There are six primary materials available that fall into two basic categories; styrenic and olefinic.
|Material Trade Name||Material Full Name/Discription||Relative Cost - Basic Function|
|styrenes|| || |
|EPS||Expanded Polystyrene||Low cost basic cushioning/blocking and bracing|
|R-MER® ||Butadiene/Polystyrene Co-Polymer||Medium cost and somewhat resilient (more than EPS)|
|Arcel® ||Polystyrene/Polyethylene Co-Polymer||Medium cost and somewhat resilient (more than EPS) and very durable (tough)|
|GECET® ||Polystyrene Maleic Anhydride Co-Polymer||Medium cost and able to withstand higher temperatures (210 ~ 250F)|
|olefins|| || |
|EPP||Expanded Polypropylene||Higher cost and very resilient - general purpose resilient material|
|EPE||Expanded Polyethylene||Higher cost and very resilient - soft and good shear strength too (very low wt. and high wt. applications)|
The relative costs are only intended to be a helpful predictive index. In fact, the higher cost resins don't always turn out to be that way... For example, if migrating into a higher cost resin avoids product damage or reduces the overall package size, the net cost of the pack could actually be less than that of a lower cost material. In the end, each product, it's fragility and logistics profile dictate material choice. It boils down to a cost/performance trade off.