Polystyrene Boxing Clever

It keeps cold things cold and hot things hot. In any other world, it would be deemed a product with magic properties, fought over by governments across the globe. But this is polystyrene – and such is polystyrene’s versatility that nobody bats an eye.

 

 

 

 

Polystyrene – A mobile thermostat

Polystyrene boxes offer unparalleled insulation for temperature sensitive products. Without blinding you with science, the reason is they have an extremely low rate of thermal conductivity. It’s why you see so many of them piled up in fishing ports. Not only that but they add virtually zero weight to the operation, making them supremely portable. Chilled and frozen food couriers swear by them.

Environmentally friendly

Reusable, food safe, and water tight, polystyrene boxes are environmentally friendly in the extreme. Available in a multitude of sizes, they can be used to transport perishable foodstuffs again and again. Producers of meat, chilled pastries, and dairy products all love them.

Their well-known resilience, meanwhile, means they absorb knocks and bumps with zero or very little impact on whatever’s within. That is vital in fields where often it’s high-end quality goods that are being transported.

And it’s a box – so it can easily be emblazoned with your brand or message.

Versatile

Did you know there are people who use polystyrene boxes for cooking? Yes, really. Fill a polystyrene box with straw, slap in a part-cooked meal (helps if it’s in a pot obviously), set off to your dinner engagement of choice, and it will carry on cooking on the way. Don’t tell the power companies – they’ll be livid!

The box that keeps on giving

Even when they’re past their prime, polystyrene boxes keep on giving. They’re perfect for growing mushrooms, for example. Some people even use them as nest boxes for chickens.

This, though, has to be the best – store your kids’ Lego in them so it doesn’t make any noise when they pack it up or tip it out.

More surprising uses of polystyrene

We hope this short article has made for an interesting five-minute read.

Please stay tuned for more surprising uses of polystyrene over the next few weeks and if you have any queries about polystyrene and its clever box uses, please call the team on 01384 457730.

 

Uses of Polystyrene in the Rail Industry

Every month we write a blog article discussing the versatile uses of polystyrene. It never ceases to amaze people just how multifunctional this lightweight material is; take the rail industry as an example.

How does the rail industry use polystyrene?

The construction industry in general has many uses for polystyrene, due to its eco-friendly thermal performance qualities and efficiency in reducing project duration when used. Over the past few years we’ve seen the rail industry take on board (excuse the pun) the benefits of implementing polystyrene products into the construction of rail platforms.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) and its modular composition is widely used in Europe albeit adoption in using the material is fairly slow in the UK. Not only does the polystyrene carry all the official compliance for safe construction application, approved by European and Network Rail standards, but it also beats established methods for duration times hands down.

Recent quotes from Network Rail about a rail platform extension project in Peterborough, UK, suggests the completion time using polystyrene was a remarkable four times faster than if they had used concrete and two-three times faster than if steel had been the material of choice.

Polystyrene benefits in the rail industry

Despite being 98% air, polystyrene is hardwearing and offers excellent durability against the risks associated with fire and hazardous chemicals. The lightweight material removes the need to excavate a deep foundation and the modular construction allows for quick installation with fewer personnel. Consequently, this reduces risk to workers and greatly improves the consistency and scalability of projects.

According to a report by the Office of Rail Regulation it was stated: “An initial assessment of the reduction in cost compared to traditional platform construction method indicates a saving of approximately £1,100 per metre.”

Throw in the fact that polystyrene is recyclable and achieves an A+ summary rating in the BRE Global Green Guide to Specification then it ticks all boxes in our eyes.

If you are looking to explore the possibilities of polystyrene please feel free to contact us on 01384 457730.

 

Polystyrene – the green savior for economical buildings

Modern buildings need to be as efficient and eco-friendly as possible as governments strive to make organisations greener and those same organisations are looking for ways to tighten the financial belt without compromising health and safety.

Polystyrene Packaging

Individuals are also looking for warmer, quieter and more economical homes so, in reality, everyone is looking for a two-phase solution – one that is green and cost effective.

Polystyrene uses within the construction industry

Polystyrene is manufactured economically and has a multitude of effective uses when it comes to the construction industry that include:

  • Polystyrene balls
  • Large polystyrene blocks
  • Insulation boards
  • Expanded polystyrene sheets or beads (EPS)

Polystyrene is durable, recyclable and easily disposable. Buildings are now constructed with improved insulation levels, most notably aided by polystyrene. Used in conjunction with reinforced concrete and other building constituents, polystyrene can help with the stability and resilience of external and internal framework structures such as cavity walls and beam and block flooring systems.

The material is made up of 98% air, has no harmful CFC gases and maintains steady temperatures through its high insulation properties. Consequently this also guards against draghts from air leaks and the forces of Mother Nature.

Polystyrene supports economical building

Expanded polystyrene is now a key product used by the building industry for thermal performance, which also helps to support quicker and more efficient building. This goes a long way to help meet the demand for new build homes across the UK.

Lightweight moulded EPS panels are frequently used to construct underfloor heating systems. Heating pipes can easily be fitted within pre-cut polystyrene panels enabling rapid installation and for ground floor buildings and suspended floors (which were previously difficult to achieve). 

In addition, polystyrene is a very good noise insulator, perfect for when little Tommy wants to learn how to play the drums or the better half’s favourite television programme starts.

Even space exploration is considering the future use of polystyrene due to its lightweight and many diverse features.

If you are looking for a polystyrene manufacturer to partner with for your construction requirements, please feel free to contact us on 01384 457730.

 

Polystyrene your supportive lifesaver

We bet you’ve forgotten about the crucial part polystyrene played in your life as a child (or an adult). In fact, we’d go as far to say that it was once your lifesaver and, despite it’s lightweight composite of around 98% air, it was your rock too.

Yes, we’re talking about the extraordinarily simple yet life-changing product that is the … swimming float. Tried and tested, the swimming float comes in many guises but all offer universal support for beginners, developing swimmers and competitive use.

Here at Vertapak, our main focus is the production of high-quality polystyrene packaging and insulation solutions but occasionally we thought it would be fun to review some of the other important and uses of versatile polystyrene.

Polystyrene’s part in developing your water skills

Think back to when you first entered a body of water. You may have received the supportive hands of your mother or father gently immersing you into the water of a swimming pool on holiday or the local leisure centre. Blowup armbands were probably your first recollection of a swimming aid but budding swimmers cannot get far with expandable multicoloured biceps. Soon, a polystyrene aid is called for.

Not only does this essential item help with confidence building in the water but it also encourages the swimmer to develop their technique.

Nowadays, swimming aids that help toddlers and small children to learn how to swim and feel confident when buoyant in the water, come in all shapes and sizes. Choose from ‘kick board’ shapes in the form of wild animal characters, numbers or letters to lean on or grasp with the hands to practice the leg kick or a ‘pull buoy’ held between the thighs.

Supportive polystyrene

The main purpose of a polystyrene float is to support your weight whilst on your front or back and therefore leaving your limbs free to practice movements and to aid muscle strength. Because of this, the size of the float is important, as it has to hold a person’s weight. A quick guide is to measure the float against your arm.

Tubular Woggles are polystyrene cylinders about 1.5 metres long which can be used to support swimmers whilst also keeping legs and arms free for full movement front or back.

Disc bands, sectioned padded jackets and baby grow costumes are alternative polystyrene float aids.

Polystyrene recycling

Polystyrene contains no harmful CFC gases and is easily recycled. If you have any old polystyrene materials, consider reusing them as storage or packing aids at home or in the workplace. It can even be broken down into beads and mixed with new polystyrene beads in order to mould it into new materials.

Contact us on 01384 457730 for more details about any aspect of polystyrene design, production and packaging solutions. 

How Humpy is Lumpy Mail?

What on earth is lumpy mail we hear you cry? And why should how humpy it is have anything to do with me?

Lumpy mail is often used to describe something of a shaped curiosity that travels by mail. Frequently used as a marketing ploy by organisations who send branded merchandise to prospects or as part of a customer loyalty scheme.

Eagerness to open the unknown

The one element that all lumpy mail is characterised by is its rather knobbly or uneven shape and hence the reference to it being humpy.

Lumpy mail poses a problem for the sender in terms of how best to package the novelty item so that it doesn’t get damaged. Their nature sets them aside from a standard piece of mail in an envelope or a brightly printed postcard. Inquisitiveness will get the better of anyone, despite what some may argue, so lumpy mail always gets opened. The last thing any receiver wants to experience is the unveiling of a squashed or smashed trinket. Deflated disappointment will be felt and potential resentment towards the sender.

Vertapak packaging to the rescue

Some lumpy mail products could take the form of a less than uniquely branded gift such as a stress ball, mug or phone accessory. These items will already have specific packaging and protection in the form of polystyrene sheets or beads.

But if you have something truly special and extra lumpy then you may require tailored packaging to ensure safe arrival to a zealous beneficiary.

Polystyrene is lightweight and versatile. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) can be moulded to exact requirements to snugly secure even the humpiest of lumpy mail.

Through scientific calculation

It’s not rocket science but the process is rather ingenious. Using scanned images or product drawings, 3D polystyrene shapes can be designed using precise dimensions to contour any object.

The result is a perfectly formed protective layer or impact-absorbing cushion that is both lightweight and robust.

So when you next consider a marketing campaign or new product development that has the characteristic of lumpy mail – complete with hump or nodule – get in touch and we’ll develop a tailored packaging material to ensure the safe passage of your item.

Contact us on 01384 457730 for more details.

Polystyrene – an uncommon green-fingered ally

It’s probably safe to say that when you hear the word ‘polystyrene’ the last picture you imagine would be one of green fingers and anything to do with nature.

Polystyrene is not a material necessarily linked with the environment or the garden and when you think about its benefits you’d be more inclined to favour its protective qualities in providing a cushion for your latest Amazon purchase.

 

Polystyrene – your plants’ next best friend

We kid you not. Polystyrene is actually a cost effective alternative to pebbles and gravel for plant pot drainage.

We wouldn’t recommend using it when growing potted peppers or mint, or anything edible for that matter, just in case.

Before you pot a plant for the first time or when repotting, place a layer of small polystyrene chunks at the bottom of the pot, fill with soil and plant your flora as normal. Be careful not to use too much because there still needs to be some level of equilibrium – a top-heavy plant is no good to anyone when it starts to lean.

This method is particularly useful if your plants are large or the pots are bulky because the difference in weight between pebbles and polystyrene is actually quite a lot. Think of your back and practice positive weight-lifting techniques.

A hidden friend in the flowerbed

Moulded polystyrene trays or deep food packaging containers can be repurposed for DIY raised flowerbeds in your back garden.

Depending on the size of the trays or where you want your flowers to bloom you may need to devise some way of concealing the colour of the polystyrene by painting or covering it in some way. Carefully choosing a tumbling variety of flower will allow them to grow and cascade over the edges of the polystyrene.

Some trays will come prepared with their own ‘mini drainage’ system in the form of manufactured precision holes, especially if its original purpose was to package something that needed aerating. Failing that, use a small sharp object to prick a few holes at the bottom.

More surprising uses of polystyrene

We hope this short article has made for an interesting five-minute read. Please stay tuned for more surprising uses of polystyrene over the next few weeks.

5 ways to reuse polystyrene

polystyrene packagingPolystyrene sometimes gets a bad press because it is bulky and it cannot be easily recycled without using some solvents. However, despite the negative characteristics, polystyrene waste can also be very useful in people’s homes.

The following are the top five ways in which you can reuse polystyrene.

  1. Use the polystyrene to make home-made superglue. Not many people know that they can recycle the polystyrene to make their own superglue. You can do so by mixing a large amount of packed peanuts with d-Limonene, which is orange rind oil. The oil ingredients will slowly break down and dissolve the polystyrene, making it sticky. Then you can use it as nice permanent glue.
  2. Use it for drainage in the base of your plant pots. Of course, you should not use it for pots where you grow edible fruits or veg, but it works great as replacement for gravel or pebbles in your plant pots. Line the base of the plant pot with a thin layer of polystyrene chunks and bed your plants as usual. Using polystyrene as drainage is great if you plan to regularly move your plants because it is a much lighter material.
  3. Polystyrene can also be used as an insulator. However, this should be done with extreme caution because the material is flammable if it is not treated with flame retardant.
  4. Polystyrene materials can be used for cushioning different delicate things during a house move or for shipping fragile materials.
  5. Use the polystyrene for your patio. Larger polystyrene pieces like those obtained from big box electronic appliances or from refrigerators can serve as great raised beds for your garden. Make some tiny holes with a knife in the polystyrene pieces, and they can serve as drainage holes for different purposes in your garden.

The economic role of packaging in the service industry

Every person in the world today is affected by some form of packaging. Many people are not aware of the economic role and the value it has in the service industry, simply because they are not involved in the industry or they do not pay attention to the role the packaging has in getting the final product to them. However, without packaging, the country`s Gross Domestic Product would suffer.

Polystyrene Packaging

This is because of the fact that products cannot be shipped from the producer to the retailer and ultimately to the consumer, without proper packaging. Packaging must be designed by using specific materials, made of different sizes and shapes, and packaging materials also must be very strong to resist shocks and hazards when the product is transferred.

Packaging serves as a protection for the product, not only from transport and physical damages, but also from bacterial and microbial damages and climatic issues, like cold, moisture, heat, frost, etc. In this regard, especially relating to food products, packaging greatly reduces the waste of food. The packaging also serves as a way for identification, tracking and tracing of the product. Consumers today are well aware of the shelf life of the products and the product tractability to the manufacturer, which enables a quick product recall in case if the integrity of the product has been affected in a negative way.

Although packaging only contributes a small portion of the country`s gross domestic product and consequently of that – a small portion of waste, the packaging industry still impacts the present and the future of the planet and it has a big economic role to play. Humanity is well aware that the planet`s resources are greatly limited, so every effort counts in conserving our valuable resources.

Today, many packaging companies across the world are affiliated with the World Packaging Organisation in order to increase the economic benefits for the countries. Packaging industries are also networked through other global organisations and all work towards the same goal – to reduce, recycle, recover, and renew the packaging materials so the world economies all benefit.

At Vertapak we play our part in keeping packaging environmentally-friendly where we can and we are totally committed to the benefits of recycling.

Steps to Recycling Packing Peanuts

polystyrene packagingPink and white packing peanuts are made of polystyrene. This is a very durable material that will take centuries to decompose naturally. So, if they are not treated in the right way, packing peanuts can become a serious threat to the environment. Fortunately, there is a way to recycle or reuse packing peanuts effectively and also, to be a bit creative with them:

  1. Companies can use biodegradable packing peanuts. You can easily recognize these packing peanuts because they come in green colour and they are made from environmentally-friendly materials.
  2. It is also a good idea to reuse the packing peanuts. Simply store them in a plastic bag and use them whenever you are mailing a package.
  3. Ask businesses whether they need packing peanuts. Many businesses that ship products would like to take packing peanuts.
  4. Replace gravel in planters with packing peanuts made of polystyrene. This will give you great drainage and make the planters much easier to move and lift.
  5. Make the perfect pillow for your dog/pet. This will be a great item for any pet owner. Take a pillowcase with a zipper and stuff it with these packing peanuts. This is the perfect, comfy cushion for the pet. On top of that, these packing peanuts provide great air flow.
  6. Use packing peanuts to refill your bean bag chairs.
  7. Use them for a child’s Halloween costume. It is very easy to sew these packing peanuts and use them to create effects on your costume like toned muscles or fat bellies. You can have lots of fun with your kids creating something like this.

 

We hope we’ve given you some ideas!

 

What exactly are Polystyrene Sheets?

Polystyrene sheets are relatively thin layers of material based on polystyrene foam. In many cases, people call these sheets Styrofoam sheets, which are actually one of the most popular products based on this material. The foam is made of hydrocarbon molecules that come from petroleum. They are inserted with the help of special air pressure technique and carefully molded into sheets. The sheets have the shape and size of drywall or plywood. Polystyrene sheets deliver great insulating effects. On top of that, they also provide a good level of structural strength which makes them suitable for different applications.

There are two varieties (and many sub-varieties) of polystyrene sheets. The main difference is the process of manufacturing. First of all, there are extruded polystyrene sheets which are based on polystyrene beads. These beads are melted and inserted through a mold or metal die. The sheets are known for their dense and closed-cell structure. They are also stronger, more durable and stiffer compared to other kinds of polystyrene sheets.

The second type is expanded polystyrene sheets. These are based on polystyrene beads with inserted air and tightly pressed in forms or molds. The sheets construction is less dense compared to extruded polystyrene sheets. This means that they are not as good as XPS for structural application.

Polystyrene sheets are mostly used for building insulation. They come in the form of panels that are installed under roofing and wall cavities or sidings. The main objective is to improve thermal resistance between interior and exterior surfaces. In some cases, polystyrene sheets are used in specific building materials like insulated concrete forms and structurally insulated panels. These sheets are often used to provide protection of packages and goods during the process of shipping and to line freezers and coolers. They can also be used for creating art and as part of crafts projects.

One of the key benefits of polystyrene sheets is that they have great insulating properties, they are easy to install, inexpensive, durable and lightweight.

For more advice, please get in touch.