Foam peanut


Foam peanut

Foam peanuts, also known as packing peanuts, are a common loose-fill packing material which is also used to prevent damage to fragile objects during shipping. They were introduced circa 1965 by Dow Chemical. They are roughly the size and shape of a peanut (in its shell) and usually made of polystyrene. They are shaped to interlock when compressed and free flow when not compressed. Originally made from 100% virgin polystyrene resin, peanuts made from 100% recycled polystyrene have been commercially available since the mid-90s. In the loosefill world, the color and shape tell what it is made of and who made it. Green is 70% or more recycled polystyrene, white is 70% or more virgin resin and pink means anti-stat has been applied; although there are some variations. For example, few green peanuts have pink applied even though they may be sprayed with anti-stat, just as there are expanders who make 100% recycled white peanuts. The most common shapes are the "S" for the STOROpack PelaSpan peanut and the "W" for the RAPAC WingPac peanut. The Figure 8 peanut shown in the photo attached to this article is made of extruded polyurethane manufactured by Free Flow. The advantage of polystyrene loosefill as a void-fill for shipping is that it is very light (usually 0.17 to 0.2 lb per cu ft) and easy to use. The biggest negative is that it can develop a static charge and that heavy objects tend to migrate to the bottom of the box during shipping, reducing the protection offered.

Polystyrene peanuts may be used and reused many times with little or no loss in protection for the product shipped. They may be recycled at virtually any packing and shipping store.

In the early-1990s, a more environmentally friendly starch-based alternative was developed. One of the first brands of biodegradable peanuts, Biofoam, is made from the grain sorghum; other brands are made from corn starch. Biodegradable foam peanuts have no electrostatic charge, another benefit over polystyrene. Being biodegradable and nontoxic, they are also edible. Their main drawbacks compared with polystyrene are lower resilience, higher weight (0.4 to 0.8 lb per cubic foot), dust creation, and higher price. In addition, since they are edible, starch-based peanuts may attract rodents and bugs. Starch-based peanuts are soluble in water, and polystyrene peanuts are soluble in acetone, but not vice versa.

Other Uses

Because polystyrene peanuts are non-soluble in water, they are also used as a light-weight aggregate in hydroponics. They are also sometimes used to fill beanbag chairs and in a variety of crafts.

ee also

* Cushioning
* Packaging and labeling


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Peanut (disambiguation) — Peanut ( Arachis hypogaea ) is a species in the pea family Fabaceae, native to South America. Peanut or Peanuts may also refer to:In entertainment: * Peanuts , comic strip * Peanuts (2006 film) * The Peanuts, singing duo * Peanut, a puppet; see:… …   Wikipedia

  • Peanut — For other uses, see Peanut (disambiguation). Peanut Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae (unranked) …   Wikipedia

  • peanut — I. noun Date: 1802 1. a low branching widely cultivated annual herb (Arachis hypogaea) of the legume family with showy yellow flowers having a peduncle which elongates and bends into the soil where the ovary ripens into a pod containing one to… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Cushioning — Package cushioning is used to help protect fragile items during shipment. It is common for a transport package to be dropped, kicked, and impacted: These events may produce potentially damaging shocks. Transportation vibration from conveyors,… …   Wikipedia

  • Clamshell (container) — Raspberries in a plastic clamshell package Clamshell pack of screws …   Wikipedia

  • Closure (container) — For other uses, see Closure (disambiguation). An aluminum bottle with a threaded aluminum screw closure Closures are devices and techniques used to close or seal a bottle, jug, jar, tube, can, etc. Closures can be a cap, cover, lid, plug, etc.… …   Wikipedia

  • Corrugated fiberboard — is a paper based material consisting of a fluted corrugated sheet and one or two flat linerboards. It is widely used in the manufacture of corrugated boxes and shipping containers. The corrugated medium and linerboard are made of containerboard,… …   Wikipedia

  • Bottle — This article is about bottles in general. For baby bottles, see Baby bottle. Composite body, painted, and glazed bottle. Dated 16th century. From Iran. New York Metropolitan Museum of Art …   Wikipedia

  • Screw cap — A screw cap or closure is a common type of closure for bottles, jars, and tubes. Common screw closures: Plastic bottle with plastic screw cap, Dispensing closure for salad dressing (with inner seal), Break away closure for syrup, Dispensing pump… …   Wikipedia

  • Paperboard — Corrugated fiberboard made from paperboard Paperboard is a thick paper based material. While there is no rigid differentiation between paper and paperboard, paperboard is generally thicker (usually over 0.25 mm/0.010 in or 10 points)… …   Wikipedia


We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.