Open Cell Polyurethane Foam
Polyurethane foam is the most commonly known foam type, it’s around us every day of our lives, in our furniture, our beds and our cars. And Foam Engineers was there at the very beginning when this foam was first invented. As a manufacturer of metal springs for the High Wycombe furniture industry, we had a keen eye on developments in the then new emerging foam market.
The date then was 1957, and DuPont, Bayer and BASF were the first to bring the new polyester foam to market. And later the polyether variety was developed offering technical and commercial advantages such as low cost and ease of handling. These were pioneering days and Foam Engineers became closely associated with Dunlop in order to develop new markets outside of furniture and bedding for these cellular plastic materials.
The big markets for PU foam, including foam sheets, are furniture, bedding and automotive. These represent 70% of the total market. Foam Engineers is a major supplier into the remaining 30% of the foam market. These sectors are more specialized and lower but not insignificant volumes. These markets typically cover appliances, packaging, electronics and other uses.
Polyester Polyurethane foam is a flexible foam available in various densities. The foam is non-reticulated and has the appearance of sparkling cells. Typically charcoal grey in colour this foam can also be supplied flame retardant form. Polyester foam has good tensile strength qualities and we supply this foam into markets where repeated flexing occurs. It’s appearance is also well suited to presentation display products and case inserts.
Polyether Polyurethane foam, also a flexible foam, has the added benefit of different hardness factors in relation to its density. Polyether foam is the everyday work horse foam for the foam industry and is used extensively in the packaging industry. Foam Engineers also offers special grades which combine functionality with performance. High Load Bearing (HLB) foam is of particular interest to the electronics market where cushioning fragile components is key. Equally, anti-static foams are designed to eliminate static potential from the foam itself and to dissipate electro-static discharge from other sources. Foam Engineers keeps a range of these high performance packaging foams in stock at all times, our customers appreciate the rapid order turn around this allows us to give.
Foam Engineers was there at the outset with Polyurethane Foam, and it is interesting to note that we are still supplying today a number of customers who joined us in those early days of the developing foam industry.