The foam industry has quite a few terms that only those “in the know” will really know about, but we want to share the knowledge with you! On our social media accounts, each week we provide a new term from our Foam Glossary for our followers to learn more about foam manufacturing, packaging, and the industry we know and love. Today, we’ve compiled six of our favorites to go into more detail with!
This is one you might recognize already! FPF stands for flexible polyurethane foam, one of our three foam types that we work with in-house. Regular polyurethane foam is abbreviated as PU, while polyethylene foam is known as PE, and expandable polystyrene foam is EPS. FPF is open-cell foam, available in different densities and colors for different applications. For more information about our three favorite foams, check out this other blog post by us for more information.
- Bottom Out
Bottoming out refers to a packed box that has the bottom flaps break from too much weight. Without proper support under a full weight load, the box falls apart– it bottoms out! In order to avoid this, make sure you don’t pack the box too full of heavy items and reinforce the tape to secure the bottom properly.
You know when you stick your hand into a memory foam mattress until it leaves an imprint, then lift it out and watch the foam slowly rise back into place? That’s called recovery! The amount of return to the original dimension and properties of an FPF sample after a deforming force is removed. We make sure that our foam samples bounce back as fast as possible to their original shape after removing that force
As much as we’d love to get to know you as a friend, bonding has a different meaning in the foam industry! This is the combination of two or more components into a multiple-layer composite. In furniture applications, FPF is often adhered to other FPF grades or to polyester fiber to make nice, fluffy cushions for couches and chairs. We guess that it’s more of a chemical bonding than a people bonding thing.
Ever seen an egg crate? That funky shape, with all the valleys to fit eggs and the peaks to keep them sturdy is called “convoluted” cardboard– or in our case, foam. This is an FPF product resulting from a fabrication process involving the use of special cutting equipment, which produces an FPF sheet with peaks and valleys. Egg crates just got a whole lot more interesting.
- Surface Firmness
Last up on our list of terms today is surface firmness or the number of pounds of force necessary to indent an FPF sample by 25% of its original height. Think back to recovery at #3– these two terms often go hand-in-hand when it comes to FPF testing! In order to test the foam’s recovery, you often need a certain amount of surface firmness in order to indent the foam properly. That bounce-back factor requires different surface firmness for each kind of foam; after all, you don’t want to sink into your memory foam mattress at the slightest touch!
There are tons of different terms for foam manufacturing and testing, and these are just six of them! If you’re curious about other foam terms, check out the From the Foam Glossary page on our website. We’ve collected dozens more terms for inquisitive foam fans to peruse there.