Polyurethane foam, or PU foam for short, is known for being highly flexible and also very resilient. Polyurethane is a core member of the diverse, wide-ranging group of polymers and plastics. It can come solid or with an open cellular structure, and you can get rigid or flexible polyurethane foam, depending on the function for which it is necessitated.
Common uses for flexible polyurethane foam
- Space filling for computers and electronic products
- Cushioning in upholstery and furniture
- Impact absorption for electronic devices such as laptop computers
- Sound deadening for dampening acoustics in studios and interior open spaces
- Protection against electrostatic discharge (ESD) for electronic devices during manufacture and transportation
- Patient care products for healthcare facilities, from comfort supports to drug administration
- Presentation box inserts at retail points of sale
How is PU foam made?
- PU foam is made from the reaction of mixing polyols and diisocyanates, which are both derived from crude oil, in a stainless steel tank. Some additives may be needed as per the intended application of the PU foam.
- The reacting materials are passed through a heat exchanger, which adjusts the temperature to the necessary reactive level, while being pumped into pipes. The polymerisation occurs within the pipes and the polyurethane is formed once the liquid reaches the end of the pipe.
- The polyurethane is emitted from a dispensing pipe onto the production line, with a spool of rolling paper moving it along a conveyor. During the dispensing process, its mixture with carbon dioxide causes it to expand and it continually rises as it moves along the conveyor.
- After this expansive reaction, a second top layer of paper is rolled on (along with possibly some side papers if necessary). Each layer of paper gives the PU foam its shape.
- Once it reaches the end of the production line, the foam insulation is cut with an automatic saw to give it the required length.
To find out more about polyurethane foam, or to request a sample, contact us on (021) 470 9556.