Foam can mean different things to different people. If you’re the domestic type, the word might bring to mind the bubbles formed by washing-up liquid; romantics might go all wistful and start dreaming about waves crashing against the shore; or maybe all you think of is the head on a pint of beer.
A foam is basically a substance that is formed by trapping pockets of gas in a liquid or solid. It can be comprised of individual closed cells, like bubbles, or a series of open cells. So all the above certainly count, but so do things like a sponge, a camping mattress, popcorn and even a loaf of bread.
Safety begins at foam?
Liquid foam isn’t generally a practical protective packaging solution. In fact, it tends to do more harm than good, although recent tests into the use of beer foam have been inconclusive. Reports that this was because the researchers, needing to do something with the rest of the beer once the foam had been removed, never got round to concluding the tests, are unconfirmed.
No, we’re more concerned here with foams of a more solid nature and all those pockets of air mean that packaging made in this way offers a lot of cushioning. (Incidentally, a true foam is typically disordered, with bubbles formed naturally and being of different sizes, thus excluding bubble wrap, for example, although it certainly works on the same principle.)
One of the softest options is using polythene foam rolls and sheets which, being as non-abrasive as our packaging gets, are ideal for laying between panels and surfaces to prevent scratching, scuffing and the like. Each roll comprises millions of tiny air filled cells, which means it’s not only a very soft, but also an extremely lightweight and flexible packaging material.
The foam stretch
One of the most common uses of foam in packaging is in the form of expanded polystyrene (EPS). Loose fill packing peanuts are often made of this, as are polystyrene sheets which are made up of pre-expanded polystyrene beads. EPS can be a tough and rigid material which is also used in the building trade to provide insulation.
Egg shell foam packing – used in our foam lined postal boxes, for example – is made from expanded polyurethane, a product also used, in its flexible form, in household furniture, while the rigid kind is used inside the metal and plastic walls of fridges and freezers. Polyurethane foam can discolour fairly rapidly, so we don’t hold much in stock – it’s best to plan ahead and allow about a week for us to get any to you if you need it.
Our Sales team will be pleased to help with any enquiries you may have about our foam packaging; otherwise, go to www.davpack.co.uk where you will find our full range, most of which is on the shelves now, ready to be dispatched to you the day you place your order with us.
Latest posts by Dave Smith (see all)
- An environmental guide to plastic carrier bags - 22nd June 2015
- Millimetres and litres: a guide to choosing the right sized box - 11th June 2015
- The Davpack Christmas Sale – There’s More! - 12th November 2014