Foam grades & types
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Closed cell polyethylene foam
Rigid non-absorbent waterproof foam
Available in thicknesses of 3, 5, 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 50mm in sheets or cut to size.
This grade of Closed cell foam is not fire retardant; if you need fire retardant or other thicknesses/colours please contact us.
We also supply high density EVA Yoga Foam Rollers.
What is Closed cell Polyethylene Foam used for?
As one of the most versatile foams in existence, polyethylene is exceedingly practical and covers a wide range of applications. It comes in a range of colours, formulations, densities, styles and shapes that can be used in many different ways. The possibilities for this product are endless! Whether for an industrial, professional or personal use, polyethylene foam can do many different jobs.
This foam is made up of closed cells which are closed off from each other. This means that it is slightly harder, firmer and tougher than open-cell foams. In addition to being resistant to liquids, it’s a shock absorber, can provide thermal insulation and can also be used to seal gaps. Polyethylene foam is typically less springy, more rigid, and is widely used for swimming buoyancy aids, the lining of sports helmets, gym mats or other products that offer support and protection.
Attributes of closed cell polyethylene foam
Applications of closed cell polyethylene foam
What do you need to know about Closed Cell Polyethylene Foam?
As you now know, polyethylene foam has a versatility that lends itself to being suitable for many different purposes. It’s a foam that is probably used the most out of all foams, but typically it’s not recognised. You may see it in use as a flotation device, for packaging, a shock absorber or sound insulation. It’s playing it’s part in a sophisticated modern world even if we don’t see it in use.
When it comes to its structure, polyethylene foam is created with closed-cells, this means that it’s a foam that has tiny bubbles that are each separate from each other. This formation means that it has water resistance, hence why it’s typically used for floatation devices. This foam is also resistant to chemicals such as petroleum and solvents, besides being an inhibitor of growth for microbes such as bacterial, mould and mildew.
The majority of the time polyethylene foam is a resilient material that can return to its form despite being compressed but still provide cushion and security where required. It’s these features in addition to it being customisable that make it practical to use in so many different ways.
The process of manufacturing polyethylene foam involves the heating of polymer compounds, at which point additives can be used to change its properties. For example, antistatic varieties of the foam can be made for handling, packaging and distribution of delicate electronics. These items require antistatic packaging to dissipate electrical charges that may build and damage components.
By applying additives in the formula, it’s possible to get a consistent build of the material, rather than using treatments to change the foam after its creation. It’s also a foam that is available in various densities, depending on how it is to be used. The greater the density, the smaller the cells are or, the thicker the walls are, which means a more robust material.
Closed-cell polyethylene is versatile in many different ways, and it can be made to a wide range of shapes and sizes. From the sheet form to the cylinder or used as tubing to encase another product, this tough foam is excellent as both a shock absorber and an insulator. The closed-cell formation of the foam also means it can resist moisture and is therefore significant as a thermal insulation material.
Another appealing possibility with this foam is that when it’s in the form of sheeting, polyethylene can be cut and laminated together to fabricate thicker sections for use as personal floatation devices, furniture inserts, bespoke packaging and for anything that needs extra support.
Insulation is made by putting together thin sheets of material to manufacture rolls of polyethylene. This can then be used for seals between foundations, sill plates in buildings, insulations for pipes or protective bags or pouches for placement between goods.
Noodle water toys are made from polyethylene and are very recognisable for most people. These cylinders can also be used for bolsters to provide support for personal comfort.
Customer’s FAQs about Closed Cell Polyethylene Foam
We receive a lot of questions about how to get the best from using polyethylene foam. As we receive the questions, we add them here so that everybody can benefit from the knowledge that we’ve acquired at eFoam over the years.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask us directly. We’re exceedingly helpful - even if we have to say so ourselves! We welcome all questions, no matter what it’s about or how ‘silly’ you may feel your query or problem is, we don’t consider any questions to be ‘silly’ and know that we all have to start somewhere when it comes to foam and it’s uses.
Let’s take a look at what else you need to know about polyethylene foam, and its application.
What is closed cell polyethylene foam?
Polyethylene foam is what is known as a closed-cell foam. It’s lightweight and almost plastic-like in appearance. An example of it is noodle bars in swimming pool settings. It’s buoyant, resistant to liquids including water, solvents and other. It’s also good at dampening impacts and vibrations. The foam also performs very well when used as a packaging material and an insulator.
How is closed cell polyethylene foam made?
Polyethylene foam is made from heating ethylene and the addition of other blowing agents, so that they become one. In some cases, additives will change the characteristics of the material and introduce other features such as anti-static.
What is closed cell?
Closed cell is when there are individual cells with walls. It makes the foam impenetrable by liquids and it also makes it more rigid. Polyethylene foam is a closed cell foam.
Is closed cell foam waterproof?
Yes, closed cell foam is completely water resistant.
Is it possible to recycle closed cell polyethylene foam?
In more recent times, it’s become possible to recycle polyethylene foam. It can be melted down and reformed in the same way that other plastic materials can be.
Is closed cell polyethylene foam fire resistant?
Just as most fabrics, standard polyethylene foam is not fire resistant, it could burn if in direct contact with flames. However, it will only burn if flames are present or if it’s subjected to being close to very high temperatures. Polyethylene foam is available in a fire retardant version, please contact us for more information and pricing.
Is polyethylene toxic to humans?
Polyethylene is non-toxic in its solid form.
What is closed cell polyethylene foam used for?
As one of the most versatile of all foams, Polyethylene foam is used for a wide range of applications. Sports, protection, buoyancy aids, packaging, medical & healthcare, archery target practice and many more uses make it a foam that offers a lot when it comes to methods of use.
Can closed cell polyethylene foam underlay be used to insulate?
Yes, polyethylene foam can be used for insulation purposes.
Is closed cell polyethylene foam good for soundproofing?
Polyethylene is ideal for use as a sound deadening material. However, if you’re looking for sound absorption, you may want to use our acoustic foam or our convoluted acoustic foam. If you’re not sure whether this is the right foam for you, you can use our sample service to get a good look and your hands on this foam. Please also note that we offer special prices on our sound absorption foam, look out for them.
How flexible is closed cell polyethylene foam – can it be manufactured into 10-12cm sheets that can then be rolled?
In our experience, the 1cm-2cm and thinner sheets can be rolled. Anything thicker, it cannot be rolled.
Is it possible to use closed cell polyethylene as padding in sewing and tailoring projects such as in bra cups, shoulder pads etc and how does that compare with polyurethane foams?
We recommend using either polyethylene roll or our polyurethane foam in this case. As with any project, it’s wise to test the foam out before committing. You can look at all our foams by using our sample service.
Can you use it to make a therapeutic wedge to put under the mattress and raise the head of the bed?
Due to the impact dampening properties, we recommend that you use conventional foam, ie polyurethane foam which will retain its shape and support in that situation. Polyurethane is typically used for upholstery projects. Please note that we also sell memory foam mattresses and mattress topper foams on our foam mattresses and toppers page.
If I have a few noodles that are made out of closed cell polyethylene foam, but they’ve been stored tightly and therefore are compacted, can I expect them to return to their original form?
Possibly, However, if they haven’t returned to their form after 1 to 2 weeks, then they are not likely to reform to their former shape.
Can I order cut to size closed cell polyethylene foam?
Yes, you can – please click here.
Is the closed cell polyethylene foam food grade?
Closed Cell polyethylene foam is suitable for food contact applications.
What is the difference between closed cell foam and open cell foam?
Other than the obvious difference – one has an open cell structure, whereas the other has a closed-cell bubble like composition – there are many other differences, take a look at our ‘Open vs Closed-cell foams’ blog for further information on this.
Summary of Closed Cell Polyethylene Foam
Polyethylene foam is a very versatile closed-cell foam which means it is mould and mildew proof in addition to being water-resistant. It’s typically used as protection, insulation against heat and sound, or as an impact dampening foam. It is available in sheets which can be cut to your specified size and can be glued together to make a thicker piece.
The uses of this foam vary widely – from swimming pool noodles to packaging materials or bespoke/die-cut packaging foam inserts, to floatation devices and crash pads for climbers. If you need any help with ensuring it’s the right one for you, contact us.
If you need help with finding the right foam for industrial purposes, professional purposes or for your crafting or home upholstery projects, get in touch with us today. We are here to help you and happy to do so. Here is our opening hours 8am-8pm Mon-Fri & 9am-5pm Sat-Sun. Please also note that we cut foam to size and offer a wide variety of shapes.
EFP30 Closed Cell Polyethylene Foam Data
EFP30 is a closed cell cross-linked polyethylene foam block.
Tolerances other than the above may be negotiated.
Dimensional stability 24 hr at 70ºC < 2%.
Dimensional stability 24 hr at 90ºC < 5%.
This information on EFP30 chemically cross-linked polyethylene foam is presented to the best of our knowledge.
Data represents typical values measured on a 10mm thick specimen and should be considered as guidelines only.
Simply Foam Products Ltd reserves the right to update product data information without prior notice.
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