What is EPS?

Insulation Corporation of AmericaThe word Styrofoam is often used to describe expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam; however, ‘Styrofoam’ is actually a trademarked term for closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam made for thermal insulation and craft applications. EPS foam is the correct term for any form of expanded polystyrene.

Expanded Polystyrene insulation is a lightweight, rigid, closed cell insulation. EPS is available in several compressive strengths to withstand load and back-fill forces. This closed-cell structure provides minimal water absorption and low vapor permanence.

Commonly used as insulation for walls, foundations and roofing, there are many benefits to selecting EPS products:

  • Low cost
  • Long-term R-value (“R” is the resistance to heat flow)
  • Energy efficiency
  • Constant thermal resistance
  • Measurable energy savings
  • Strength
  • Sustainability
  • No growth of bacteria, nor will it decay over time
  • Dimensional stability
  • Chemical inertness

Have you seen the LITE? Click HERE to read about the differences between EPS and XPS and what makes ICA-LITE® EPS the best choice.

Manufacturing Process

Raw beads are expanded using steam, creating pre puff beads, which are then cured in large bags before being conveyed to the mold. Once in the mold, the pre puff beads are again steamed to form a block 37″ by 49″ lengths ranging from 10 feet to 18 feet. The blocks are then placed on the storage floor to age for the appropriate length of time before being cut into various shapes and sizes. Blocks are produced in several densities to meet specific project needs.

EPS foam expanded polystyrene insulation raw beads ICA

EPS foam expanded polystyrene insulation pre puff beads ICA

EPS Size & Density

ICA’s “out-of-the-mold” block size is 37 inches by 49 inches with  lengths variable from 120 inches to 216 inches. Although ICA does not stock any cut foam, regularly cut sizes are: 48 inches by 96 inches and 24 inches by 96 inches. Almost any size is available as a custom order.

Thickness: 1/4″ to 37″
Lengths: Up to 216″ (18′)
Widths: Up to 48″
Densities: 1lb to 3lbs

Density is a measure of mass per volume. EPS is measured in pounds per cubic foot (lbs/pcf). ICA manufactures expanded polystyrene in the following nominal densities:

0.70 lbs/pcf
1.00 lbs/pcf
1.25 lbs/pcf
1.50 lbs/pcf
2.00 lbs/pcf
3.00 lbs/pcf

Additional densities available by custom order.

Click HERE to view the ICA-LITE® EPS Specification Sheet and Code Compliance.

Environmental Concerns

EPS is extremely “GREEN“.  NEVER any CFC’s, NEVER any HCFC’s.

Expanded Polystyrene has always been CFC- and HCFC-free. ICA is an environmentally conscientious manufacturing plant. Our in-house EPS trim is recycled and we accept recyclable EPS from our customers and the public, significantly reducing the amount of EPS that would potentially end up in landfills. In 1994 ICA installed a pentane collection system for air quality control. The system captures the pentane that is released during production and reroutes it through our boiler. This reduces the amount of natural gas we use, saving natural resources while being environmentally responsible. We continued our efforts to be mindful of our environment by installing  solar panels and replacing our lighting with energy efficient fixtures. All of these actions help to keep the air of our planet cleaner and lessen the impact of landfills on the population.

EPS Insulation is composed of organic elements – carbon, hydrogen and oxygen – and does not contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). For more information on EPS visit EPS Industry Alliance.

Due to our green efforts, in 2011 we were happy to announce our ICA-LITE® EPS panels and ICA-GEOFOAM were approved to be listed on the Construction Specifications Institute’s (CSI) Greenformat. These products can add LEED® points to construction projects.

ICA-LITE® EPS: Material Safety Data Sheet

RADCO Flame Spread Class & Smoke Developed Ratings for ICA’s EPS foam

Click HERE for information on Fire Resistance in Building & Construction Applications

Code Compliances

ICA-LITE® complies with the following codes and approvals:

  • AIA (Section 702.9)
  • Underwriters Laboratories
  • Factory Mutual (Ceiling Tile)
  • Green Format
  • LEED®

ICA-LITE® can be manufactured to meet or exceed the following Federal and Military specifications along with others:


C578–11bε1 Types I, VIII, II & IX

Military   Spec.


Military   Spec.


Army Corps of Eng.

CEGS 07220

Coast Guard


Air Force



Use of Material Bulletin #71

PA D.O.T. Bulletin 15

Section 1107.02(m)