While PVC foam board is used across a wide spectrum of commercial applications thanks to the material’s versatility, what exactly is this type of plastic? Moreover, what are the different ways that expanded PVC foam board can be used? As it turns out, there are several benefits to this type of plastic that make it a useful material for commercial projects. Take a look:
What is Expanded PVC Foam Board?
Expanded PVC foam board, also known as expanded polyvinyl chloride (PVC), is a lightweight, rigid form of expanded foam polyvinyl chloride. It is commonly used for commercial purposes like digital and screen printing, laminating, vinyl lettering, signage, and more. Eco-friendly and non-toxic expanded PVC sheets provide strength, durability, and flame and chemical resistance while remaining easy to cut and shape.
How is Expanded PVC Foam Board Made?
Expanded PVC foam board may come in a variety of different densities; as a result, the raw ingredients used to make the plastic are mixed together under controlled conditions and then dispensed into a mold based on the desired application. The mold is then sealed, clamped shut, and placed in a large press where it is then heated. Finally, the material is expanded in a hot water bath to reach its final destiny and cured. Once cured, the blocks are cut into sheets of various thicknesses. An expanded PVC foam board can be cut to size as easily as wood, softened and shaped to fit a specific need.
Not to Be Confused with Foam Board
Expanded PVC foam board is often confused with foam board, but don’t get it twisted, there are vast differences between these two materials! Foam board or foamcore, consists of polystyrene foam and can have an outer facing of paper on either side. It is frequently used for light duty, indoor applications. It is also popular to use as backing material in picture framing or in photography as a reflector to bounce light. Expanded PVC foam board is super durable, light, and flexible and made from a polyvinyl chloride. Unlike foam board, PVC boards are available in varying thicknesses and may be printed on either side. They are also excellent to use in outdoor applications since they are strong and resistant harsh weather. Foam board is meant for indoor projects as it tends to melt away and dissolve when mixed with outside elements, glue, and certain types of paint. Expanded PVC foam board lasts longer than foam board is a preferred choice for signage, yard signs, menu boards, directional signs, and more.
The Benefits of Expanded PVC Foam Board
Expanded PVC foam board is relatively resistant to chemical abrasion and has low water absorption. This ultimately makes it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use—and is commonly used for outdoor applications, such as signage, because it is resistant to the damaging effects of rain, wind, and sunlight. PVC foam is also lightweight, meaning it can be transported more easily than alternatives like glass, wood, or metal. It can also be an affordable option for those who want to provide corrosion and flame resistance.
The Applications for Expanded PVC Foam Boards
Because of its strength and durability, expanded PVC foam boards are a good alternative to similar materials like polycarbonate plastic that may be more prone to scratching. In addition, their resistance to chemical damage makes them ideal compared to other plastics, like acrylic for example, that may be damaged when using powerful cleaners.
Perhaps the most common use for expanded PVC foam boards is signage–specifically for outdoor usage where durability against corrosion is crucial. When business owners need a sign that can stand the test of time outside in the elements, they often turn to expanded PVC foam boards.
Once again, because of its durability, it isn’t uncommon to find PVC foam boards for use as wall paneling or office furniture. It can also be utilized for photo mounting.
In retail space, an expanded PVC foam board may be used for an exhibit booth, signage or a display. PVC foam sheets also come in a wide range of colors, making it more versatile option for commercial applications that call for durability, as well as pleasing aesthetics.
Whether you’re interested in a strong plastic for promotional materials or interior design in an office space, expanded PVC boards may be the perfect solution for your needs.