There are constantly new innovations in the world of foam. Foam is a surprising material, because, although it is an interregnal part to many things in today's world, it has only been around for a few decades. Because foam is such a new material, researchers are constantly coming up with new ways to use the material.
Recently, a new foam mixture was discovered that has a high elasticity, low bulk weight, and a high chemical resistance. This foam also has a high rebound performance, which makes it ideal for use in cushioning products. The foam has a higher performance than expanded grades of both polypropylene, polyethylene, and ethylene vinyl acetate.
This foam formula also performs well even when it is only used in a thin layer. This makes it ideal for uses from everything from medical grade floor cushioning to the lining of shoe soles.As the foam industry grows, the industry is also seeing changes aside from the variety of innovations that occur every day. More foam manufacturers are turning to "greener" forms of energy and even the materials for foam products. Much research has been done on alternative materials for foam. Some companies now offer plant-based foams that are biodegradable. Other plants have determined to use renewable energy sources when manufacturing their products from wind or solar energy. Even simple steps like eliminating some of the toxins used in the manufacturing of foam products is a big way that companies can improve their carbon footprint. Just like many other industries, the foam fabricating industry is becoming more earth-friendly by the day.
Foam is a synthetically fabricated material that can be used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications as cushioning, structural support and insulation. There are two general classifications of foam: open cell structured foam and closed cell structured foam. In open cell foam, the pores, or cells, are interconnected and joined. The resulting foam is flexible and soft, able to be compressed and easily broken apart. In closed cell foam, the cells are sealed from one another and are arranged in a compact configuration that results in firmer and pressure resistant foam as the cells do not join together or compress. Various synthetic polymers are used to fabricate foam materials, namely polyurethane, polyethylene, polyester and more. Each polymer provides characteristics that are desirable in certain applications. Polyurethane foam is closed-cell foam that over time decomposes when exposed to sunlight. In this way, it is an environmentally friendly material choice, especially for products which do not require an exceptionally long life span. Polyethylene foam, on the other hand, is especially useful for shock and vibration absorption due to its cell configuration. The foam itself is made by mixing the chemical elements and adding a gassing agent. The addition of a gassing agent causes the material to expand and form a strip of foam material. The length of time the process lasts for, combined with the intensity of the gassing agent will affect the porosity of the final product. The gas bubbles are essentially trapped in the polymer material allowing it to have an element of flexibility that a solid polymer would not have.
Stock rolls or buns of foam are the most common form in which it is stored and transported to manufacturers, and then a number of foam fabricating services, such as foam cutting, can be performed in order for the foam to match the desired shape, size and dimensions of the final product. Water jet cutting, die cutting, hot wire cutting and more are all common techniques employed in the process of foam fabrication. Common foam applications such as packaging, insulation, cushioning, acoustics and more use different foams. Characteristics that are true of almost every type of foam include lightweightness, compressibility, low thermal conductivity, low water vapor transmission, resiliency and resistance to mold, mildew and bacterial growth. Less common than solid foam, liquid foam serves a number of specific applications and can be used as a fire retardant materials to fill gaps in construction projects, or in other settings to prevent the spread of fires, and to prevent air and water leakage. The reacting foam expands to fill the exact shape of the area in a way that solid foam or other materials could not.