Expanded polystyrene beads are a popular insulation solution for retrofitting cavity walls in UK homes. This Q&A with Jeff Harris, Technical Manager at ThermaBead Carbon Saver, discusses the benefits of bead cavity wall insulation.
Beads are blown into the wall using an air-drying bonding agent, meaning far fewer holes than other insulation systems require. This ensures a consistent and accurate thermal projection across the installed area with no cold spots.
Blown bead cavity wall insulation, such as ThermaBead Carbon Saver, requires less holes to be drilled in your home. Unlike fibrous insulation, it can be blown into your walls with a special injection gun. It also has the unique ability to fill your cavities with a consistent density. This ensures that your property is fully insulated with no gaps or cold spots and it helps to improve energy efficiency by up to 20%.
Thermabead is made from hard little beads which start out as hydrocarbon molecules and are put through a steam process to expand. These little beads then fuse together and are moulded into different products such as foam building insulation or food packaging. They are also blown into block shaped molds and pressed under heat and pressure to become EPS (expanded polystyrene).
EPS has many benefits as it is fire retardant and BBA approved for use in homes. It is also resistant to mildew, mould and insect infestation and can withstand high levels of humidity.
As the name suggests this insulation is made from polystyrene and to achieve a high R-Value, it is expanded. This is done by heating the beads, mixing them with steam and a small amount of pentane (which acts as a blowing agent). This expansion increases the size of the beads by up to 60 times.
Once the beads are ready they are injected into cavity walls through 22mm holes, the size of 10p pieces drilled through the mortar joints. This method requires far fewer holes than other systems and is very quick and simple.
The beads flow at high speed like a liquid, seeking out all the nooks and crannies in the wall and filling them completely. They are also extremely resistant to moisture and humidity, unlike some other products which can be prone to damp problems in the long term. This is an important factor when considering retrofitting insulation into existing buildings as it can be costly if damp is allowed to enter.
Extremely low weight
Polystyrene beads have a very high percentage of air, which makes them extremely light. This also helps to increase their functionality, providing a lot of cushioning. It can be used in sofas, armchairs and pouffes. In addition, it is often used as filling for neck pillows and soft toys.
EPS foam is manufactured by heating polystyrene resin with steam and the blowing agent pentane. The beads expand to a uniform cellular structure, resulting in a material that is 98% air and only 2% polystyrene. EPS is a versatile closed-cell insulation material that has excellent thermal and acoustic properties.
It is particularly suitable for use in cavities, as it offers excellent thermal properties and can help to save energy by reducing the amount of heat lost through the walls of your home. EPS is installed through injection holes that are professionally drilled into your cavity wall by experts, in a process designed to optimise the performance of your insulant.
Polystyrene beads insulation suppliers, also known as puffed expanded polystyrene (EPS), are the first step in producing EPS blocks. The beads are puffed by steam and impregnated with the foaming agent pentane. The beads are then blown into large bags and shipped to their final destinations. You might have seen puffed polystyrene beads in coolers, wine shippers, molded end caps and corners, box packaging, and even cups at your office water cooler.
Aside from their exceptional functionality, puffed expanded polystyrene beads are distinguished by their excellent plasticity and extreme lightness. They can be easily manipulated into the desired shape of furniture peace, and their perfectly filled structure ensures extraordinary comfort during the use of the piece. This is why a growing number of companies choose puffed EPS beads as the filling for their headboards. Unlike traditional fiberglass insulation, these headboards are not subject to moisture problems or condensation. They are also highly affordable and easy to install.