The Ozone Layer –vs- Expanded Polystyrene Foam

Expanded polystyrene EPS is a closed cell, lightweight foam which by itself, depending upon density has a compressive strength between 10 and 60 pounds per sq. inch. EPS is ideal foam for most construction applications. EPS is used extensively in AZEI Building Panels.

Unlike polyurethane and formaldehyde foams, which use unstable gases in their manufacture, EPS contains only stabilized air. Thus its R-value will not decrease, as others do, with age. EPS can withstand the thermal shock of extreme freeze-thaw cycling without loss of insulation value or structural integrity.

EPS is an inert (plastic product with no future chemical activity) insulation material. It has no nutritive value for plants, insects or other animals to feed upon. It will not rot and is extremely resistant to mildew.

The Ozone Issue
The news media has brought national attention to the scientific communities’ well documented ozone loss theory. Over recent years, the uncontrolled release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) are reducing or eroding the atmospheric ozone layer of the earth and this erosion continues at an unacceptable rate.

The specific cause of the depletion is unknown – some scientists speculate that this is mainly due to the release of CFC’s. These gases are used throughout the world in refrigeration systems, aerosol cans and some plastic foams. It is the area of plastic foams which seem to cause the most confusion. Some foams use CFC’s as a blowing agent and some do not. The following insulations do contain CFC’s as a blowing agent: isocyanurates, extruded polystyrenes and phenalics.

EXPANDED POLYSTYRENE DOES NOT CONTAIN CFC’s! The blowing agent used to manufacture EPS is pentane, which is totally free of chloro-fluorocarbons and unrelated to the CFC/ozone controversy. Therefore, if you too share the present concerns of the scientific community regarding ozone depletion and its potential long term ramifications, then we strongly suggest the use of expanded polystyrene as used exclusively in AZEI Building Panels.