At Armstrong Brands, it is our 360-degree approach to production that ensures a quality product is delivered to market every time an order is placed. Before any production can ever take place, your goals and objectives are established and agreed on. We then work on a custom foam solution designed to meet your criteria. We will work with you throughout the entire pre-production process to help you make the best choices regarding designs, specifications & materials.
Armstrong uses the latest in materials technology to provide you the greatest degree of flexibility and options to meet your goals. This includes providing a versatile line-up of materials that allow us to produce quality foam products that are durable, dependable and right for you. Every time. All the time.
More information and technical data on any and all of our materials can be provided upon request.
EPS foam is the familiar white material that cushions, insulates & protects all types of products during distribution.
Expanded Polystyrene is a generic term for polystyrene and styrene copolymers that are expanded into a variety of useful products. It is supplied to molders in a resin form of polystyrene beads. EPS beads are loaded with a blowing agent, usually pentane, that gives the beads expansion vibrancy and allows them to be processed and molded into low-density foam articles as it is comprised of 90 percent air. The shock absorbing properties combined with its low cost, high insulating properties and custom mold-ability and ease of processing make it the most popular of the moldable foams.
EPS Foam is also recyclable! See our blog on "Expanded Polystyrene Foam - White is the new Green".
ARCEL® moldable foam possesses physical properties that make it an excellent choice for a wide range of applications. It is recyclable, so costs can be reduced. It provides many benefits for innovative designs in terms of mold-ability, flexibility, strength and density per mass ratio. In addition, products made with ARCEL® moldable foam can function in the toughest situations.
ARCEL®'s durability, reusability and recycle ability has contributed significantly to the solution for solid waste disposal problems through both reusable packaging and material handling applications.
REUSABLE PACKAGING: The cushioning properties of ARCEL® are not lost after one, two or even three shipments. With a great number of uses per packaging set, our customers require fewer purchases. This advantage can eliminate paperwork, save time and lower inventory costs. As new ARCEL® product is ordered, "spent" product can be returned for recycling, reducing dumpster fees and waste.
MATERIAL HANDLING APPLICATIONS: There are several "closed loop" methods in which ARCEL® foam can meet your individual handling needs. After delivery of the original ARCEL® product, customers use and reuse the product until such time as the brand the product as "spent". The final step in the life cycle of ARCEL® foam product is recycling the obsolete or spent product and reintroducing the recycled particles into "new" molded foam parts.
A premium grade material, with performance specifications a notch above EPS.
R-MER® expandable resin provides performance cushion packaging for fragile, high value items. It is a high performance resin product designed to provide enhanced fracture resistance and improved multiple impact properties for premium cushioning. R-MER® resin may be expanded and molded using conventional EPS equipment and recycled using conventional EPS technologies.
Whether you are working on a completely new design or updating an old design, Armstrong Brands can offer a solution. We work with you to create a realistic, efficient product solution to meet your requirements. Whether you are planning ahead for an upcoming project or trying to fix an existing problem, Armstrong Brands' Sales & Design team will follow through. We are interested in partnering with you to create a molded foam product that you can be confident in.
Together with the right size and shape of your solution, we will always include consideration of the following physical properties of molded foam materials: Expanded Polystyrene (EPS), ARCEL, & R-MER.
The mechanical properties of molded foam depend primarily on density. Generally strength characteristics increase with density, however the cushioning characteristics of EPS foam packaging are affected by the geometry of the molded part and to a lesser extent, by bead size and processing conditions as well as density. This unique characteristic allows a packaging engineer to fine-tune cushioning performance by simple processing changes without the need to redesign or retool. For shock cushioning, the foam packaging industry has developed typical cushioning curves for use by designers. Shock cushioning properties of molded foam are not significantly affected by change in temperature. Recent studies conducted at San Jose State University Packaging Program have shown that the optimum performance characteristics of Expanded Polystyrene are not affected by changes between -17C and 43C.
Packaging density must be considered when choosing the correct level of cushioning needed for the job. In the preliminary design stages cushion curves developed from dynamic drop testing are used to determine the correct package configuration - foam thickness and density - to adequately protective the product. By varying the density, thickness and shape of the molded foam, the designer can meet the protection requirements of a wide range of delicate products.
Dimensional stability is another important characteristic. It represents the ability of a material to retain its original shape or size in varying environmental conditions of use and exposure to changes in temperature and/or relative humidity. Molded foam offers exceptional dimensional stability, remaining virtually unaffected within a wedge range of ambient factors. The maximum dimensional change of EPS foam can be expected to be less than 2%, which puts EPS in accordance with ASTM Test Method D2126.
For construction insulation applications the polystyrene foam industry has developed test data as reported in ASTMC 578 Standard Specification for Rigid Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation. This standard addresses the physical properties and performance characteristics of EPS foam as it relates to thermal insulation in construction applications. There has been no need to develop such a formal document for the packaging industry. EPS is an effective economical packaging material for produce, pharmaceuticals and other perishables, when these items must be shipped and stored in temperature-controlled environments.
Moisture resistance is the ability of a material to prevent water from entering its structure and eroding its mechanical properties. The cellular structure of molded foam is essentially water-resistant and provides zero capillarity. However, Expanded Polystyrene may absorb moisture when it is completely immersed, due to the fine interstitial channels between the molded beads. While molded foam is nearly impervious to liquid water, it is moderately permeable to water vapor under pressure differentials. Vapor permeability is determined by both density and thickness. Generally, neither water nor water vapors affect the mechanical properties of molded EPS, ARCEL or R-MER.
Water and aqueous solutions of salts and alkalis do not affect EPS, ARCEL or R-MER, while many organic solvents are not compatible. This should be taken into consideration when selecting adhesives, labels and coatings for direct application to the product. All substances of unknown composition should be tested for compatibility. Exposing molded foam to the substance at 120 - 140 F may carry out accelerated testing. UV radiation has a slight effect on molded polystyrene. It causes superficial yellowing and friability, but does not otherwise affect its physical properties.