Frequently Asked Questions About Plastic Foam The following are some frequently asked questions about plastic foam:
What are the different kinds of plastic foam?
There are many different kinds of plastic foam for you to choose from, so you should not have a problem finding a material to suit your needs. One of the most recognizable plastic foam is packing peanuts, which resemble their namesake. Expanded polystyrene looks like a brick or sheet of little foam beads. Polyurethane can be shaped to resemble expanded polystyrene, but polyurethane does not have the distinct bubbles that expanded polystyrene does. Polyurethane can also be made to be a lot more flexible and moldable than other plastic foams.
What can plastic foam be used for?
Plastic foam is mostly commonly associated with shipping materials. It is used to cushion items being shipped and to hold them in place. Remember that different plastic foams have unique properties. For example, expanded polystyrene offers support, which is great for keeping items in place but provides little to no protection from rough handling. Packing peanuts, on the other hand, are more yielding, but they will not prevent a sturdy item from shifting around. Plastic foam is also used to make a variety of disposable items, like plates and restaurant carryout boxes. Polyurethane, when in its sponge like form, can be manufactured into home products, like mattress covers and seat cushions.
What are the advantages of using plastic foam?
The main advantage of plastic foam products is that they are typically inexpensive to manufacture. They are composed of manmade materials, which means that natural resources do not need to be harvested in order to make them. Additionally, plastic foam can be manufactured, molded, and cut into different forms to serve many different purposes.
What are the disadvantages of using plastic foam?
The major downfall of plastic foam is that it is not biodegradable. These polymers and other manmade substances will spend years upon years in landfills. Many companies, both commercial and industrial, avoid excessive use of plastic foam for this reason, or they encourage their employees and consumers to recycle the materials.