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Blog article: How to choose packaging foam
Uses for Packaging foam
If you are moving house, office or simply sending items, foam can be a great addition to your packing supplies. Here are some suggestions for how and when to use different types of packaging foam.
Glass and ceramics
Packaging foam wrap is an obvious choice here, it can be purchased in rolls, is less bulky than bubble wrap and can be cut easily to your preferred shape with scissors, so when you are moving house you can easily wrap individual items for packing.
Light fittings can be fiddly, wrapping them in packaging foam wrap can protect them during a move. You could also use convoluted foam tiles or convoluted sheeting as the convoluted shape will help protect delicate fittings.
Larger ornaments can be wrapped in packaging foam wrap, smaller ones could be packed between sheets/tiles of convoluted foam. For very special and valuable items, we recommend taking the time to pack them in 'pick and pluck' foam.
Modern electrical appliances are usually fairly sturdy (unless they have glass components such as blender jugs) but you'll still want to protect them from scratches, bumps and accidental breakage. Foam packaging wrap may be enough, but for more delicate appliances, thicker foam sheeting may be better.
Computer and other electrical parts (e.g. circuit boards)
These are definitely candidates for anti-static foam (which is pink to differentiate it from other foam types) and/or ethafoam, as delicate components such as these need to be protected from electrostatic charges that can build up in these components. These foam types are available in various thicknesses and are also moisture and chemical resistant.
Foam sheets come in various thicknesses so can be helpful in protecting furniture from bumps and scratches.
Edges and corners
You can cut up strips or wedges of packaging foam sheeting to protect furniture edges and corners of furniture and fittings (just stick them on with masking tape). Not only will this protect the items, but it will protect your movers from accidental injuries and cuts on sharp edges (e.g. edges of mirrors).
Different types of foam can be used to pack tools, depending on the size and nature of the tools. Small tools can be wrapped in foam wrap. You may want to wrap larger tools in thicker foam sheeting or use a sturdier type such as closed cell polyethylene or Plastazote, particularly if there are sharp blades that need covering.
Collectable and special items
For collectable and special items such as models and figurines 'pick and pluck' foam is ideal. If you have very special items, you may even want to invest in a case which you can fill with pick and pluck foam. To customise your 'pick and pluck' foam we recommend using toothpicks to mark out your shapes.
Hoses, Gaskets & Waterproof membranes
EPDM closed cell sponge rubber foam is primarily used in the Automotive & Construction industries. Typical applications include custom made specialist items such as coils, seals, waterproof membranes, hoses and gaskets. EPDM is available in sheets and cut to size, in many thicknesses. It can also be supplied with or without a self adhesive backing.
Example - testimonial
"I have a collection of model aeroplanes, tanks and ships which I carefully built and painted as a teenager, some of these have been damaged in various house moves (e.g. wings and tails snapping off and needing to be glued back on) but for my next move I will be using 'pick and pluck' foam to pack the most sensitive items, the advantage of 'pick and pluck' being that I can create a safe protective space for all the odd shaped and differently sized items and pack them into one or two cases." Mike, West Midlands.