Frequently Asked Questions
EPS is Expanded Polystyrene. A lightweight foam that has many uses. It can be used in packaging, insulation, decoration, or even as a lightweight filling material.
There’s expanded polystyrene (EPS) and there’s extruded polystyrene (XPS). XPS is typically colored blue, pink or yellow. While EPS is typically white and can be silver, pink or blue.
They have some different properties and differ in the way they are made. In terms of durability, EPS lives much longer than XPS as XPS starts disintegrating with time. In terms of insulation, XPS initially provides more thermal insulation than EPS. However, XPS loses its properties with time while EPS remains the same for a very long time. There are many other differences between the two types and each one has its own uses.
- 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 resistance. 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. We at Plastbau Arabia take pride in dealing only in fire rated materials.
We can offer White EPS & Silver EPS. We can provide them in the following forms:
- Sheets: For insulation purposes.
- Large Blocks: For use as a lightweight fill material in what’s called “Geofoam Foundation”
- Long Blocks: For use as ceiling lightweight fill inserts.
- Loose Beads: For use as an ingredient when making lightweight cement.
- Décor special cuts: For use in all sorts of decorative shapes and features. We can make precise cuts of intricate shapes to be used as décor features. Such as: Arabesque patterns, window frames, botanical designs, … , etc. Anything that can be done with GRC, it can be done with EPS better and cheaper.
ICF is a short for Insulated Concrete Formwork. It is a modern construction system where Expanded Polystyrene forms a mold to cast concrete at construction site. The Plastbau Arabia ICF system consists of E-Wall wall element & E-Deck ceiling element.
- It’s faster than conventional methods.
- It provides superior insulation.
- It’s one of the strongest structures available in the market.
- It requires significantly less labor on site.
- It requires no cranes or heavy equipment on site.
No, polystyrene is only a mold to cast concrete in. A building made with Plastbau Arabia’s ICF system is made of reinforced concrete and insulated with polystyrene.
It depends on the quality of the expanded polystyrene and its properties. Low quality cheap polystyrene such as the ones used in packaging materials are quite dangerous and flammable. Whereas high quality expanded polystyrene is fire rated and quite safe and it’s fire tested on a regular basis. Plastbau Arabia takes pride in only using the highest quality of fire rated expanded polystyrene.
It varies greatly as there are multiple variables that might have a great factor on the cost of your project. The best way to determine cost is to provide us with your projects structural drawings through the contact form (insert link) and we’ll revert to you with all the relevant details.
E-Wall is Plastbau Arabia’s load bearing wall element. It’s pre-made in the Plastbau Arabia facility and delivered to the site ready to be erected in place and casted upon.
- 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 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 requirements of clients.
Yes, the most suitable foundation types are mat foundation and/or strip footing with single or double dowels standing out every 20cm to connect with 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.
The water is self-contained inside E-Walls after casting, which minimizes water loss and vaporization. Therefore, the concrete is adequately moist and does not require any further moisturization.
E-Wall does not require any shuttering if the recommended casting method is followed properly.
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.
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.
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.
E-Deck is the Plastbau Arabia ceiling element. It’s an expanded polystyrene mold/shutter system that allows to make one-way rib slabs with great ease and while providing thermal insulation.
- 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.
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.
It requires minimal shuttering around the bridges areas only. It does not require and shuttering from below.
It only requires a horizontal 4x4 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)
At meeting points between walls & ceilings, steel rebars bent into an L-shape are used for connection between the two elements and then concrete is casted upon them.
Same curing period as conventional construction methods. The difference is that, unlike conventional methods, the distance between supporting jacks are not obstructive or workflow under the curing ceiling.
E-Deck has a line of Z-steel strip 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.
One option is using a false ceiling. Another option is plastering with mesh & cementitious glue and a final coat afterwards.
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.
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.
Yes, it is approved by the Saudi Ministry of Housing, Bahraini EWA and major companies and authorities in Saudi Arabia.
Yes, there are many projects in Saudi Arabia that were completed using the Plastbau system. There are also some ongoing major projects as well.
We only provide the materials. However, we do offer support in connecting our clients with consultants and contractors whom are familiar with our building system and approved by Plastbau Arabia.
Yes, we ensure that a representative from our team is regularly visiting construction sites and providing feedback to contractors if everything is in order or if any adjustments are required.