Material of the Month: XPE 45 Foam

Material of the Month: XPE 45 Foam

Posted 28 November 2013 by Donna Creek

XPE 45 Foam has played a huge role in our material board 06 and we have fallen in love with the material and it’s endless possibilities, we want to share with you what other uses the foam has.

XPE 45 Foam is highly energy absorbent and created through a unique production process allowing for the foam to possess controlled properties. This foam is of a strength, quality and purity superior to foams produced by other methods. They are inert, lightweight, UV stable, flexible, tough and resilient and exhibit outstanding resistance to chemicals and water. They are highly pure, will not cause corrosion or staining and are safe to use for the transit and archival storage of antiquities and works of art.

The general properties:

  • Low in weight
  • Highly absorbent
  • Flexible

A wide range of colour options exist for the most popular grades of foam. There is also a technical team on hand with extensive expertise in colour matching to specific requirements or industry standard colours.

The uses of foam are too numerous to list. Applications vary from personal protection to packaging conservation to construction, and automotive to aerospace. Because it is expanded in a free environment it has little in-built stress making it easy to fabricate by common conversion methods.

Many processes can be applied to foam, you can cut using simple equipment such as band-saws, etc. Other methods used are: Sawing, Splitting, Die Stamping, Hot Wire Cutting, Waterjet profiling, Thermo punching, Thermo profiling, Butt Welding, Laminating, Adhesive Bonding, Thermoforming, Routing, Sanding, Drilling, Flocking.

The foams’ range of high performance foams manufactured from fluoropolymers and engineering thermoplastics. Polymers of this type are known to be tough, rigid and possess high strength characteristics. Many can withstand temperatures in excess of 160°C have inherent flame retardant properties and outstanding chemical resistance. Flame retardant grades available.

Foam is produced in a wide density range from 15kg/m³ up to 120kg/m³ and produce the lowest density cross-linked polyethylene foam in the world. Foaming technology is very flexible and currently a wide range of sheet sizes are available. Thickness – thinner sheets (down to around 2mm) can be obtained by splitting the sheet. Thicker sheets can be fabricated by either heat laminating sheets together (up to around 300mm) or by adhesive bonding.

XPE 45 Foam is non-biodegradable, non-renewable and non-recyclable.