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Applications for Urethane Foam – 11/3/2014

If you ask me about foam, the only foam that comes to mind is the cushion foam for comfort or the foam created from opening a can of soda. Unlike my narrow response to foam, foam fabricators produce a variety of foam products for many different products. One of the many types of foam produced, called urethane foam, is a type of spongy, plastic-based foam.

If you have anything with a foamy texture or cushioning base, it is probably made from urethane foam. The spongy texture of the foam is created by combining polyol, disocyanate, and other chemicals together. Urethane foam is very versatile, making it a popular option for both public and industrial consumers. During the manufacturing of foam, it can be chemically altered to produce different textures, densities, sizes and absorbencies.

Consider some of the many applications of foam to appreciate the true versatility of the material:

Upholstery Foam: Upholstery foam is one of the most common uses for urethane-based foam. This foam is ideally formulated to make excellent cushions because the foam will hold shape after the weight is gone, but conform to the body part when pressure is placed on it. It takes many years to remove air from upholstery foam, which is one of the main reasons why it is so common in sofas, chairs, benches, airplane seats, and even pillows and mattress toppers.

Rigid Foam: Rigid foam is the hard form of flexible upholstery foam. The base materials are the same, but the chemical mixture is different, and the foam contains less air. Rigid foam is often used for packaging, insulation, sound absorption, and RTM cores.

Elastomers: This type of foam is a mixture of foam and rubber. The chemical makeup of this foam is quite different than that of rigid or upholstery foam. Elastomers are flexible, allowing the springy plastic to be used in shoes and other places where sponginess is necessary, such as in gel pads, and other supportive bases.

Absorption Foam: This type of foam is porous and can absorb water and other liquids. This kind of foam is often used in sponges and artist tools. Absorbable foam is highly useful for cleaning up spilled liquids.

The Foam Fabricators Toolbox: Cutting and Bonding Processes - 10/15/2014

The versatility of foam opens up the possibility of creating foam displays, foam packages, foam strips, foam sheets, foam gaskets, and many other foam shapes and products, but this also means that foam fabricators must utilize a variety of tools to help produce these products. Foam fabricators work with foams in many forms such as closed-cell foam, open-cell foam, reticulated polyurethane foam, foam caps, foam sheets, and any other kind of foam imaginable. To manipulate these forms into unique foam pieces, foam fabricators may use one of the following processes:

Heat bonding: To avoid using harsh solvents and adhesives with strong odors, Heat bonding can be used to fuse foam pieces together. Slightly melting the top of the foam pieces allows them to be pressed together until the foam hardens forming a solid bond. This is the most commonly used and favored method for combining pieces of foam.

CNC cutting: These cutters are computer controlled and are capable of creating high-quality 3-D shapes. With careful and precise control almost any form or shape is possible, regardless of its complexity.

Lamination: Using the process of lamination plastics and other materials are combined over foam pieces. Various bonding materials are used for product lamination which makes this process useful for diverse applications.

Die cutting: Similar to cutting cookies from dough, die cutting cuts out foam shapes using large cutters. Die cutting is the simplest method for cutting out basic foam shapes.

Water jet cutting: Water jet cutting provides a heat-free alternative for cutting out foam shapes. If you are worried that heat could damage your foam pieces, then water jet cutting is the perfect solution for your applications.

Reusable Foam for Air Filtration - 9/30/2014

Air filters are made from a variety of materials- both reusable and one time use. One of the most popular forms of filter media for air filters is polyurethane foam. Polyurethane foam is filled with air pockets that offer somewhere between thermally reticulated 15 and 20 pores per inch. The pores in the foam act perfectly as a barrier for collecting a variety of dust, dirt, and other contaminants that get into the air. Many factories and businesses that do not want to deal with the expense of one-time use filters have switched to using foam filters instead.

Polyurethane foam manufacturers often make foam specifically for filtration use. The foam is resilient, flexible, and completely reusable. To clean the foam filters, all you have to do is rinse with water or vacuum with a low-pressure vacuum to remove the dust particles collected in the foam pores. Depending on the use, polyurethane foam manufacturers offer the filter foam in a variety of thicknesses to suit any industrial need.

Many industrial factories and other businesses have switched to the use of foam filters as a cost saving method that not only saves the company money, but also reduces the impact of the company on the environment. Reusing foam filters is one way to improve the environmentally friendly practices of any factory or business. The initial expense of the foam filters is also offset by the multiple uses that the filters provide. One foam filter can last for several years, negating the cost of the initial investment.

Foam Fabricating: Explained - 9/11/2014

There is some misunderstanding as to what foam fabricating actually is. Many people think that foam fabricating is the process of creating the foam, but this is actually not the case. Fabricating foam includes any manipulation of the foam, whether it is simply cutting the foam into a different size or shape or merging the foam with another material to create a stronger object with different properties. Fabricating foam actually has nothing to do with manufacturing the foam pieces at all.

In general, there are two forms of fabrication that occur with foam. The first fabricating method is the cutting fabrication method. The second method is post treatment, which mixes the foam with another material to create something better than the original foam. Both kinds of fabricating are used in the foam industry to create products ranging from seat cushions to mailing packaging.

Cutting fabrication: In cutting fabrication, a factory cuts a sheet of foam to the desired size and shape. Since the foam industry is so competitive, foam factories have many expensive machines that they use to cut the foam into pieces. These machines are designed to eliminate as much waste from the process as possible and to create uniform designs that match customer specifications exactly. Other equipment compresses, heats, or otherwise changes the properties of the original foam slightly to create a new style object, such as in the case of egg crate foam.

Post treatment fabrication: Post treatment fabrication occurs after the foam has been cut into the desired shape. Usually, post treatment consists of adding other materials to the foam, such as fiber or a substrate, or bonding several pieces of foam together. The bonding process is accomplished by flame bonding, hot film bonding, or a variety of other bonding methods.

Tips for Choosing a Foam Fabricating Supplier

The world of foam fabricating is large and intimidating. There are hundreds of ways to fabricate foam, from cutting, to gluing, to compressing, and much more. Not all foam fabricating suppliers are created equal, however. Some companies provide much better service and products than others. How is it possible to find the right foam fabricating supplier for you? Follow this brief guide to help you eliminate some of the possibilities and find the best supplier for your needs.

Examine equipment: Not all fabricating suppliers can perform the same fabricating options on foam. Some facilities are equipped to handle different processes than others. Some factories also use different techniques to achieve the same results. Look at the equipment and type of fabricating that the company does before choosing them for your project needs. Certain kinds of fabricating equipment will likely work better with your product than others.

Examine manufacturing process: To find the true cost of each foam item, you must look at the entire manufacturing process. Differences in the fabricating methods will not only produce slightly different results, but it can also produce wildly varying prices as well. It is important to look at the entire manufacturing process to determine if the additional cost will end up saving you time or money in the end, or if you can save by cutting corners in fabricating your foam.

Look at total value: Just like the above issues, the total value of the item is what you want to look at rather than just the manufacturing expenses. Some factories may charge a little more while fabricating the item, but in the end, it eliminates further finishing and assembly. Small changes like this can actually cause a huge difference in total manufacturing costs and values. It is important to examine the fabricating process as a whole, as well as what you will have to assemble after fabricating to determine which supplier is right for your needs.

Noise Safety in the Factory

When trying to fix the economy, America placed an emphasis on bringing back manufacturing jobs. With more and more factories popping up, this industry began to employ more workers. This makes it crucial that we remember how important worker safety is in a factory setting. The factory floor can be potentially dangerous to be in at times and there are hazards that employees must be conscious of. Industrial machines can be at a higher risk when materials like chemicals or toxic gases are used in them. It is vital that employees know how to take action in the event of an emergency. This can mean preparing for the worst and getting the necessary equipment.

These are usually the main areas of concern but a commonly overlooked area can be industrial noise pollution. The noise that one industrial sized machine can make is incredible, let alone many machines in one enclosed area. These noises can be a distraction from production and can potentially damage the hearing functions of people that are affected. This issue can be avoided by workers wearing sound canceling headphones to protect their ears, for example, construction workers operating machines. Headphones provide the individual with industrial noise control. This is ideal for anyone by loud machinery. Closed areas can have employees who use these headphones, but also use applications such as sound barriers, acoustical ceilings and floors, and other soundproofing materials that help eliminate noise pollution.

Three Common Uses for Open Cell Foam

Sponges and Styrofoam are the two most common products that come to mind when thinking about foam. Both of these forms of foam have significant similarities and differences. The primary differences between the two are the material that it is created with and the cell structure of the foam. The sponge would be considered a form of open cell foam, and Styrofoam is an example of closed cell foam. Open cell refers to the porous nature of the foam, as how a sponge is porous and soaks up water; where in the case of Styrofoam, instead of soaking up the water, it floats above the water. For this situation, we’re focusing primarily on open cell foam.

Open cell foam is an excellent material for soundproofing. The open or porous foam absorbs the sound by dampening the vibrations. While testing products and doing acoustical research this type of foam is the best option to minimize noise pollution. Open cell foam is used in almost every type of furniture. Chairs, couches and beds all use foam to satisfy your comfort. Lastly, there are products out there that are sensitive to particles entering their system or engine. Open cell foam is used to create the filters that are placed over openings so that the air goes through and the particles stay out. The above examples are merely a few of the many different uses for open cell foam. Foam is a versatile, yet unique product that continues to have a overabundance of uses among many industries.

The Facts of Foam Fabricating

Many people believe that ‘foam fabrication’ is the creation of the foam itself, but this is not the case. Foam fabrication is actually any manipulation of the foam, whether it is cutting the foam into different sizes or shapes, or merging the foam with another material to create a stronger object with different properties. Overall, there are two forms of fabrication that occur: cutting fabrication and post treatment fabrication.

Cutting fabrication is where the manufacturer cuts a sheet of foam to the desired size and shape. With the fabrication of foam being a highly competitive arena, factories have large machines that they will use to cut the foam into pieces. Post treatment fabrication occurs after the foam has been cut. Usually this consists of combining other materials to the foam, such as a substrate or fiber; or even combining several cut pieces together.

2015 AHR Expo in Chicago

The world’s largest HVACR expo is happening January 26-28, 2015 at the McCormick Place in Chicago. The expo brings together close to 2,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors representing all aspects of the industry to see what is up and coming with the latest technology and trends. In addition to new product presentations, you will find over 100 educational seminars and workshops.

Although this expo is still several months away, indications are already giving way that it is slated to be on track for another record-breaking event. Still unsure you or your company should attend? In addition to thousands of vendors, there are many show features that you shouldn’t miss out on such as: new product Technology Theater, free educational sessions, free industry publications and many more!

For more information or to sign up your company to be an exhibitor at the show or to register to attend the show, visit: http://www.ahrexpo.com/

NDI Company Profile

At NDI Enterprises, we offer a variety of flexible foam products. Our foam products are designed to solve a variety of issues in a variety of industries, like waste treatment, home improvement, and medical devices. One of our specialties is the production of soundproofing foam. We use our foam to create sound barriers and other noise canceling products to dampen and absorb sounds. We have over 25 years of experience and we serve a wide customer based. If you would like to learn more about us or what we can do, give us a call today!

New Dimensions Industries, LLC

141 W. Commercial Ave. 2nd Floor, Moonachie, NJ 07074 | Toll Free: 800-251-7462 | Fax: 856-767-1209

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