Frequently Asked Questions

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EPS

What is EPS?

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a lightweight cellular plastic material made up of small, spherical, hollow balls

Where does the polystyrene come from?

EPS main component is styrene, which is derived from petroleum or natural gas and formed by a reaction between ethylene and benzene; benzene is produced from coal or synthesized from petroleum. Styrene is polymerized either by heat or by an initiator such as benzoyl peroxide.

What are the differences between Expanded Polystyrene and Extruded Polystyrene?

The XPS is usually colored and has a uniform texture, while EPS is usually white and has a clearly visible bead structure. XPS costs more than EPS for the same insulation performance but it is not large in size, for example 30mm XPS has the same thermal resistance as 50mm EPS. Hence, it is more likely that XPS will be used in specialized applications.

What is the difference between styrofoam and expanded polystyrene?

STYROFOAM is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) of extruded polystyrene foam mainly used in building and construction. The real STYROFOAM is often blue.

However, expanded polystyrene (EPS) is the name of the material given to the white foam that is made by expanding polystyrene resin, a small plastic beads, steam and pressure are used to tie the beads together to form the expanded polystyrene blocks.

Can polystyrene be recycled?

Yes

Can I cut the expanded polystyrene myself?

Yes, it can easily be cut by many tools such as wire, saw and knife

Is Expanded Polystyrene paintable?

Yes,  but you have to use water based paint only.

What type of glue do I use to combine different pieces of Expanded Polystyrene?

Acrylic silicone or water based glue

Is Expanded Polystyrene moisture resistant?

Yes

Does Expanded Polystyrene absorb water?

No

Is Expanded Polystyrene degraded by the sun?

Prolonged exposure to sunlight will cause slight discolouration (yellowing) of the expanded polystyrene and cause some surface embrittlement. so it is best to be covered if it is going to be stored outdoors for long time

Thermal Insulation

What is Thermal insulation?

Thermal insulation is to limit the transfer of heat from one medium to another. Thermal insulator is a material that acts as a barrier in transferring heat from an insulated area to another

What is the purpose of thermal insulation?

The main goal of thermal insulation in summer and winter is to conserve energy which leads to lower cooling / heating demand.

After how much time, do I need to replace the insulation material?

Polystyrene Insulating materials remain valid throughout the lifetime of the building

What are the variables to consider when choosing EPS insulation material?

The density of EPS is measured by KG/M3. The higher it is, the stronger & heavier your EPS is. Also, more density will provide better thermal insulation. Density is not always exact, it is typically measured in ranges such as: 8-10 KG/M3 or 18-20 KG/M3 or 30-32 KG/M3. We, at Plastbau Arabia can provide densities up to 40 KG/M3.

Another important variable is: Fire retardant. EPS materials can either be fire rated, or not fire rated as per the ASTM E 84-06 standards. If it’s not fire rated, then it is a fire hazard.

Why should I consider the EIFS system ?
  • It is energy efficient
  • Meets building code requirements
  • Provides finishing variety
  • Its Durability
What finishes are possible after application of EIFS?

EIFS offers nearly limitless creations, from wood and metal to stone effects and masonry veneers. EIFS can do it all!

Is Expanded Polystyrene cost effective compared to alternative insulation?

It can be evaluated based on case by case basis but generally speaking where the structural strength component is required, EPS consider as the most cost effective insulation material available

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Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)

What is ICF?

A modern construction system where Expanded Polystyrene forms a mold to cast concrete at the construction site. The Plastbau Arabia ICF system consists of E-Wall technology & E-Deck ceiling technology.

What makes ICF different from other construction systems?
  • Provides a fully thermal insulated load bearing wall.
  • Applicable with all kinds of finishes.
  • Acoustic insulation
  • Easy and fast installation
  • Fire retardant
  • Save 40% of  electricity bills
  • Resistant to earthquakes, natural disasters and missiles
  • Life span  more than 50 years
  • Competitive price compared to other construction technologies
  • Flexible in design, it can meet any request
  • It requires no cranes or heavy equipment on site
  • It requires significantly less labor on site
Is Plastbau’s ICF system certified?

Yes, it is certified by the Saudi Ministry of Housing, Bahrain EWA and the major companies and authorities in Saudi Arabia.

How much does the Plastbau system cost per square meter?

It varies greatly as there are multiple variables which might have a great impact on the cost of your project. The best way to determine the cost is by providing us with your project’s structural drawings through the contact form or by contacting us through the whatsapp icon and we’ll revert to you with all the relevant details.

How does E-Deck connect with E-Wall?

At the joint points between the E-Wall and the E-Deck, steel rebars bent into an L-shape are used for connection between the two elements and then concrete is casted upon them.

Do E-Wall & E-Deck have to be used together?

Together, they become a complete system. However, they can still be used separately. We had some projects use only E-Deck and some other projects using only E-Wall.

E-Wall

What’s an E-Wall?

Cast in-site concrete walls that are sandwiched between two layers of premade mold of steel reinforcement and expanded polystyrene which act as an insulation material. Any kind of finishes can be applied to interior and exterior sides

What are the properties of E-Wall?
  • It consists of 2 Expanded Polystyrene boards and a set of steel reinforcement ladders in between which are fixed in place using screw caps and spacer caps.
  • EPS density is 30 KG/m3 and thickness varies from 5cm to 15cm.
  • Thickness of the middle layer varies from 10cm to 30cm.
  • Reinforcement rebar steel thickness varies from 8mm to 16mm.
  • Each E-Wall panel is 120cm wide, up to 400cm high and varies in thickness from 20cm to 50cm depending on the clients requirements
Does E-Wall require foundations?

Yes, the most suitable foundation types are mat foundation and/or strip footing with single or double dowels standing out every 20 cm to connect with the E-Wall.

Is there a special type of concrete required for casting the E-Wall?

The suggested concrete specs are: Aggregate of 10mm or less, Slump of 12cm or less, pouring rate of 3 cubic meters per hour.

During the curing phase of E-Wall application, how can we water the concrete for moisturization?

The water is self-contained inside E-Wall after casting, which minimizes water loss and vaporization. Therefore, the concrete is adequately moist and does not require any further moisturization.

Does E-Wall require shuttering?

E-Wall does not require any shuttering if the recommended casting method is followed properly.

How can we extend wiring or plumbing on E-Wall?

Wiring and plumbing can be done inside the Expanded Polystyrene layer which can be easily cut by a blade. Once the connections are installed and done, the exposed parts can be covered with Expanded polystyrene again and sealed using a special adhesive.

Can we plaster polystyrene E-Walls?

Yes, using wire mesh and a layer of cementitious glue which provides incredible strength to the polystyrene layer. These finishing materials are available at most major paint companies and construction chemical companies.

Polystyrene feels weak to me, how can we hang things on the E-Wall?

The density of E-Wall expanded polystyrene is 30 kg/m3 which is very strong. In addition to the plastering layer, it becomes much stronger than regular walls. To hang items on a finished E-Wall, you need a special washer. These washers are available in the market and depending on its size, it can hold from 6KG up to 40KG.

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E-Deck

What is E-Deck?

Plastbau’s ceiling solution. An expanded polystyrene mold/shutter system that allows to make one-way rib slabs with great ease and while providing thermal insulation.

What are the properties of E-Deck?
  • One-way rib slab.
  • EPS density 25KG/M3.
  • Has Z-steel strip reinforcement.
  • Contains multiple utility openings of different sizes.
  • Height: 18-32 cm.
  • Flange thickness: 3-8cm (included in overall height).
  • Width: 60cm.
  • Span: Variable.
How is the E-Deck ceiling reinforced?

Between every two E-Deck panels, there is some space to lay rebar steel to form ribs. Once all the ribs are prepared, a layer of steel mesh is laid above the panels and then it’s ready for casting.

Does E-Deck require shuttering?

It requires minimal shuttering around the bridges’ areas only. It does not require any shuttering from below.

How is the E-Deck supported from below before, during & after casting?

It only requires a horizontal 4×4 wood bar support in the opposite direction of the one-way slab. The wood bar is lifted and supported by jacks which are placed 120cm apart from each other. (In conventional construction, jacks are placed only 20cm apart)

How long does E-Deck need for curing after casting?

Same curing period as conventional construction methods. The difference is that, unlike the conventional methods, the distance between supporting jacks is not obstructive under the curing ceiling.

Can we hang any objects on the E-Deck ceiling?

E-Deck has a line of Z-steel strips visible every 30cm. These strips can be used for lightweight load such as false ceilings. To hang heavier objects, we only need to drill through to any of the ribs (ribs are found every 60cm) and use them to suspend the heavier objects.

What kind of finishing can we do on E-Deck from below?

One option is using a false ceiling. Another option is plastering with mesh & cementitious glue and a final coat afterwards.

How much span can E-Deck reach up to?

E-Deck is very flexible with regards to span. It can reach up to 8 meters with a panel thickness of 32cm. For longer spans, thicker panels are required and can be made upon request.

I-Stairs

What makes I-stairs unique?
  • Time saving at the installation site
  • Fixed price for predictable production steps
  • No stuttering works
  • Prefabricated and armoured – ready for installation
  • Optimised for detachment for a minimum footfall sound
  • Individual stair forms are possible
  • Easy installation even in narrow areas
  • Ideal for new construction and for reconstruction works
  • Minimum plastering efforts
  • Recyclable materials
  • Most modern production techniques
Is it certified?

Yes

How much time does it take to install?

Couples of hours

What finishes are possible?

All kind of finishes are applicable

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