What is Polyethylene Foam?

In researching the best waterproofing materials for your building purposes, you likely have come across the term “polyethylene foam” and wondered what exactly it is.

Polyethylene foam, or PE, is a common material in a wide variety of waterproofing and other building applications. Because of its unique structure and ease of production, it can be shaped, molded, or layered for tasks in nearly every construction structure imaginable.

Qualities of polyethylene foam

PE foam’s qualities make it ideal for many applications.

First, it absorbs sound. This makes it effective as an insulator where sound suppression is important. While there are other substances that help prevent noise bleed in cars and construction, few are this inexpensive to manufacture.

Second, it is lightweight. This feature is why you will see PE used in many places in cars. As manufacturers seek to shave ounces off the weight of cars to hit CAFE (fuel efficiency) standards, designers turn to PE for insulation and vibration dampening. The weight does not matter as much in construction, where decision-making seldom balances on this measure, but it matters for transporting materials to the site.

Additionally, PE Is easy to make and shape. Manufacturers can shape it to an almost unlimited amount of widths and thicknesses, and even shape it to fit very specific contours. This  includes shapes with odd angles or rounded sides. This level of flexibility makes it an easy choice for designers.

Finally, PE resists tearing. This reduces the amount of accidental breaches and flaws that might compromise a construction project.

Why PE is great for building and waterproofing

Polyethylene foam has additional properties that make an excellent for building.

When you work with PE, even if you have to cut and shape it, it is does not create dust. This means you don’t have  to use the same level of safety equipment that you might with other forms of insulation or soundproofing.

Furthermore, PE resists all sorts of hazards often related to water. Mold, mildew,  and other bacterial nuisances won’t form on polyethylene foam. The ability to prevent mold and mildew is a major safety consideration for building indications.

Finally, though this is more rarely a concern at construction sites, PE resists chemicals and grease. Many forms of plastic are actually eaten or weakened by many common chemicals.  by being resistant to this sort of degradation, polyethylene foam proves to be a durable and reliable construction material.