The plastic foam materials (polystyrene, expanded polystyrene) are one of the most cost-effective and functional solutions for the production of sculptural facade and interior decoration. The ornaments made of expanded polystyrene are many times cheaper than those made from any other type of material used to decorate facades and interiors. This is due to the raw materials price, the properties of the finished products and the production technology of both the polystyrene foam itself and the decorative elements made of it.
The technology for the production of polystyrene decorations does not require the use of complicated moulding machines, such as decoration making process from other types of materials. The decorative elements of polystyrene foam are cut by special programmable machines that optimize both wastes and the time required for production, which in turn allows for minimizing the price. The use of polystyrene foam elements on facades is only possible after applying a protective multilayer coating (usually cement-based).
The availability of inexpensive material is always an excellent alternative. The cost-effective class enjoys huge demand and can save the owner, especially if the project is very large.
What are the advantages of decorative elements made by expanded polystyrene?
1. Lowest price compared to all other decoration types. This is particularly important for large projects and projects with budget restrictions.
2. The ability to produce decorative elements matching an individual job task without raise of the cost of it is one of the biggest advantages of the expanded polystyrene. There is no such opportunity in the production of polyurethane elements or it is extremely expensive.
3. The speed of production. The technology for cutting expanded polystyrene implies a quick method of making decorations in large quantities. Applying the protective coating insignificantly prolongs the production time. Thus the project can be completed in a sufficiently short timeframe without the need for long waiting or pre-planning by the customers.
4. The minimal weight of the decorative elements does not stress the load-bearing part of the building in any way. This also allows for extremely easy and seamless installation of the elements on the facade.
What are the disadvantages of expanded polystyrene facade decoration?
1. The low cost of polystyrene decoration reflects also a significant construction flaw – its weak resistance to mechanical stress and instability compared to other types of decoration. Upon damage to the upper protective layer, the weatherproof polystyrene decoration can quickly break down – within a few seasons.
2. The production of polystyrene products cannot always create sophisticated and elegant fine detail decorations – for example, bas-reliefs, which for some styles of architecture is considered as a flaw. In such a case, it is necessary to use decorative elements of another material.
3. The durability of expanded polystyrene decorations without maintenance is about 5-7 years, and this timeframe largely depends on the quality of the applied protective coating and, above all, on the quality of the decorative elements installation. Upon expiration of this period, a regular review of the status and timely repair of accidental minor damages to the decoration is required. Careful attitude and periodic maintenance, however, ensure a long service life of the polystyrene foam decorations.