Foam has many uses in packaging. Sometimes we distribute rolls of foam, or loose fill a.k.a. "peanuts". We sometimes glue convoluted foam inside a diecut box to ship electronics or polyethylene onto corrugated sheets for the automotive industry. Which foam to use for which application? What kind of foam are you holding in your hand? Here is a quick primer:

PE = Polyethylene
A.K.A.: Ethafoam (Dow), and Astroplank (PACTIV), Sealed Air produces CelluPlank™ and Stratocell™
Uses: These products are converted to the proper size and then applied with a heat bond. Polyethelyene can be made to be antistatic.

EPS = Expanded polystyrene
This is the material in the common foam coffee cup. It is produced in blocks or sheets, then cut to almost any shape. The foam can be glued to corrugated. It can be made to be anti-static.

PU = Polyurethane foam
A.K.A.: polyfoam, flexible urethane

PP = Polypropylene
Commonly used for strapping. Polypropylene is often used for food containers, especially if they need to be dishwasher safe; this is due to its high melting point.

Paragon Packaging Products, Inc
Post Office Box 1    625 Beaver Road     Girard, PA 16417-0001
Local 814 774-9621   800 452-0425    fax: 814 774-3689

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