Welcome to Springvale EPS Ltd – The UK’s leading manufacturer of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)

We are a privately owned producer of premium high performance products which we have supplied into the House Building, Construction, Caravan and other industries for over 50 years.

Our ability to respond to the challenges of our customers and to create added value whilst meeting the needs of the market has been a large part of our continued growth. We are also market leaders in manufacturing excellence, technical expertise and we provide all our clients with first class customer service.

We pride ourselves on being a customer-focussed business and are committed to best practice and adopting the requirements of the Quality Management standard; ISO 9001 and Environmental Management standard; ISO 14001 to support and continually improve our business processes.

A Brief History of Polystyrene

Polystyrene is a strong plastic which can be extruded or moulded. This makes it a very useful and versatile manufacturing material.

Eduard Simon & Hermann Staudinger polymer research

German apothecary Eduard Simon discovered polystyrene in 1839 when he isolated the substance from natural resin. It took another organic chemist named Hermann Staudinger to realize that Simon’s discovery, comprised of long chains of styrene molecules, was a plastic polymer.

In 1922, Staudinger published his theories on polymers. They stated that natural rubbers were made up of long repetitive chains of monomers that gave rubber its elasticity and materials manufactured by the thermal processing of styrene were similar to rubber.

In 1953, Staudinger won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his research.

BASF commercial use of polystyrene

Badische Anilin & Soda-Fabrik or BASF was founded in 1861. In 1930, the scientists at BASF developed a way to commercially manufacture polystyrene. A company called I.G. Farben is often listed as the developer of polystyrene because BASF was under trust to I G. Farben in 1930. In 1937, the Dow Chemical company introduced polystyrene products to the U.S. market.

Ray McIntire – Styrofoam inventor

Dow Chemical Company scientist Ray McIntire invented foamed (expanded) polystyrene aka Styrofoam (trademark of the Dow Chemical Company). McIntire said his invention of foamed polystyrene was purely accidental. His invention came about as he was trying to find a flexible electrical insulator around the time of World War II.

How are Expanded Polystyrene Products made

  • Polystyrene starts as small spherical beads that contain an expanding agent.
  • The polystyrene beads are heated with steam. As the expanding agent boils, the beads soften and expand up to forty times their original size.
  • The expanded beads are left to cool down before being heated again, however, this time the beads are expanded within a mould.
  • The beads completely fill the mould and also fuse together.
  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is about 98% percent air.
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