Styrofoam Conversion to Lightweight Structural Material

Votes: 33
Views: 29529

What does every industry want? A lighter and stronger material. I have that answer...

Compressed Polystyrene (CPS) is made using a unique process on expanded polystyrene (EPS) also known under it's common name as Styrofoam.

Compressed Polystyrene is lighter than aluminum by 150 pounds, weighing in at 8 to 13 pounds per cubic foot, but it takes a whopping 2,000 pounds of force to break a 5/8" thick piece, and has a compressive strength of over 3,500 pounds on a 5/8" thickness.

We all know from years of research that EPS is neutral in Earth's environment and takes an estimated half century to breakdown...

So what does this all spell out?

A new material that has the benefits of being very lightweight, very strong, and will last for a very long time.

What are the other benefitial characteristics of CPS?

+ Mold & Mildew Resistant
+ Fire Proof
+ Zero Off-Gassing
+ Can be shaped into any form
+ Normal Machining Practices
+ Maintains its Insulative Properties
+ Becomes Semi-Breatheable
+ Floats in Water
+ Shelf-Life = 500+ Years
+ Unreactive within a vacuum

!! Build !!

So now that we have described a lot of the known characteristics, what can we make out of this material?

+ Lightweight Alternative to Gypsum Sheetrock
(4'x8'1/2" weighs 15 lbs)
+ Dimensional Lumber
+ Exterior Siding
+ Self-Insulated Piping
+ Ultra-Lightweight Concrete (20 lbs/cu/ft)
+ Roofing Tiles
+ Structural Beams
+ Girders, C-Channel, I-Beams

+ Lightweight Space Stations
+ Lightweight Satelites
+ Low-Orbit Stations
+ Planetary Structures

+ Airplane Fuselages
+ Booster Rocket Fuselages
+ Lighter Fighter-Jets
+ Lighter Commercial Aircrafts

+ Body Panels
+ Structural Braces
+ Wheel Rims
+ Engine Blocks
+ Entire Drive-Train

These are but a few of the ideas I have received from companies and individuals who are interested in my new material.

!! Imagine !!

+ A lighter car means better fuel efficiency, no heavy mass to cause massive damage and death, everyone bounces off of each other.

+ A lighter commercial plane means better fuel efficiency and the plane floats if crashed into the ocean.

+ A building that is self-insulated and strong enough to withstand an earthquake because it doesn't weigh as much.

+ A lighter space shuttle means more trips to space on less fuel, less fuel to move its mass, and it glides to Earth since its lightweight.

+ Transport lightweight and strong buildings to the Moon or Mars.

!! Conceive !!

All of this can be made from either the 1,800,000,000 pounds thrown away annually in the United States, or from the 2,500,000,000 pounds made annually in the United States.

And my process is one-of-a-kind that uses very little energy and a plant can be set up in any region that has EPS Waste... Which I think is everywhere!



Voting is closed!


  • Name:
    Duncan Meyers
  • Type of entry:
  • Profession:
    Business Owner, Designer, Engineer, Scientist, Jack-of-all-Trades
  • Number of times previously entering contest:
  • Duncan's favorite design and analysis tools:
    My favorite design tools include AutoCAD and Solidworks. I haven't used any analysis tools, but would love to get my hands on Comsol's Structural Mechanics Module.
  • Duncan's hobbies and activities:
    Working to reduce materials from the waste stream
  • Duncan belongs to these online communities:
    Facebook, Twitter, NASA Tech Briefs, NASA NCAS,
  • Duncan is inspired by:
    I was originaly inspired to develop a secondary use for waste expanded polystyrene packaging material when I worked as a truck driver for a local tv and appliance store. I saw firsthand 40 yard dumpsters full being trucked off, when I asked the driver where it went to, he replied and said he dumped into a local landfill.
    With that knowledge I decided it was high time someone found a use for this material besides landfills; I decided to be that someone. And it was in that moment that my future changed, my mind was set on a goal.
    That is what inspired me to develop and design this amazing new material.
  • Software used for this entry:
    Solidworks, Autocad
  • Patent status: