Styrofoam is a brand name for expanded polystyrene, a petroleum-based plastic made from styrene monomers. Its generic name is EPS foam. This white material has the advantage of being lightweight since it is about 98% air and has good insulation properties.
How to paint styrofoam can be tricky. This is because many paints and coatings contain acetone, or solvents such as benzene, toluene, and tetrahydrofuran. They all dissolve polystyrene, causing it to lose its structure. When it dissolves, all the air escapes, reducing the EPS foam to almost nothing.
This article will look at the ways to cope with hardening styrofoam and painting it, both as a craft material and on a larger scale.
Uses of EPS Foam
EPS foam has many uses as food packaging and in the construction industry. Aside from its good thermal insulation, it has a high impact resistance, which is useful for protective packaging. Like other plastics, EPS foam can be molded, making it versatile.
In the construction industry, its uses include, but are not confined to:
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
Thermal insulation for walls, floors, and roofs
Cavity wall insulation