"Particle foam" is the collective name for a whole series of materials with various interesting properties.
The ideal solution often consists of a combination of different materials.
For decades, EPS (expanded polystyrene) has been proving its qualities as a good and economical packaging solution for fragile and/or temperature-sensitive products. With a minimum of raw materials, a lightweight packaging can be designed of which the properties can be perfectly calculated in advance during the design.
The extremely durable EPP (expanded polyethylene) is mainly used for reusable returnable packaging and for built-in parts for the automotive sector (bumpers, headrests, sun visors, side-impact protection, ...).
The porous version of EPP also has sound-absorbing properties. Due to the open structure, it also offers additional possibilities for applications related to drainage.
EPE (expandable polyethylene) is more flexible than EPS and EPP and less abrasive. It is mainly used when greater flexibility is required and/or when there is direct contact with painted surfaces.
The gray versions of EPS (such as NEOPOR from BASF) contain graphite, which further improves its thermal insulation.
PIOCELAN, ARCEL, ...
Copolymers such as PIOCELAN, ARCEL etc. offer intermediate solutions that combine advantages of different materials (e.g. rotary packaging with the stability of EPS, but with greater durability).
E-TPU (expanded thermoplastic polyurethane) is a super elastic foam.
It is just as elastic as rubber, but with a lower weight.
ECOVIO, compostable EPS
Compostable foams of biological origin (such as ECOVIO) are in full development.