Literature Review


In the ever-developing modern society, buildings are going up every day. In order to meet people’s various needs for buildings, more and more construction companies adopt convenient and fast building materials. However, the main purpose of these building materials is to build tall buildings quickly.“Building construction fared slightly better than we had expected in 2017/2018 with a year on year increase in the value of commencements of 3.8%.” (Australian-Construction-Market-Outlook-20182019-Preview.Pdf)

In the financial report survey from 2018 to 2019, with the continuous improvement of people’s living standards in the new era, the construction industry has brought considerable assets, and the annual growth rate of the average construction industry has exceeded 3.4%, And it is expected to continue to improve next year. (‘How Buildings Impact the Environment’. BOSS Controls, 24 May 2016.)In such a period of construction industry development which increases year by year, people who live in the city have ignored the impact of many building materials and decoration materials on people’s life and physical health. For example, decoration paint will release volatile gas compounds in the continuous period. (VOCs). Particle board may contain formaldehyde; Floors may contain the phthalates; Furniture is coated with the flame retardants. (‘Impact of Building Materials on Human Health’)These are the hidden dangers and fatal factors that endanger people’s health and safety

At present, more than 500 organic chemicals have been detected in indoor air, among which more than 20 have carcinogenic or mutagenic effects. Although the concentration of these material is not very tall sometimes, but the contaminant release in adornment decorate is a continuous, slow process. Under the long-term comprehensive effect, they can make the people living in the indoor polluted by these volatile organic compounds appear the bad building syndrome, building related diseases and other diseases. Especially in the poorly ventilated building, because indoor pollutants cannot be removed in time, it is more likely to cause adverse reactions and diseases. (‘Indoor Pollutants and Sources’. Collections and Lists. US EPA, 2 June 2015.)

Natural stone as the basic materials of building materials (such as cement, sand, brick, tile, granite, marble, gypsum, etc.), there is uranium, radium, thorium, potassium long life radioactive elements. Some materials such as stone, brick, cement, and concrete containing high background of radium, radon, laser can be turned into through the cracks, everywhere, enter indoor, in the form everyone has known of radon in indoor air pollution, through the internal and external radiation damage to human body.

Various heating system, USES the most insulation board is the expansion of polystyrene (EPS). The product features: light, heat preservation, sound insulation, heat insulation, small water imbibition, resistant to low temperature, etc. Main application: packaging materials, floor heating, caging powder core, cold storage insulation, building waterproof basement, building roof insulation, internal and external wall thermal insulation, interior partition wall, etc. In addition to the traditional USES and increased the energy-efficient building this industry in emerging markets. In terms of building energy efficiency, building’s exterior wall insulation and roofing market is very broad.

In the context of the world’s vigorous promotion of EPS, the detailed data, usage and advantages and disadvantages of EPS are gradually emerging in our vision.

After studying EPS, what substance it is, what chemical properties it has, what physical properties it has, how much pressure it can withstand and so on have been described in detail in the article. Through these investigations, EPS can have great advantages in future building materials, but at the same time, problems in EPS processing are gradually exposed. Plastics and plastic products have been unable to have soil degradation in this big problem, once the solution is optimized, the eps advantage over other building materials will be further expanded.

This report will introduce EPS materials, production methods, transportation problems and its wide application in detail. Meanwhile, it will investigate and describe the maintenance and treatment of EPS and analyze its feasibility.

Literature Review

EPS is made from the foam of polystyrene particles. Polystyrene particles mainly contain polystyrene, soluble pentane (expansion component) and fire prevention. Agent. According to the way of foaming can be divided into two categories, one is foaming in the model, the other is extrusion foaming. The pentane in the end particles is vaporized by heat and expands to form many closed cavities. This uniform closed cavity structure determines EPS. There are many characteristics that other geotechnical foam materials do not have.(Introducing Expanded Polystyrene Hardcover – Import, 1973)

The application of EPS in road engineering began in 1965, when Norway laid 5 ~ 10 cm thick EPS plates under the road surface as insulation layer to fill. After that, in 1972, the Norwegian institute of road research first used EPS instead of earth filling when studying the earth filling construction method. A successful solution to the problem of excessive settlement of the embankment adjacent to the bridge abutment was presented at the 1985 international road conference in Oslo. Since then, EPS has been widely used in Sweden, France, Canada, Japan and other countries (EPS Industry Alliance 2019)

The density of EPS is determined by the expansion multiple of polystyrene particles at the molding stage, which is between 10 and 40 kg/ m 3. The commonly used density in engineering is 15. For EPS between and 30 kg/ m 3, the density of EPS used as light packing in many geoengineering projects is often 20 kg/ m 3, which is only for ordinary packing. 1/50 ~ 1/100 (the following refers to EPS with a density of 20 kg/ m 3, unless otherwise specified). Density is an important indicator of EPS. Mechanical properties are closely related.
(EPS Industry Alliance 2019)

The cavity structure of EPS made water infiltration extremely slow. According to the measured data in Norway and Japan, the water absorption rate of EPS (the amount of water inhaled is equivalent to the percentage of its bulk density) is less than 1% when it is not immersed in water. The water table near the ground is below 4%; Long-term immersion in water for about 10%. Because the volumetric weight of EPS is much lower than that of soil mass, the effect of 1% ~ 10% increment of volumetric weight caused by water absorption on the project can be ignored. (‘DYLITE-EPS_Guide_AMER_EN.Pdf’. Accessed 29 May 2019.)

EPS was stable in water and soil and could not be decomposed by microorganisms. The cavity structure of EPS also made water infiltration extremely slow. After long-term exposure to ultraviolet light, the surface of EPS would change from white to yellow, and the material presented brittleness to some extent. PS is stable in most solvents, but can be dissolved in gasoline, diesel, kerosene, toluene, acetone and other organic solvents. This indicates that EPS packing requires a good protective layer. (EPS Industry Alliance 2019)

The strong independence of EPS is very beneficial to the stability of high slope. Swedish bridge design codes stipulate that active and static lateral pressure coefficients are 0 and 0.4, respectively, and that passive lateral pressure need not be calculated. Because the lateral pressure generated by vertical compression of EPS is small, the use of EPS in subgrade filling of bridge head can greatly reduce the soil pressure at the abutment back, which is very beneficial to the abutment stability.The friction coefficient f between EPS block and sand was 0.58 (dense) ~0.46 (loose) for dry sand and 0.52 (dense) ~0.25 (loose) for wet sand between EPS blocks is within the range of 0.6~0.7. (EPS Industry Alliance 2019)

EPS processing is generally through the pre-foaming, mellow, forming, product maturation, cutting, waste treatment of several processes:

A, foaming raw material beads in the continuous or intermittent pre-heating machine is heated to 92℃ above the softening, foaming agent volatile particles volume slowly expand to the required ratio or grams of weight. Stable rate is to obtain the guarantee of fixed molding conditions, molding quality can be guaranteed, because the preheating conditions are not the same, it must rely on the operator’s skilled and experience, in the allowed foaming speed, the appropriate adjustment of the preheating temperature, steam pressure, feed and foaming rate to obtain satisfactory results.

B, mellow just send good bubble due to evaporation and condensation of foaming agent, foaming agent inside a vacuum and soft without elastic, so you must have sufficient time to force air into the bubble grain of internal pore pressure balance inside and outside and elastic, generally need to 4 hours or so, to improve the quality of products, can prolong the time under the conditions allow, second foaming mellow 2-3 hours for the second time the foam. Ripening should be done in the silo made of mesh anti-static gauze, for the benefit of adhesion to the moisture distribution and elimination of foam friction natural accumulation of static, at the same time, good ventilation can increase the degree of ripening. In order to avoid the fresh vesicles, especially the ones that are very light, being knocked and shrunk by the cold air, the ripening time is increased sharply. It is better to let the vesicles fall into the bin freely. If the conditions allow, full vesicles can be obtained by air feeding or air suction to the bin after the vesicles are slightly ripened, and the same ripening time can be reduced.

C. After forming and ripening, the bubbles are filled in a certain mold and heated by steam, which can be melted into the molding products of fixed shape. It has the characteristics of toughness and light dense melting, and closed bubble holes do not absorb water. Processing conditions or improper operation, will lead to shrinkage of the finished product, surface uneven, not easy to demolding, brittle products, rejection rate of high undesirable phenomenon. The supply conditions of steam, cooling water and compressed air are the basis to ensure the products have good demodulation, good bonding, beautiful surface and shorten the forming cycle, so they must be stable. Main steam pressure: 0.4-0.7mpa cooling water pressure: 0.3-0.5mpa compressed air: 0.45-0.70mpa vacuum degree: 600-650mmhg.

D, product curing stripping out product bubble grain moisture and adhered on the surface of the steam condenses into water to evaporate, at the same time product bubble particles in a vacuum, and contraction induced by cold stress is larger, higher rate of product may cause shrinkage in thin wall part, so need cure, finished product after warehouse placed or sun hardness and strength will increase, if can cure within 50 to 60 ℃ drying room is better.

Since 1972, when the Norwegian road research institute first succeeded in replacing earth filling with EPS, the application of EPS has developed rapidly
It mainly has the following aspects:

1)Prevent settlement of soft foundation fill

When building embankment on soft soil foundation, uneven settlement of subgrade and excessive settlement often occur. Using EPS instead of filling soil to build embankment can greatly.

Reduce the settlement and differential settlement of roadbed. Even if the embankment with a height of 10 m is built with EPS instead of filling soil, the settlement amount is only tens of centimeters.
Settlement of rice fill.

2)Prevent differential settlement between embankment and abutment

To reduce or control the differential settlement between bridge abutment and roadbed is a difficult problem to build road or bridge on soft foundation, which can make the road life and traffic comfortable.

The suitability and safety are greatly affected. The application of EPS to the filling at the junction of bridge abutment and roadbed can effectively reduce the settlement difference and greatly reduce it at the same time.

Lateral pressure from embankment to abutment.

3)Erect retaining walls

In the construction of steep slopes and urban roads, EPS can be used to build upright retaining walls with small area and beautiful appearance.

4)Used to reduce the earth pressure of underground structures

The rigid structures buried under the embankment are often subjected to excessive additional pressure due to the uneven settlement of the soil above and on both sides of the structure.

The force and earth pressure coefficient can reach 1.2, and even reach 2 when the filling soil is high, that is, the stress concentration phenomenon exists at the top of the structure. EPS is used to replace the filling soil paving.Built on the top of buildings, the earth pressure on the structure can be greatly reduced, and the earth pressure coefficient can be reduced to 0.3.

Research design

Investigation and research method refer to the research method that directly obtains relevant materials through investigation and understanding of objective conditions and analyzes these materials. The survey method is not limited by time and space. Investigation research is a common method in scientific research, which can be used in descriptive, explanatory and exploratory research. Generally, it conducts research through the basic steps of sampling and taking individuals as the analysis unit. Through questionnaire, interview and other methods, it understands the relevant consultation of the respondents and conducts analysis. Can also use survey data collected by others for analysis, which is called secondary data analysis.

Survey method can collect data that is difficult to obtain from direct observation. The application of survey method is not limited by time and space. In time, the observational method can only obtain information about what is happening, while the investigative method can obtain information about the past from the parties or others afterwards. Spatially, as long as the research topic needs, the investigation method can even cross-national boundaries, and study a considerable number of overall and some macroscopic educational issues. The survey method also has the characteristic of high efficiency, it can obtain a large amount of data in a short time. The investigation process itself can serve as an impetus for the work of the units concerned. Since the investigation method is not limited to the direct observation of the research object, it can obtain materials through indirect means, so some people call the investigation method as indirect observation method.

Like other methods to collect market information, literature survey also needs to establish a rigorous survey plan and check the authenticity and availability of the documents to be used, so as to ensure the systematic and reliability of the survey. But as an independent survey method, it has its own inherent advantages.

A. literature survey surpasses the limitations of time and space, and can study a wide range of social conditions through the investigation of ancient and modern Chinese and foreign literatures. This is an advantage that no other method of investigation can have.

B. literature survey is mainly a written survey. If the collected literature is true, it can obtain more accurate and reliable information than oral survey. The possible recording errors of oral investigation are avoided.

C. literature survey is an indirect and non-interventional survey. It only carries on the investigation and the research to each kind of literature, but does not involve the respondent contact, does not involve any response of the respondent. This avoids all kinds of reactive errors that may occur during the interaction between surveyors and respondents in direct surveys.
D. literature survey is a very convenient, free and safe survey method. Literature survey is less restricted by the outside world. As long as necessary literature is found, research can be carried out anytime and anywhere. Even if there is a mistake, it can be restudied to make up, so its safety factor is higher.

E. literature survey saves time, money and efficiency. Literature survey is a survey based on the labor achievements of predecessors and others. It is a shortcut to acquire knowledge. It does not require large Numbers of researchers, does not require special equipment, and can obtain more information with less manpower, money and time than other survey methods. Therefore, it is an efficient method of investigation.

I decided to choose this method to study my project. Firstly, the literature survey method is very suitable for students in school.

First of all, if we want to use the literature survey method, we need to find a large number of literature materials and papers for research.Literature survey surpasses the limitation of time and space, and can study a wide range of social conditions through the investigation of ancient and modern Chinese and foreign literatures.

Secondly, I need to investigate a large number of experimental reports and research data as part of my report. In previous reports, looking up other relevant materials and reports only takes up a small part of the content.

Next, I will quote and use the following reports and materials for reference, turn them into part of my report, state their opinions, and express my understanding and opinions.

It helps researchers to choose topics and base their research on science. The work begins with a hypothesis that anticipates or anticipates relationships that are tested by a process of transforming ideas and concepts into data collection, and then results and findings based on those data are transformed into new concepts that allow them to be interpreted and expanded. But how do you get original ideas and concepts? How do you make assumptions about them? These works are inseparable from the collection of literature. Among numerous research variables, it is not easy for researchers to choose a topic that they are interested in and that is meaningful and can be extended. Looking through the literature can help you find the variables that have been proved to be important and unimportant, and avoid repetition.

The scope of study is not limited by time and space. Everyone’s personal experience is always limited by time and space. We cannot experience the life of our predecessors, nor can we directly observe and visit their thoughts and activities. Even for contemporaries, due to the limitation of funds, time and other factors, researchers are unable to study the inaccessible research objects. For example, when studying the educational thoughts of Confucius, the analects of Confucius, a document that records his life and thoughts, must be used, otherwise the research cannot be carried out.
The research process is highly authentic. General literature is not left for research purposes, it is the event at the time, true naturally recorded, it is high, the truth of the information and the researchers in the process of collecting data, generally will not make the information collected is itself changes, also won’t get the original left directly words and deeds of the literature, the influence of reactive interference so as to avoid the object. However, such interference is difficult to avoid in interviews, experiments and other methods, which will affect the accuracy of research results.

The research is simple, easy and low cost.Compared with field survey, interview survey and other direct contact methods, literature survey method has the advantages of convenience, freedom and low cost. Research can be carried out anytime and anywhere as long as literature is available, free from the limitations of research objects, research places, research scenarios and other factors.

It is convenient for longitudinal analysis of survey objects. The literature survey method is suitable for studying the development and changes of research objects in a period of time. Research perspective is often to explore a trend, or to clarify an evolutionary process.


Data analysis, from the perspective of methodology, can generally be divided into qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis, and usually in the actual analysis process, the two methods should be combined and used interactively.

Because qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis complement and complement each other and are in a unified continuum, qualitative analysis provides the basis for quantitative analysis, and the results of quantitative analysis should be explained and understood through qualitative analysis.

(1) qualitative analysis methods:Qualitative analysis refers to the qualitative (overall) analysis of data. In addition to applying some philosophical viewpoints and methods, such as dialectical materialism and historical materialism, analytical philosophy, phenomenology, hermeneutics, etc., qualitative analysis mainly USES logical methods, such as comparison, induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis, etc.

At the same time, reliability indexes such as reliability, validity and objectivity of the analysis results are required to be tested and evaluated.

(2) quantitative analysis methods: Two situations need to be distinguished here: first, if the data collected is already some data, we only need to select appropriate statistical analysis methods (described below) for processing and analysis according to the conditions and needs;

The other is to do further quantitative analysis on the collected qualitative data.

For example, if we want to study the structure of teaching materials of a certain subject, we may collect many versions of teaching materials of this subject and related subjects (both present and past). Obviously, we need to compare them first. How do we compare them?

It may require quantitative processing, quantitative analysis;

Another example is to analyze students’ mistakes in learning a certain subject. Quantitative analysis may also be very important after collecting written materials of various facts.

In the current investigation, all the data are from literatures and reports written by other experts. I used appropriate and reasonable quotations from these reports, and gradually added my own ideas and explanations in this process, and criticized and improved each quotation.

In this process, I found that EPS material is not as good as expected, and it also has various shortcomings. At the same time, its prominent priority is more prominent. In the comparison of advantages and disadvantages, I found its prominent use and application as a building material.


In the research, I sometimes get into big problems and troubles, such as how to find useful data and how to deal with many problems. However, in this process, I gradually understood my research goal and purpose. I not only introduced EPS material, but also described its use, advantages and disadvantages, development and prospect of the construction industry and other issues.

During this period, I will constantly consult relevant materials, research reports of experts and papers written by other people. I will quote and interpret them one by one, and make a critical discussion of the report to fulfill my purpose.

Schedule& diagram:

IndexingReview and record literatureVerify






‘The Expanding Role of EPS in Construction – Green Building Solutions’. Accessed 5 September 2019.

‘DYLITE-EPS_Guide_AMER_EN.Pdf’. Accessed 29 May 2019.

brianflax. ‘Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and Its Impact on the Environment’. KORE Insulation (blog). Accessed 29 May 2019.

Expanded Polystyrene Craft Paperback – Import, 1974

Introducing Expanded Polystyrene Hardcover – Import, 1973

‘Manual_EPS.Pdf’. Accessed 5 September 2019.

‘(PDF) Use of Expanded Polystyrene Technology and Materials Recycling for Building Construction in Kenya’. Accessed 5 September 2019.

‘Australian-Construction-Market-Outlook-20182019-Preview.Pdf’. Accessed 28 May 2019.

‘How Buildings Impact the Environment’. BOSS Controls, 24 May 2016.

‘Impact of Building Materials on Human Health’. REMINET (blog). Accessed 28 May 2019.

US EPA, OAR. ‘Indoor Pollutants and Sources’. Collections and Lists. US EPA, 2 June 2015.

‘EPS Sustainability’. Accessed 29 May 2019. /eps-sustainability.

‘EPS-White-Book.Pdf’. Accessed 29 May 2019.

‘DYLITE-EPS_Guide_AMER_EN.Pdf’. Accessed 29 May 2019.

brianflax. ‘Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and Its Impact on the Environment’. KORE Insulation (blog). Accessed 29 May 2019.

Expanded Polystyrene Craft Paperback – Import, 1974

Introducing Expanded Polystyrene Hardcover – Import, 1973

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