PU Foam: Polyurethane Open cell flexible foam for mattresses, furniture cushions, and decorative and protective packaging. Many densities, firmnesses and colors
PE Foam: Polyethylene closed cell flexible foam mainly for protective packaging. Also floats. Available in anti-static, white, black, light green and blue.This product can be extruded in a solid plank or come laminated as 1" layers.
X-Link PE Foam: Polyethylene is a closed cell flexible foam with a tighter cell structure than your typical PE. Mainly for protective packaging, tool box inserts, and mil spec applications. X-link is also a class A surface so it will not scratch any finish. Comes in 1/2" layers that can be laminated to nearly any thickness. Colors can range from a solid black or blue sheet, to combos of blue over black or yellow over red.
Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), also known as poly(ethylene-vinyl acetate) (PEVA), is the copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate. The weight percent vinyl acetate usually varies from 10 to 40%, with the remainder being ethylene.
Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a rigid and tough, closed-cell foam. It is usually white and made of pre-expanded polystyrene beads. EPS is used for many applications e.g. trays, plates, bowls and fish boxes. Other uses include molded sheets for building insulation and packing material ("peanuts") for cushioning fragile items inside boxes. Sheets are commonly packaged as rigid panels (size 4 by 8 or 2 by 8 feet in the United States), which are also known as "bead-board"
Density: How heavy the foam is which is not necessarily related to firmness rating
PE foams are rated only by weight (density). PU foams are rated by weight and firmness.
Compression: PU foam is rated by how hard it is which can be highly varied, based on how and where it is going to be used. Soft foam up to very firm foams. This is referred to as the IFD (Indentation Force Deflection) a lab test that specifically determines the exact hardness of the foam.
Memory Foam: Visco-elastic formulation that has a slow recovery from being compressed or squeezed. This comes in many densities and compressions. Now commonly used in bedding and some seating applications.
Gel Memory Foam: Flexible gel material is added during the manufacturing process to make a foam feel cooler to the touch.
Convoluted Foam: What is commonly referred to as “Egg-crate Foam”. It is made by a special cutting process shown in this website. The Peaks and Valleys are adjustable. These are sold as sets (two pieces, each with the peaks and valleys). The combination of the Peak and Valley make up the Set thickness. Thus a 2" Peak and a 1" Base are a 3" Set thickness.
Die cut Foam: A cutting process when the foam is pressed against a steel rule die
(cookie cutting) using a very strong hydraulic press to compress the foam against the steel rule die.
Tooling: This is the die, made of specially formed sharpened steel that is permanently embedded into a wood board used to die cut foam.
Fire Retardant Foams: A PU or PE foam that has additives added to make the foam more resistant to open flames. Due to new restrictions, many of the chemicals that used to be mixed into the formulations have been outlawed. Foams will burn when exposed to open flames. There are foams that do meet specialized applications such as UL94-HF-1 and various Mil specs. But the fact remains that all foams will melt or burn when exposed to high heat sources.
Rebonded Foams: These are products made from shredded scrap foam that is compressed and glued together in the compressed form. Carpet padding is the most common version. We do offer some specialized wedges and strips of rebonded foam used in some furniture construction applications.
1) Bandsaw cutting. Most commonly used on PU foams. Some are CNC controlled for specialized shapes then slit or skived to final thicknesses.
2) Die cutting is the process described above where foam is compressed by hydraulic presses into a steel rule die tool.
3) Hot wire cutting is done using specially heated ni-chrome wires (heated by electrical resistance). These are usually CNC controlled.
4) Skiving is the process of cutting down the thickness of various materials from their plank thickness down to a desired final thickness. This is done a specialized band saws.
Bun: PU foam comes from the mill in the form of a giant loaf of bread. We cut these buns down to smaller sizes and eventually to the final shapes and thicknesses desired.
Planks: PE foam comes in sheets from the mill. These planks are then skived to proper thickness and either bandsaw cut or die cut to their final shapes and dimensions.
Rolls: PU is available in compressed rolls and PE is available in several thicknesses.