Also known in its generic name “extruded polystyrene foam” XPS, Styrofoam is the most commonly used insulation material in Kenya. Styrofoam is a type of polystyrene that is produced from beads which are expanded in controlled condition and molded into a light weight block.
The word Styrofoam is a trademarked brand of closed-cell extruded (XPS) polystyrene foam commonly known as “BLUE BOARD”
Styrofoam is manufactured as a foam, a continuous insulation board for buildings. It insulates walls, roofs as well as foundations as is a good thermal insulator and sound barrier. It is used in the interiors of all types of buildings as an insulator due to its ability to regulate room temperature, moisture and sound proofing.
In insulation, polystyrene which is made of air uses this air which is a poor heat conductor and great convector. Heat energy flow is blocked by the air trapped in the small air pockets of the Styrofoam. This reduces both conduction and convection making Styrofoam the best insulation material in Kenya. In cold seasons, Styrofoam on the inner walls of a building so that it reduces transfer of heat energy hence keeping the building warm.
Why Styrofoam is Popular in Kenya
- Excellent insulation properties. It is characterized with high resistance to moisture absorption and water vapor transmission
- Resistance to attack by fungi, bacteria and pests after installation
- Sound proofing, Styrofoam offers resistance to impact sound
- Best insulator, polystyrene insulates against heat losses
- It has excellent compressive strength characteristics
- Easy to install as It has self-supporting properties
- It is light weight allowing for economy of structural design
- Ease to cutting and handling
- Non-irritant and non-allergic
Applications of Styrofoam/ Polystyrene in Kenya
- Styrofoam is used in the area of refrigeration exclusively for cold stores and extensively for deep freeze rooms
- Styrofoam serves as a lightweight aggregate for concrete and insulating renderings and also in the production of lightweight clay bricks
- Insulation of prefabricating panels and building elements
- Insulation for ceilings, roofs walls and floors.
- Voids as reusable or in-situ formwork for concrete structures
- It is also used as a pipe insulator and in ducting