The technology of custom molded foam
Technology has allowed expanded polystyrene foam to be manipulated into a custom molded foam packaging that can conform to the needs of the product. Another type of foam used as a cushioning material is polyethylene because of its strong shock absorbing properties and excellent elasticity. Custom molded foam solves a lot of issues in end-use applications and this is accomplished by encapsulating and isolating the product from noise and vibration as well as providing protection from damages due to rough handling. Custom molded foam is a one of a kind solution that is widely applied in different industries particularly medical equipment whose fragility and sensitivity must be considered during the packaging design.
Foam properties that have to considered
When foam is used for packaging as custom molded foam or as a cushioning material, it is important to consider thickness, firmness and density including other secondary characteristics that may be important. For example, open-cell or closed-cell foam may affect how well it can provide cushioning to a fragile item. Foams with greater porosity or high airflow values are generally better at protecting lightweight and delicate items that are fragile and can be damaged when dropped. Foams that have lower airflow values are more appropriate for heavy objects that require more energy absorption while tight foams are better suited for items with moderate fragility and drop height. How foams are oriented can also affect their performance as a packaging material since foam cells are ellipsoidal and not spherical. When consulting with a foam supplier, it is important to consider the fragility of the product that will be protected and the maximum drop height to achieve a proper packaging solution.
Why custom molded foam is environmentally friendly
Demand for recycling is growing and manufacturers of foam for packaging or cushioning ensure that 90% of manufactured foam waste can be gathered and recovered for alternative processing. Recovered foam scraps are shredded and used in the manufacture of bonded carpet cushions. Foam scrap recovery is driven by the growth in demand for bonded carpet cushions that is used as a leading underlayment for the installation of residential carpets. If you choose custom molded foam for cushioning of your products, it is not only the best option in terms of performance but it is the best environmental choice.
New technologies are also being explored to combine the desirable properties of flexible polyurethane with the capability of thermoplastic foams so that the static load limit can more than doubled. Composite packaging which is the combination of polyurethane foam with other packaging materials is now the preferred approach because it provides the perfect solution to ensure protection.