Yes, foam is one of the best forms of packaging for a variety of products, including food products, electrical products and whole range of other items that require protection during shipping. The key reasons foam is a superior packaging material are:
Foam provides excellent cushioning – During the shipping process, your product is bound to be affected by sudden impacts and vibration. By using the right type of foam packaging, the effects of these shocks or vibrations are significantly reduced due to the foams unique cell structure that naturally absorbs and dissipates energy.
Foam protects against extremes of temperature – Another potential issue that could arise during shipping is a significant change in temperature, which could have an adverse and sometimes dangerous effect on the product. The cell construction of certain types of foam will act to counter these changes in temperature, and help to regulate the immediate environment surrounding the product.
Foam is extremely easy to form – Using a variety of foam processes, such as routing and machining, moulding and forming or waterjet cutting, foam packaging can easily be formed to very close tolerances, and made to fit and protect any product no matter what the shape or size.
Foam packaging is available in a range of different types of foam, with each one chosen for its unique properties, depending on the type of product or component being packaged.
Some of the more common types of foam used for packaging solutions include:
ARPLANK benefits from being lightweight, having exceptional energy-absorbing properties, being recyclable, and being chemical resistant.
These properties make ARPLANK an ideal foam for various packaging solutions, which include:
Case inserts: ARPLANK’s closed-cell structure means it can be easily cut or formed using one or a combination of cutting or moulding processes, no matter how complex the design of the item being packaged.
Foam forming processes include:
Protective packaging: ARPLANK fulfils the key objectives for most protective packaging requirements, including impact and vibration resistance, chemical resistance, and moisture resistance, whilst also being non-abrasive - another vital requirement for most protective packaging.
Returnable containers: ARPLANK is ideal when used as returnable packaging, due to its compression strength and durability, which allow it to be used multiple times, with little degradation.
The closed-cell polyethylene foam, Plastazote, is another great foam for packaging, largely due to its cushioning properties, lightweight, and water resistance.
Another reason Plastazote is used for many packaging solutions is its superb impact resistance, and its ability to return to its original shape, even after constant impact.
This ability not only makes Plastazote a more cost-effective packaging solution, because of its reusability, but it also makes a more environmentally-friendly, foam packaging solution.
Tougher than Plastazote, closed-cell copolymer foam, Evazote, has a variety of benefits, including durability, impact resistance, non-toxicity, and is also chemically resistant.
These properties make Evazote a perfect material for the packaging of oils, solvents, acids and alkalis, meaning it’s a widely-used automotive foam packaging option, in the packaging of spare parts, or for commonly used automotive fluids.
Stratocell has a wide variety of benefits that make it a great packaging foam for many different items, both fragile and robust, but one of the standout benefits of Stratocell, is its durability relative to its light weight.
This ratio of durability and lightweight makes Stratocell one of the best solutions for businesses that want to save money on packaging and shipping costs, as it provides ultimate protection at a lower price than many polyurethane equivalents, or other packaging types.
Like other foams mentioned above, Ethafoam is also a perfect foam for packaging, particularly inner packaging, such as case inserts, due to its durability, lightweight, recyclability, and ease in which it can be cut or moulded.
Ethafoam is also a good solution for reusable packaging, as its closed-cell structure provides high impact resistance, meaning it will return to its original shape time and time again, even after constant impact, without suffering serious damage or deterioration.