Whether moulding machine, block moulding machine or pre-expander: Erlenbach machines are designed to process a wide variety of materials, from classic “Styrofoam” to modern biopolymers.

Discover the materials our machines process and learn about the advantages of the individual particle foams.



Expandable polystyrene – EPS for short – is still a real allrounder today. It was invented about 70 years ago by BASF scientist Dr. Fritz Stastny.

The chemical process of polymerisation enables polystyrene to be created from styrene. With the addition of the propellant pentane, the pearl-like expandable polystyrene expands when heated by steam to many times its original size, and this foam-like material can be formed into any kind of shape, limited only by the size of the moulding machine and the moulds fitted inside it.

Thanks to its outstanding insulation characteristics, we often find EPS in applications for the construction and packaging sectors.

EPS can be processed with various Erlenbach machines, for example with the corresponding variant of the EMMotion.


EPS particle foam – the advantages at a glance:

  • flexible moulding 
  • low thermal conductivity
  • food grade
  • 100% recyclable
  • insulating
  • high energy absorption



Expanded polypropylene – EPP for short – opens up many possibilities. Developed in the 1980s, this particle foam, unlike EPS, contains no propellant. The pearl-like expanded polypropylene beads are processed like EPS by using steam in a moulding machine, e.g. the EMMotion. These moulding machines differ from the machines for EPS processing by their more stable design, as a higher steam pressure is required.

Another distinction is the possibly required pressurization of the material as well as thermal post-processing treatment. You can also select between crack filling and counter-pressure filling during processing.

Products made from EPP are often used in the automotive sector, as multi-use packaging or for insulating technical components.


EPP particle foam – the advantages at a glance:

  • flexible moulding 
  • thermally stable
  • food grade
  • no odour
  • recyclable
  • insulating
  • good elastic recovery
  • colourfast
  • dimensionally stable surface finishing



So far expanded thermoplastic polyurethane – E-TPU for short – is mainly used in the sports and leisure sector. But the particle foam can do much more:

E-TPU combines the advantages of TPU with the properties typical of foamed materials. It can be processed in a similar way to EPP on Erlenbach’s moulding machine (EMMotion 5.0).

Due to its typical characteristics, E-TPU is generally used in the sports industry, for example, as a sole for footwear or an alternative to conventional bicycle tyres.

We are very keen to see how E-TPU will be used in the future, and we are happy to offer you the services of our Experience Center for your prototypes.


E-TPU – the advantages at a glance:

  • flexible moulding
  • very high elasticity
  • high abrasion resistance
  • thermally stable, even when subjected to high continuous loads
  • exceptional elastic recovery



Perfect combination for even more versatile results: Modern copolymers can combine the known advantages of EPS and EPP, thus offering you many additional and novel application options.

For example, polylactide (PLA) is a bioplastic whose biogenic raw materials have been chemically modified.

Depending on the raw material, certain copolymers can easily be processed on our EMMotion 1.6 or EMMotion 2.5 moulding machines and can even be pre-expanded on our EMBead.

Packaging is one area where there are some familiar uses for copolymers. Copolymer processing for the automotive sector is another recent trend.

Whichever copolymer is the right one for your applications, with the machines from Erlenbach, you can be sure of having the right equipment both now and for the future.


Copolymers – the advantages at a glance:

  • flexible moulding
  • thermally stable
  • insulating
  • low densities easily achievable
  • abrasion-resistant
  • food grade
  • high impact/compressive strength
  • chemically stable



The topic of environmental protection and resource conservation is playing an increasingly important role also in our industry. That's a good thing. And even better, biopolymers start right here. Biopolymers generally refer to bio-based polymers but can also mean petroleum-based polymers that are biodegradable. Biopolymers are polymers that are made up of two or more monomer units.

Some kinds of biopolymers can be easily processed with only minimal modifications to our moulding machines, thanks to the know-how of Erlenbach. While there are several well-known applications for biopolymers in the packaging sector, many other uses are feasible for these kinds of materials.

We will be happy to show you our latest processing trends for biopolymers in our Experience Center.


BIOPOLYMERS – the advantages at a glance:

  • biodegradable
  • resource friendly
  • flexible moulding
  • insulating
  • food grade
  • high impact/compressive strength