Foam Terminology


The most general definition of foam is a substance that is formed by trapping many gas bubbles in a liquid or solid. A foam is normally an extremely complex system consisting of poly-disperse gas bubbles separated by draining films.


Acoustic foam typically comes in squares or sheets. A square or sheet of acoustic foam will vary in thickness, but all varieties of the foam feature a jagged landscape; because even surfaces tend to act as a soundboard for vibration, acoustic foam uses jagged edges and uneven surfaces to instead absorb sound waves and deaden them before they can reverberate, causing sound to travel farther and even cause echoes.


Convoluted foam (Egg crate shaped) is a synthetic textile typically made from polyurethane ether or ester material that is used as protective packaging and lining material for a variety of products. The purpose of convoluting foam is to reduce the surface area of the foam in contact on the object being protected, improving foam compression.


Commonly abbreviated to XLPE, is a form of polyethylene with cross-links. It is formed into tubing, and is used predominantly in hydronic radiant heating systems, domestic water piping and insulation for high tension (high voltage) electrical cables.


When products need protection from vibrations and shocks, TCH is able to design a packaging solution that ensures the product can be transported safely.


XPS is a thermoplastic material, expanded polystyrene. It is formed to make a dense foam that is ideal for creating form fit protection for the product. XPS is a rigid plank with a micro-cellular structure used mostly for its insulation properties, expressed as an "R-Value". Typically used in building construction for commercial and residential plank insulation.


Extruded Polystyrene is also known by the trade name Styrofoam®. EPS is a low density, rigid foam that can be fabricated or moulded into shapes for economical packaging material.


Foam filters are porous foams used to entrap particles from passing through it. Foam filters are made up of tiny interlocking cells that trap and collect particles preventing the particles from entering or exit the foam depending on their usage.


Polyethylene or polythene (IUPAC name polyethene or poly(methylene)) is the most widely used thermoplastic in commercial use. Its primary use is within packaging. Polyethylene, with its blend of mechanical, physical & thermal properties combine with its relative low cost, makes it ideally suited a packaging and foam application. Polyethylene is highly recyclable, un-common for most other types of foam materials.


Rigid foam is also known as plank foam. There are 3 typical types of rigid foam materials, they are; polystyrene (Styrofoam®), polyisocyanurate and polyethylene (Ethafoam®).


Urethane is a plastic compound that's more flexible and weather-resistant than natural rubber. Polyurethane foam is divided into two main material sub-types: Polyurethane Ether & Polyurethane Ester. Polyurethanes are open cell foams, meaning that air or water can pass through the foam from one side of the foam to the other. Polyurethanes are thermoset plastics made from two or more chemically reactive elements. Once the polyurethane components are mixed, they combine and form permanent chemical bonds.