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Nov 14, 2004, 01:03 PM
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rcmann's Avatar
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The differences between EPS and EPP foam

Per request, here are some ways to tell the difference between EPS and EPP foam.

EPS stands for expanded polystyrene, otherwise know as styrofoam. Depron, fan fold foam, sturdiboard, and the blue and pink foams found at home centers, are all EPS. This foam is easy to cut, fairly easy to sand, fairly rigid, fairly brittle (cracks easily) and not very durable. If you press your fingernail into it, it will leave a permanent crease. If you hold a very small piece over a match, it will just collapse and dissappear. Regular CA glue will melt this foam, as will some types of spray adhesives and spray paints. Use foam safe CA on EPS foam. See this thread for glues that work on EPS:

EPP stands for expanded polypropylene. I know of no trades names for this foam other than EPP. This foam is more difficult to cut, very hard to sand, less rigid than EPS and much much more durable. If you press your fingernail into it, the dent will almost totally dissappear. If you hold a very small piece over a match, it will catch fire and burn. You can use any type of adhesive or paint on EPP, as long as it sticks. From my limited testing, polyurethane glues work the best on EPP, but epoxy, CA and many contact adhesives also work well.

I'll post some pictures of EPS and EPP a little later, or someone else can also post some pictures.
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Nov 15, 2004, 11:43 PM
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Hey Rcman,
Here are two types of EPS.
Good old bead board /styrofoam AKA Expanded PolyStyrene, and
Bluecor / FFF AKA Extruded PolyStyrene.
Kind of hard to tell by looking at them that chemicaly these two samples are the same material.
Last edited by Broncomech; May 28, 2012 at 10:33 PM.
Nov 16, 2004, 06:48 AM
Crash Master
Gene Bond's Avatar
Bronc: One's Expanded (Beads), and one's extruded...
Nov 18, 2004, 10:24 AM
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JLSalas's Avatar
Very informative thread. What about weight?


Nov 18, 2004, 11:04 AM
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rcmann's Avatar
Thread OP

Great info. from

Foam selection is dependent on the size of the model, type of covering, intended use and construction methods. Foam is produced in many densities, colors and types. Only a few types and densities are used in the modeling world.

Density is defined as the weight of 1 cubic foot of the material. In other words, a 12" x 12" x 12" cube of 1# density foam will weigh 1 pound. Higher density foams are harder to the touch and more rigid, but they weigh more.

The higher density foams are typically used in high aspect ratio wings that are relatively thin, like high performance thermal gliders. Powered pylon racers, even giant scale racers may also use 2# foam. Large models with thicker airfoil cross sections will work fine with 1# foam. The 1# foam is also used on most powered sport airplanes, trainers, and any airplane or glider where weight is a concern.

Types of Foam:
We stock a number of types of foam, and some types are available in different densities:

- 1.0# EPS
- 1.5# EPS
- 2.0# EPS
- Owens Corning Pink Foam (1.8# density)
- Dow Blue Square Edge (1.8# density)
- Dow Blue Hi-Load 40 (2.0# density)
- Surfboard Foam (AKA Spyderfoam, 2.3# density)
- 1.3# EPP
- 1.9# EPP

EPS - Expanded Polystyrene Foam:
The EPS foams that we use are white beaded foams that commonly used for insulation material or in architectural applications. White foam is available in any thickness up to 8 inches in 1#, 1.5# or 2# density. We purchase EPS foam in large billets, and slab cut it into sheets in our shop. By doing this we get a foam sheet that is flat, has a better surface finish, and a more uniform thickness than is typically available from insulation suppliers.

Blue / Pink Foam:
Blue and Pink foam is readily available in home improvement stores in many parts of the U.S., but not in Southern California. These foams are a higher density material that is typically used as cold weather insulation on basement walls and footers. In Southern California, we have neither basements nor cold weather, so Blue and Pink foams are not as readily available here.

We stock Dow Blue foam in 25 and 40 psi compression and Owens Corning Pink Foamular which is 25 psi compression.
These are closed cell extruded foams that have a finer grain than 2# white beaded foam, but the mechanical properties of the two are similar. We stock Blue foam in 2" thick sheets and Pink foam in 1 1/2" and 2" sheets. Blue foam is also available in 25psi compression in 3" and 4" thick sheets as special order items.

Surfboard Foam:
Surfboard foam is manufactured by Dow, and is a polystyrene foam similar in feel and texture to blue foam. The big difference is that surfboard foam has grain structure that runs vertically through the sheet. Because of the grain structure, it has a compression rating greater than 60 PSI, which is greater than other types of blue or pink foam. Spyderfoam density is 2.3 # per cubic foot.

EPP - Expanded Polyproplyene Foam:
EPP is flexible foam that is used as a packing material for delicate electronic parts. It is also used in the bumpers of some automobiles. It is a rubbery material that is light in weight, yet very durable.

EPP is available in 1.3# and 1.9# densities. EPP is used in the modeling world for combat gliders that need a high degree of durability. Since EPP is not a rigid foam, most all EPP gliders use fiberglass, carbon fiber, or spruce spars for stiffness.
Because of it's lack of rigidity and higher cost, EPP foam is not generally used in models that are covered with balsa, plywood, or obechi sheeting. EPP wings are typically covered with colored shipping tape, or low temperature heat shrink coverings like UltraCote. EPP is about 3 1/2 times more expensive than white beaded foam.

This information courtesy of
Mar 26, 2012, 04:37 AM
Registered User

Foam density calculations

I have tracked down a supplier who can give me EPP with the following rating:

965mm x 580mm x 150 mm @ 3.3kg for the block.

However, I am not sure my calcs are correct and this seems a bit on the heavy side. Can someone please help me convert it to number I can compare in your # rating?

Many thanks
Mar 26, 2012, 10:20 PM
Registered User
EPP is usually sold in pounds per square foot.
Usually 1.3lbs and 1.9lbs, although I have heavier and lighter.
May 23, 2012, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Butch777
EPP is usually sold in pounds per square foot.
Usually 1.3lbs and 1.9lbs, although I have heavier and lighter.
it is sold like that for the country's that haven't moved in to the 20th century (metric)
Jan 20, 2016, 12:59 AM
a.k.a MJ
azamkl's Avatar
For a references, here I posted a few images that hopefully help others rectifying the product.

Local company that supplied all these products can be view at their website here:
Jul 06, 2016, 02:21 AM
Where o where has my America g
stsguy's Avatar
Amazing article. My questions are many but I'll try to limit to one for now..when designing a fpv race wing. You would want (I believe) toughness for many wrecks you will Encounter so EPP seems best. However speed only works well with a rigid wing. So your thoughts on how to make this decision? And what is the average difference in cost 20%. 30% higher for EPP?
See I couldn't do it ... more than one question
Dec 02, 2016, 02:25 AM
Registered User
What are the best ways to craft or shape these materials?
Jun 02, 2017, 03:41 AM
epp machines manufacturer
EPP: Expanded polypropylene (EPP), small density, high elasticity, anti-Seismic,
Good absorption performance can be 100% recycling use and performance is almost no reduction, is a kind of new and environmental protection type foam material.

Molded EPP foam products are widely used

1. automotive parts industry, such as EPP foam bumper core, EPP car seating liner, EPP sun visor, EPP door panel, pads, EPP shinguards,EPS helmet liners,etc

2. children toys industry, such as EPP toy planes, EPP toy robots, EPP toy wheels, EPP foam construction blocks,etc

3. packaging industry, such as EPP insulation box, EPP transport box, EPP foam LCD panel packaging pallet, medical packaging,etc

we are the manufacturer of epp machines,and our customer make different kinds/shapes of epp products.
Sep 18, 2018, 03:03 AM
Registered User

EPP is more endurable and impact-resistant than EPS

EPP is a great innovated non-toxic and bio-degradable new foam material,excellent in shock absorbing(impact resistant),thermal and sound insulation,waterproof,oil resistant(easy to wash and clean),lightweight,while EPS is harmful to the environment,and it is more easy to get broken.
We are foam product manufacturer,if anyone of you need foam sheet,you can contact me at [email protected].
Feb 19, 2020, 04:50 PM
Registered User

Which foam used in ICF forms for building?

Hello: Which product is used to make ICF (insulated concrete forms) used in the construction of houses and other buildings?

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