and be light weight.

 

Physical Properties of EPE Foam

EPE foam is a harmless plastic and has no taste or odour. 

It is a very popular material for packaging goods as it is light in weight and flexible. It has the ability to absorb shock and provide good cushioning to delicate objects.

EPE has a high weight to strength ratio and high thermal resistance. It can be heated and melted multiple times, and reshaped into other new objects due to the high EPE foam temperature range.

EPE foam is resistant to water, oils, and many chemicals. It is also a very good insulating material. EPE is available in different densities, according to its application or purpose.

 

Is EPE Foam Recyclable?

EPE Foam Recycling Machine

 

Is EPE Foam Recyclable?

Yes! This is probably one of the most important characteristics of foamed polyethylene due to the huge potential impact it can have on the environment.

Expanded polyethylene foam can be melted and reshaped into various shapes multiple times. This is due to its high thermal resistance properties that enable it to maintain its chemical structure even when subjected to high temperatures and turned into molten plastic.

This is a very important property of epe material that allows it to be reused and recycled, reducing the amount of plastic in the environment.

However, there are very limited number of companies who offer recycling EPE, contributing to a very low global recycling rate. It is crucial to either melt and recycle EPE or compact the plastic in order to prevent burning of EPE waste or adding to landfills.

Among the most common methods of recycling are reusing EPE or bonding and grinding of expanded polyethylene. Recycled EPE can be used for packaging material or as underlay for carpeting in large rooms.

 

What Are The Advantages of EPE Foam?

1. Superior Shock Absorbency:

The closed cell structure of EPE foam makes it able to withstand and absorb high amounts of shock or stress and provide good cushioning to the object it is covering.

2. Extremely Flexible:

EPE foam is a very flexible material compared to other forms of foam. EPE thus gives most protection for oddly shaped objects.

3. Resistance To Chemicals:

EPE foam is highly resistant to strong corrosive chemicals like solvents, acids and alkalis. This makes it suitable for providing a barrier or shield for extra protection while storing and handling these chemicals.

4. Regains Form Easily:

Another advantage of expanded polyethylene is that it quickly regains its original shape after the source of stress or shock has been removed. It cannot be broken, fractured, crumbled, or shattered.

5. Insulation Properties:

EPE foam has very low thermal conductivity and thus offers the best insulation against heat.

6. Resistance to Water/ Moisture:

The chemical structure of expanded polyethylene foam makes it almost impermeable. EPE therefore does not absorb water or allow it to pass through. It is thus used as water protection for materials.

7. Resistance to Static:

Some forms of EPE are highly resistant to static and thus do not attract dust and other tiny particles to its surface.

8. Non Toxic And Food Safe:

EPE foam is non toxic, and thus can be used for food packaging. It is also resistant to the growth of microbes and fungi on its surface. It is odourless.

9. Aesthetics:

EPE foam can be dyed in a variety of colours, thus allowing for colour coding or purely aesthetic applications.

10. Ease of Handling:

EPE foam is fairly easy to use. It is easily cut, moulded, shaped and glued to other objects or to itself. It can easily be shaped into various objects without the use of expensive equipment or moulds.

11. Usable Temperature Range:

EPE foam can be used within the temperature range of 40 to 70 degrees without affecting its structure or any of its properties thus making it very suitable for a wide variety of applications that require heat or electrical insulation.

12. Extremely Light Weight:

Although quite tough, EPE foam is very lightweight, thus making it easy to transport and handle. It can be used for a wide variety of applications due to this property.

 

What Are The Applications of EPE?

Expanded polyethylene can be used for a large variety of applications such as the ones listed below:

In Construction:

EPE can be used for many applications in construction such as in joint fillers, water proofing, etc.

Shock Absorption:

EPE foam can be used for the protection of fragile and breakable items such as glass and glassware, scientific instruments, delicate parts of machinery, scratchable materials such as marble and granite, etc.

Buoyant Applications:

EPE is used in the making of life vests and other floatation devices.

Insulation:

Expanded polyethylene is widely used for insulating air conditioners, pipes, heaters, etc.

Sports:

EPE is used for making sports mats, yoga mats, shin guards, thigh guards, etc.

 

As a professional blow molding machine supplier, our main products include Plastic Bottle Extrusion Blow Molding Machine, PET Bottle Blowing Machine, EPE Foam sheet / Pipe / Rod extrusion machineEPS Shape Molding Machine, Recycling and Granulate Machine and their Process Equipments Etc. If you need to order them, feel free to contact us.

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