A strong, flexible material used for construction as well as crafts is called closed cell foam. It is made of cells that sit close together, but they are not interconnected. It has a structure comparable to a net filled with balloons that are trapped very closely to one another. It is a versatile material with a wide range of uses in cushions, insulation, nautical and rubber products.
Known for its high structural integrity, closed cell foam has low moisture absorption and high compressive strength. It is resistant of most chemicals, solvents, fungi and mold. It is firm, flexible and lightweight, but durable enough to hold up to lots of pressure without any major pull or distortion. Even though it is stronger than open cell foam, it does require more material and is more costly. The six basic types are polyethylene, Volara, neoprene, Styrofoam, Minicel and gymnastic rubber. Depending on the type of closed cell foam, its uses will vary.
Polyethylene is resilient and strong. This material is used in products that are in need of shock absorbing and is a great way to decrease the effects of dampening and vibration. It is available in closed cell foam sheets and can be used as insulation or as a buoyancy component for floatation equipment. Polyethylene is the perfect material for cushions in packaging applications.
A lightweight foam that is popular for craft projects is Styrofoam. It is quite flexible and very easy to work with. It is also available in sheets and is almost totally resistant to water vapor and moisture. Styrofoam does not rot or attract mildew. It works as insulation in order to keep cooling or heating inside a room. Three densities allow construction uses for arts and crafts, cake interiors, and hot tub covers.
Volara'a cross-linked foam offers an outstanding range of performance traits and aesthetic appeal. Like Styrofoam, Volara has a smooth surface and excellent consistency. Other characteristics are inclusive of superior physical and chemical properties, gauge control and low vapor transmission and water absorption. These characteristics and traits make Volara a reliable solution for many demanding applications.
Applications requiring a thicker foam would be in need of the material called Minicel. Its cells are extremely fine and it is chemically cross-linked. It also has superior chemical and physical properties, a smooth aesthetic feel and is diverse in usage.
Neoprene is a provider of thermal and moisture insulation that is a flexible and durable sponge rubber. It is form fitting, which gives it the ability to resist ozone, sunlight, petroleum derivatives and oxidation. Because of its unique molecular structure, it can resist breakdown by water and become temporarily stable. Neoprene is used in wet suites, insulated can-holders, waders, sports gloves, as a concrete and filler support sealant and as an expansion joint filler in masonry.
Gymnastic Rubber, being similar to another material called Ensolite, is resilient and has a medium feel. Its rather squishy and is most useful in exercise mats, boat cushions and camping pads. It is also used excellently in industrial and automotive applications.