Crosslink foam is a type of polymer (usually polyethylene) foam material created using crosslinks. Cross-links are covalent or ionic bonds that link one polymer chain to another in order to alter the properties of the polymer.
Like regular polyethylene foam, crosslink foam is durable, rigid and resistant to substances like: bacteria, mold, mildew and rot. However, it is more compact, buoyant and water resistance than its non-crosslinked cousins. It also has better chemical properties. For this reason, crosslink foam can protect more surfaces than regular foam, including Class A automotive parts. While generally thicker than regular polyethylene foam, crosslink foam is also much finer and more aesthetically pleasing; it comes with a high quality finish.
Crosslinked foam works very well as packaging material, cushioning material and thermal insulation. Most often, people use it to package and protect medical devices, cables, military tools and automotive parts. It is also used to fabricate: protective case inserts, soft orthopedic products, foam tape, helmet lining, industrial gaskets, construction expansion joints, tubing, toys, flotation devices, camp sleeping mats and exercise mats.
To create products such as these, manufacturers manipulate crosslink foam via thermoforming and compression molding. These methods are accurate, reliable and allow for customization. Manufacturers sell crosslink foam products in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, thicknesses, densities and colors. On products like yoga mats, manufacturers can even print patterns and designs. They can also design them to meet a wide range of standard requirements related to a wide range of specifications, such as: Mil-specs (military), FDA (food and medicine), EPA (environment) or UL (safety).
To learn if crosslink foam is right for your project, reach out to one of the many excellent crosslink foam manufacturers we have listed on this page. They will be able to guide you in the right direction and make sure you make the best decisions for your application. Good luck!