Coffee cups and most packing peanuts are two different things. The peanuts
are true extruded Styrofoam. The cups are made from expanded polystyrene
beads which are fused together in a mould. There is nothing instant about
it. The beads are injected into a mould and then steamed to fuse them
together. The mould is cooled with water and then the water is removed from
the mould and EPS via vacuum. In short it's not a chemical type process.
I actually make these kind of products for a living. Cooler boxes,
Construction forms, molded packaging trays and blocks, helmets, aluminum
casting blanks, etc, etc...
Look locally for packaging suppliers, there are many facilities over N.
America that make this kind of stuff. Are you looking for a block of
material to shape yourself or are you looking to have something
Does anyone know where to find instant styrofoam? The kind used to make
molded foam products like coffee cups and packing material? I'm
familiar with the various urethane foam kits but that's not what I
Thanks for the info, Layne. I was hoping it was something I could pour
into molds myself, for limited run items. I dislike some of the
characteristics of urethane foam, plus I'd heard that styrofoam is
cheaper than urethane.
Based on what Lynn said, you could probably buy polystyrene beads, such
as are sold for bean-bag chairs, and do the operation yourself. That
would, however, require a mold capable of withstanding sufficient heat,
which probably means a machined metal mold.
And a Vacuum pump, a 60 PSI Steam source. The mould also needs a cooling
manifold for the water and that bead must have been pre-expanded within 24
hours.... Not a material for a prototype Kevin. Rays best choice if he
wants EPS weight and density is to carve a block of foam using hot wire and
similar tools. I've done it 3 times for HP nose cones and I'm trying it for
CF wrapped fins.
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