Foam packaging materials
What is packaging foam?
Packaging foam is a type of polyurethane foam specifically developed for use within goods boxes, flight cases, display cabinets and more. Packaging foam is also used by removal companies to safely box up fragile and delicate goods during a house move.
Most of us encounter packaging foam in our day to day lives. If you’ve brought a new pair of shoes, you’ve likely found them protected in foam wrapping in the box. Your new TV has likely been fixed in its box by specialist packaging foam too.
Why use foam for packaging?
Foam is a supportive and non-abrasive material, meaning it will not scratch or mark the items it is protecting. Durable and reliable, foam offers high quality cushioning for a relatively low cost.
With its versatility, foam packaging can be cut to size and is therefore available in a range of shapes or as flat sheets. Likewise, custom packaging foam can be created with certain properties. For example, a particular type of anti-static foam is often required for the storage of specialist electronic equipment.
Benefits of packaging foam
Foam is an excellent choice for packaging and storage applications as it is soft yet protective. It is available in various thicknesses and densities, and different foam types provide various levels of protection. Not only is it versatile, cost-effective and easily available, but it is also clean. This may seem a minor point, but wrapping glassware and other fragile items in newspaper does run the risk of ink and dirt transferring from the paper onto your goods.
Different types of foam packing material and their applications
There are many packaging foam types, although most are made from polyurethane and polyethylene foams. These are often available in various forms, including foam sheets, foam tubing, foam sleeves, corner protectors, foam chips (also known as foam peanuts), foam wrapping and custom cut to size trays and inserts. Egg crate foam padding is also available in sheet form, which is great for securing items in place and preventing damage from impact.
Other protective foam packaging types foams include closed-cell polyethylene foams such as Plastazote, which are good choices for items that need to be protected from heat, moisture and oil-based substances. These foam types in particular are brilliant for impact and shock absorption, as well as general surface protection. Some foams, like EVA foam, have a smooth appearance, making them suitable for use in display cases as well as transportation boxes.
If you’re looking for a generic packaging foam, standard polyurethane packaging foam is a good fit for use in cardboard boxes, and is suitable for both storage and transportation.
How to select the right foam packaging material for your product
All foam manufacturers should be able to advise you on the best foam for you. We at Easyfoam ask customers to consider a few questions to help determine their appropriate foam packaging type.
These questions include whether the appearance of your item is the most important factor (e.g. if your item is prone to scratching), as well as the overall weight of your product. Likewise, it’s important to consider whether your item is going to be stored long term, and how it is to be transported. Whether your item is sensitive to vibration and movement also comes into play when choosing your foam packing material.
For assistance when choosing a packaging foam, please contact our friendly colleagues.