Styrofoam: History, Properties and Building Applications

Styrofoam is a brand name for Polystyrene Thermal Insulation material (sometimes referred to as “extruded polystyrene foam”). It is a trademark of Dow Chemical and among the most popular plastics in use today. Styrofoam is manufactured in blue sheet foam. It is mostly used in building materials and pipe insulation. It was invented in during World War II by Ray McIntire as he sought to create a flexible electrical insulator. It is usually supplied to manufacturers in form of small foam beads. It can be molded and processed to fit different purposes. The word Styrofoam is inappropriately used in Canada and the United States to refer to expanded polystyrene foam such as cushioning material in packaging, coolers, and disposable coffee cups. These are made of expanded polystyrene beads, and not from the extruded polystyrene normally used in Styrofoam insulation. There is also a different form of Styrofoam used in craft applications which is green and white in color.

The Properties of Styrofoam

Chemical Representation
Styrofoam’s chemical representation comprises of a hydrocarbon chain linked with a phenol group to every single carbon group. Styrofoam’s chemical equation has a (Ph) with a C6H5 ring.

Polystyrene
Polystyrene’s density is 1050kg/m3 as compared to water which has a density of 1000kg/m3. Although it is denser than water, polystyrene floats and doesn’t sink. It can break down when combined with a strong acid.

Polymer and Thermoplastic
A polymer is a Styrofoam molecule. It is an extensive chain of recurring atoms through the connection of many molecules (monomers) derived from petroleum. Styrofoam is also a thermoplastic as it hardens when cooled and softens when heated. As a liquid, it can be easily molded which makes it suitable for various applications in different industries.

Shock Absorber and Lightweight
Styrofoam is an excellent shock absorber and extremely lightweight. It is composed of approximately 90 percent air. This is why expanded polystyrene is very popular as a cushioning material. Styrofoam is easy to transport as its shock-absorbing features keep it well protected from harm.

Insulator
It is a superb insulator that limits thermal transfer. This major aspect makes it a top insulating material as it effectively maintains a comfortable temperature indoors, regardless of the weather conditions outdoors.

The Uses of Styrofoam in Buildings

Insulation
Styrofoam is used by many builders as an insulating material. It has a closed cell structure which ensures its insulation has a high R-value (a material’s ability to conduct heat). The more value a material has, the more resistance it has to conducting heat. When a building is properly insulated, heat is not transferred out of a building or into it which reduces drafts and decreases cooling and heating costs. Styrofoam is used to insulate basement walls, underground walls, and above ground walls as it significantly reduces energy loss. It is cut into sheets that are attached to a building’s frame or installed in its outer foundation walls. The foam is afterwards covered with certain material to create a specific look, such as marble, stone, or stucco. Styrofoam is also used in insulating floors and roofs. On roofs, it is cut and positioned to provide the proper drainage. Plywood or other materials are placed over Styrofoam after it has been laid on ceiling material. Afterwards, shingles can be installed on top. Styrofoam is used on floors as it is an excellent load-bearing material for different types of floors. Its closed cell structure makes it very rigid and highly resistant to compression in load-bearing applications. Styrofoam is also used in commercial and industrial piping applications. It is used in low-temperature systems to prevent surface condensation and to minimize heat gain. It retains its main insulating properties in environments with high-moisture conditions, high humidity and in low-temperature applications.

Waterproofing
Styrofoam’s insulation structure leaves virtually no vacant space between the cells which makes it waterproof and strong. It has a natural resistance to water vapor, snow, and rain and retains its primary physical integrity and insulation performance in exposed conditions for a long time. Since the material is resistant to water, mold and mildew cannot grow on its surface.

Hygiene
Styrofoam has a low susceptibility to rot hence fungal and mold growth and reduced. The boards are odorless, clean and unaffected by dust. This ensures that a structure’s integrity is maintained and the occupants stay in a hygienic environment.

“Offers Over” – why not just cut to the chase?

If you’ve browsed realestate.com.au recently, you will have seen lots of properties listed as “offers over”. You might be wondering why we do this rather than just applying a fixed price.

Why we do it?
Ultimately “offers over” exposes more people to your property online, if used the right way —let’s not forget that some 90% of our buyer enquiry comes through these channels.

For buyers, realesate.com.au has set price bands when searching (ie: $400k to $450k and $450-$500k). Generally, we recommend using ‘offers over’ when you’re on the cusp of a search band.

For example, if you are aiming for a price of $460k for your home. We would list it as ‘offers over $450k’ on realesate.com.au – your property will display for buyers browsing the $400-$450k price range as well as those browsing $450-$500k.

This exposes your property to more people and gets more people to your open (people who may not have considered your property before). Even if the price is slightly out of their price range – they showed up! It’s your agent’s job from there!

We recently listed a duplex in Fitzgibbon as “offers over $300k”, a move designed to encourage a larger subset of buyers to visit the property. The home sold for $315k—an impressive figure given that the highest previous sale for a similar home in the area was $290k!

Misuse of ‘offers over’…
In my experience many agents use ‘offers over’ to avoid the uncomfortable price discussion with their owners. It’s a way for them to list the house at what they (the agent) think it’s worth without agreeing on a clear price expectation with the owner.

Can you make an offer under on an ‘offers over’ property?

Our agents will always have a firm price that the owner is expecting. After all, the first question at the open is ‘how much’?

Buyers should have the capacity to buy at or above the price indicator. Although they can open negotiations with a lower price, almost always the property will sell at or above the indicator.

When we don’t use it…
It’s not effective if your price expectation is not in line with the market.

It’s also not as effective if your ‘offers over’ price sits in the middle of a search band. A property listed as “offers over $420k” will only display for buyers searching $400k-450k”. Of course there may be some exceptions here, but this is a common mistake many agents make!

And last but not least, ‘offers over’ pricing is also useful for auctions or when agents are a little unsure on the market value (ie: for a unique property).

So if we recommend “offers over” on your next houses for sale Aspley rest assured and take it in your stride!

To view property Aspley visit our web site. To find out more about Justin Watt, owner of Watt Realty and previous owner of Harcourts Aspley click here.

Stacked Stone Sydney

If you are looking for a place to get only the highest quality Stacked Stone Sydney has available then look no further than with Craftstoneoz.com.au. Craftstoneoz.com.au is able to deliver the unique beauty that a natural looking stone cladding wall has to offer. A stone feature wall made out of pure natural stone is very rare these days. It may have been commonplace eons ago but in this day and age the supply of very fine and beautifully crafted natural stone has dwindled to the point where it can be extremely expensive. Craftstoneoz.com.au gives the best solution if you truly want to have the best Stacked Stone Sydney can ever have.

The solution is in the material. Instead of scouring the world for very rare and pure natural stone, Craftstoneoz.com.au molds replicas from a mix of cement, pumice and other materials. Even if you were to take a magnifying glass and inspect the stone pieces very closely you will not find any difference between these products and real, natural stones. The color blends all the way through the product so even if you were to break a piece and shatter it on the ground, the color would be the same all throughout the broken shards, making them appear even more authentic.

You do not need to worry about any event of repetition either. When molding, over a few thousand molding models are used that will essentially remove any possibility of repetition. Another thing to note is that all of the stones are colored one by one, therefore there will never be any two stones that are exactly the same. You could inspect every stone installed onto your wall and you will never find any two identical stones.

No matter how you look at the replicas they will look and feel like the real thing. All of the molds are designed to be almost identical to natural stones and the process in making them ensures that each one is applicable to the construct. Craftstoneoz.com.au stone feature structures are best suited for walls. Since they are lightweight and can be cut by construction equipment they are not suited for walkways, fountains or patios and others. They are best when designed for a wall, post, or other side structure that will not be walked upon. They can be placed outside or inside, making them the best pieces for building stone fences around your house, the BBQ area or if you want to create a unique, natural looking façade of your home or establishment.

The best thing is that all of these stones are lightweight and make for a very beautiful Stacked Stone Sydney has ever seen. They are compatible to be installed onto any kind of material, making any kind of wall or post suitable to have stones installed over them. This will give your home or establishment a fresh and yet comforting new look that brings the natural beauty of the world and nature right into your doorstep. Craftstoneoz.com.au offers a total of nineteen different textures and over eighty colors that will guarantee you get the best designed Stacked Stone Sydney has to offer.

Core Drilling Brisbane

DIY vs Hiring a Concrete Cutting Service – including a Step by Step Guide

There is a vast variety of concrete saws and equipment that can be hired to do that pesky DIY project that you have always wanted to get done. But when should you hire a professional and when should you just give it a crack? To do your concrete cutting or core drilling job properly and on budget you will need: the right equipment, the right type – wet or dry, the right protection for yourself and the environment, the right skills and the right value for money. There is lots to consider, but if you read on and follow this step by step guide we can explore this in a little more detail.

Step 1.Choose the right equipment: For gener slab cutting Brisbane you will need a Floor Saw or Kwik Cut Saw (Hand Saw). This process is used when reasonably level and flat surfaces have to be cut and includes cutting through reinforced concrete, precast concrete, and other structural materials.

These surfaces include floors, roofs, bridge decks and suspended slabs. The surfaces are usually cut to provide expansion joints, to make openings for ducts, elevators, stairwells, machine pads, trenching and for demolition purposes.

For wall sawing Brisbane you will need a Kwik Cut Saw (Hand Saw) or Ring Saw. This process is used for the cutting of openings in vertical surfaces and surfaces with slopes so great that floor saws cannot be used.

These surfaces are usually cut to provide for doors, windows, vaults, silos, chests, foundations, ducts or large diameter pipes, or to remove part or all of existing walls. For core drilling Brisbane through a floor or wall you will need a core drill. Core drills can usually drill holes from 25mm dia – 660mm dia. This process is used for the drilling of circular holes in reinforced concrete, precast concrete, asphalt, brick, cinderblock and other structural materials. Usually the holes are made for electrical, plumbing, heating, sewer and sprinkler installations. Other applications include holes to anchor bolts or lifting rods, to place explosive charges, to install load carrying devices, or for analysis of the structure of the rock.

Step 2. Wet or Dry cutting? I don’t mean to scare you here, but cutting concrete can be very messy. You can probably figure out that the dry cutting means cutting without water and should be less messy… hmm not so sure. Cutting without water means dust and lots of it. Very messy, minute particles of concrete will billow into a thick cloud of grey concrete dust or red brick dust and coat everything nearby you own. Personally I prefer the wet cutting machines. Even though the mess is wet grey or red slurry, it is much easier to clean up all the mess with a wetvac (wet and dry vacuum cleaner) and a wipe over with a damp cloth. Dust on the other hand can get absolutely everywhere.

Step 3. Protect yourself and the environment. Basic safety equipment you will need include goggles, ear plugs, safety boots/steel capped gumboots and gloves. If you have chosen a dry cutting machine you will also need to work with a dust mask on to protect your lungs, and sun protection and long sleeves if you are working outside.

Cutting concrete can be very noisy so be mindful of neighbors and nearby businesses in case of noise pollution and air pollution. Think about what is below you if you are cutting on a floor higher than ground floor. Sadly I have heard of some terrible injuries because of falling cores and no safety barriers. Protect the environment with plastic sheeting, extraction fans and a wet/dry vacuum cleaner. In many countries, letting waste such as concrete slurry go down the drain is against the law and you will be fined.

Step 4. Check if you have the right skills. There are many dangers associated with concrete cutting equipment. Even though this equipment can be readily hired, this equipment should only be operated by experienced personnel. You won’t need to google ‘saw injuries’ to imagine the dangers of operating such powerful equipment without the right know how and strength.

Step 5. Check out the cost. Believe it or not the cost to hire a skilled professional who has all the equipment needed and can get the job done with minimal fuss, is often not much more than hiring the equipment yourself. Aside from the safety risk, mistakes in concrete are expensive if you get it wrong. Before you go ahead with the hire, at least get an idea of price from a professional by obtaining a quote.

For example you may be surprised to know that at elliottandfyfe.com.au you can hire a Brisbane concrete cutting operator to do a basic job for about $150.00. That’s hardly more than the cost of hiring the concrete cutting equipment, and comes with a skilled operator to do the hard work. Might just be worth the call?

Shaun McCabe Elliott and Fyfe Concrete Cutting Service – Brisbane. For an obligation free quote on any job call 07 3806 9100 or 0411 554 737.

Reflections on Life

Life – what is life! Life can be described in many ways and has many facets and interpretations. It presents us with an ongoing stream of experiences of situations, events and interactions of all kinds with other people and our environment.

It is creation in its magnificent splendour – the original bringing into existence of the universe by God.

For humans it is a journey encompassing all the seasons, colour and streams of life’s experiences.

The miracle of new life in any form of creation brings wonder and amazement as we become aware of the intrinsic formation of such an unexplainable divine plan.

For humans there are many rituals and traditions that help celebrate the different seasons and significant moments in life.

A welcoming of a new child might entail a ritual of a Christening or Blessing in the Christian tradition or perhaps a Naming Ceremony for those less religious. In other cultures and belief systems children are welcomed in a variety of ways but none-the-less mostly it is found to be a joyful celebration of the miracle of new birth.

Life can sometimes be brief – the miracle taken back from where it began just as life is beginning – the mystery of why these sad experiences happen not to be explained.

Life changes for humans as the body grows and life is experienced in new ways. Learning takes place as the brain develops and intelligence is gained and used for the betterment of human kind.

At times the human body suffers from physical limitations this being a challenge as strength of spirit and courage come to the fore.

During the seasons of life ritual is shown to be important such as times of celebration when a person reaches the age of eighteen – a time of maturity and starting out as an adult on life’s journey.

Permanency of relationships can be celebrated by the ritual of Marriage as people start a new chapter along the journey called life.

The miracle of new life can emerge again in this relationship of Marriage as a new life is created and welcomed to the world.

As the continuing seasons and cycles of life are observed, life can represent colour as of a rainbow in these seasons of new beginnings, celebrations, changes and endings.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet – colours of the rainbow – how symbolic of life’s journey as the rainbow is composed of the entire spectrum of colour from the shortest wavelength violet to the longest wavelength red.

A closing ritual now takes place as the body has accomplished its purpose and the ending of life as humans know it is honoured and the life celebrated as the spirit travels back to the Divine from whence it came.

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This article supplied by Sandra Hill, Brisbane Wedding Celebrant. For more information about Sandra Hill, weddings, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies in Brisbane, please contact Sandra today.