Expanded polystyrene (EPS) sheets are usually installed in various lengths and thickness sizes for building insulation purposes. But the sheets can also be used in different applications, such as floating raft material in a hydroponics or aquaponics system.
Hydroponics involves the growing of lightweight and leafy vegetables like lettuce and herbs in a deep water ecosystem, also known as a raft system. This system can be built to any sizes and specifications desired, from at-home water gardens to industrial proportions.
Hydroponics consists of a floatable raft over a shallow water tank or reservoir containing nutrients, as well as a filtration system. The leafy greens grow in net pots which are the holes drilled in the raft to accommodate the development of roots.
The raft floats on the water tank, giving the roots access to the nutrients in the water below. An air pump keeps the nutrients well oxygenated to nourish the roots.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) manufactured by the Isowall Group is fast becoming recognized as the insulation material of choice by specifiers of “Bills of Quantities”. This comes largely as a result of our technical knowledge backed up by years of experience in the building and construction industry.
The choice of floating raft material is important in hydroponics. There are many options, including polystyrene sheets, plywood, foam or guttering pipe. Due to its physical and chemical properties, expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a great choice for the floating raft.
- Easy to install. EPS sheets are lightweight and easy to handle and install. They can be cut to fit the size of the water tank, and the holes in the raft can be easily cut to accommodate the growing plants.
- Efficient while cost-effective. EPS sheets are a very efficient and cost-effective alternative compared to other floatation materials. The price/performance ratio recommends EPS as the most popular material for commercial hydroponic rafts.
- Extremely safe. EPS is non-toxic and inert. It contains no harmful substances such as Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that could affect the hydroponics ecosystem and the health of the plants.
- Moisture and fungi resistant. Since EPS has no nutritional value, no fungi or micro-organism can grow inside and on the floating rafts, keeping the plants safe. EPS does not degrade in water, adding longevity and cutting costs with raft replacements.
- Healthy alternative. Given the above, EPS presents no dangers to health in both insulation and usage, and is highly recommended for hydroponics floating rafts.
At Isowall we had quite a bit of interest in our Isolite EPS cut sheets for floating rafts in a hydroponic setup. Our EPS sheets are available in both standard and custom sizes cut on order to your exact requirements. Click here for the specifications.
The Isowall Group has been manufacturing and distributing Isolite Block Moulded EPS since 1985, and Isolite Shape Moulded EPS since 1992. Isolite EPS products are used primarily for insulation, lightweight fillers and semi-rigid cushioning.