Protection: it’s a concept that applies to so much, yet we tend to think so little of it, unfortunately, until it’s too late. Virtually everything at some point needs protection. When you enjoy the winter by taking to the slopes, your head and your body need protection against the elements and any potential accident you could have. In the same way, when you ship a gift to a friend or relative, you protect it so it arrives in one piece. Or when a doctor uses a delicate medical device to help a patient, it was originally protected and secured so it would be ready for use when it was needed. Needless to say, protection is an important thing, but one of the technologies that ensures protection in so many ways is often overlooked. That technology is foam molding.
There are two typical processes used when it comes to manufacturing foam products. Today, we will focus on compression molding (or foam molding). With foam molding, the material is usually preheated and placed in a mold cavity, which is then closed before pressure is applied and the foam material if forced into all of the molds necessary nooks and crannies. This allows for extremely accurate and detailed parts for just about every industry.
The material typically used for foam molding is a thermosetting resin, added in a partially cured stage as either a granule, preform, or putty-like substance. The advantage here, as opposed to other manufacturing methods, is that compression molding is capable of intricately molding large and small parts with a high degree of precision. At the same time, compression molding is also cheaper than many other methods, without wasting nearly as much material as other processes. This makes foam molding highly favorable, especially when expensive compounds are being used.
Foam molding was pioneered primarily to manufacture parts to replace metal parts in various applications. For other applications, it was used to quickly and cheaply form foam and plastic to be used for protection, covering, shipping, containment, and more. When foam molding is not used to replace metal parts in various applications, it is frequently used to create soft protective coverings and inlays such as case inserts for fragile part and products.
While it might not be something you typically consider, without foam compression molding – our world would indeed be different. For example, imagine you had to receive an emergency operation in the E.R. The container that shipped the delicate medical instruments you relied on probably used foam compression molded foam for protection. Or, maybe you’re one of the many people that feel a whole lot better with comfortable in-soles in your shoes or boots? Those are also the result of custom contour cut compression molded foam. You could find numerous examples of compression molded foam in your day to day life, these are just a few – but next time you feel something soft, think about the many ways compression molded foam might be helping or even protecting you every day.
Post time: 05-04-2017