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What kind of plastic foams are best for your needs
by: Ispas Marin
Nowadays, when you are thinking about accomplishing your hobbies generally consisting of model building, you couldn’t have missed the basic materials for it, which are called foam plastics. They can be used even in boat modeling, yet there are many things you should not forget when thinking about using them because there are several types, each one having different characteristics.

We can name three types of these foam plastics: the rigid Styrofoam, the rigid polyurethane foam and the beaded Styrofoam. The rigid Styrofoam and the rigid polyurethane foam have similar properties and can be given many shapes, while the beaded Styrofoam can be used only to shape angled and squared forms. You may recognize it whenever you buy an electrical device as this comes covered in the third type of the foam plastics: the beaded Styrofoam.

The second type of the foam plastics, the rigid polyurethane is a material of a light-brown color; it is alike the Rigid Styrofoam ,yet there are two main differences between them: this one will not dissolve whenever coated with polyester resin, and the second difference is that it is impossible to be cut with a hot wire cutter( a specific tool used by modelers in their work).

The first type of foam plastics, the rigid Styrofoam presents the opposite characteristics of the rigid polyurethane: it can easily be dissolved when coated with polyester resin and a hot wire cutter can be used to give different forms of this material. Moreover, the beaded

Styrofoam cannot be altered by means of carving but a hot wire cutter can be used to obtain carved shapes.

There were several doubts regarding the way you find these materials and the purpose of the article is also to clarify this aspect: the rigid polyurethane is generally sold in panels of 4X8 foot sheets; this is the case of the beaded Styrofoam too. The Rigid Styrofoam can be found in pink and blue(the pink type is less dense than the blue one and easier to carve with a hot wire cutter), its thickness being 1 or 2 inches.

In what concerns the price of the materials, you should know that Beaded Styrofoam is the cheapest as its properties are limited, while the Beaded Styrofoam is the most expensive(can be found only at commercial plastic suppliers). The rigid Styrofoam has a medium price as it combines the properties of the other two foam plastics: it can be sanded, carved, sawed or cut with the hot wire cutter mentioned above. This tool is similar to a scroll saw consisting of heated nichrome wire replacing the saw blade, enabling you to cut in any direction.

All in all, the three materials come in hand when performing your task: both advantageous and easy to work with, these foam plastics represent the key elements of model-building. In addition, the hot wire cutter is an advantage to your work as it can easily deal with the foam plastics and it is accessible to everyone. This way, the satisfaction of your work is guaranteed.

For quality hot wire foam cutters, architectural foam, foam coatings, eps foam cutter, styrofoam hotwire manufactured and supported in the U.S.A. just visit


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