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Is PVC Foam and Styrofoam the Same?

Is PVC Foam and Styrofoam the Same?

Mar 10,2023
No, PVC foam and Styrofoam are not the same materials.

They are two different types of foam made from different materials and with different properties.

PVC foam
PVC foam, also known as expanded PVC or foam PVC, is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a thermoplastic material. PVC foam is manufactured by expanding and foaming PVC sheets using heat and pressure, resulting in a lightweight and durable material that is ideal for a wide range of applications such as signage, displays, and exhibits.
On the other hand, Styrofoam is a brand name for a type of extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) made from polystyrene, which is a thermoplastic material. Styrofoam is also manufactured by expanding and foaming polystyrene into a lightweight and rigid foam material that has excellent insulation properties. It is commonly used in construction, packaging, and the arts and crafts industry.
XPS foam

While both materials are lightweight, rigid, and durable, they have different properties and applications. PVC foam is weather-resistant and has a smooth surface that is easy to print on or paint, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor applications. Styrofoam, on the other hand, has excellent thermal insulation properties and is commonly used in the construction industry for insulating walls, roofs, and floors.

To better understand how they differ in application, we have some examples of things made from PVC foam and polystyrene foam.
Examples of things made from PVC foam:
Signs and banners: PVC foam is a popular material for making signs and banners due to its durability and lightweight properties.

Exhibit displays: PVC foam can be easily cut and shaped into custom designs, making it a great material for creating exhibit displays.

Art projects: PVC foam is often used in the arts and crafts industry for creating models, prototypes, and other creative projects.

Wall panels: PVC foam can be used to create decorative and functional wall panels for interior design.

Cabinets: Thanks to the waterproof and mildew resistance of PVC foam, it is suitable for making kitchen cabinets and furniture that is placed in humid environments.
Examples of things made from Styrofoam:
Insulation: Styrofoam is commonly used as insulation in construction, as it has excellent thermal insulation properties.

Packaging: Styrofoam is often used as packaging material due to its lightweight and protective properties.

Arts and crafts: Styrofoam is a popular material for creating sculptures, props, and other creative projects due to its easy-to-cut and shape properties.

Food containers: Styrofoam is sometimes used to make disposable food containers, such as coffee cups and take-out boxes.

pvc foam board for printing
PVC Foam Board for Printing
Styrofoam wall panel
Styrofoam for wall

Overall, expanded PVC board is a versatile material that offers a combination of strength, durability, and ease of use, making it a popular choice for a wide range of applications.

Boardway is a Chinese manufacturer and supplier of PVC foam board. We have more than 15 years of experience in the manufacture and application of PVC foam board and other plastic sheets. If you would like to know more about PVC foam board, or you have the needs of custom PVC foam board, please feel free to WhatsApp Helen at +86 13828266785 or email us at
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1. Cut to size and CNC engraving
2. Silk screen printing, digital printing, painting
3. Thermal processing, bending, embossing
4. Pre-drill, nail, screw and assemble
5. Sanding, PUR lamination, PVC edge banding
6. Corners and edges rounding, chamfering, grooved and tongued

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