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Common Applications for Closed Cell Foam

April 9, 2020

A Note on COVID-19

The PGC team is watching the COVID-19 pandemic closely and is following all guidelines from the CDC and the State of Minnesota. Our team is stepping up hand hygiene and practicing social distancing to help slow down the spread of the virus and ensure we are healthy and able to serve you through the pandemic.

Last month, we shared the common applications for open cell foam. While open cell foam can be ideal for sound and shock absorption, closed cell foam can be an ideal material for gasket and seal applications that require gap-fill.  In an assembly, mating surfaces often fail to perfectly meet, calling for a durable gasket component to seal leaks.  Compared to open cell foam, closed cell foam can withstand increased compression force. Here is a look at how PGC uses this versatile material family.

Advantages of Closed Cell Foam

Closed cell foam is composed of cells that are sealed off to air, preventing most gases and liquids from permeating the material. This structure creates a more rigid material that withstands more compression force than typical open cell foams. These properties make it an ideal choice as a gap-fill material as well as a seal material, if the material selection plan suits the complete environmental situation. Like its open cell counterpart, closed cell foam is available in a variety of thicknesses.

Closed Cell Foam for Gap-Fill

Under compression between two mating component parts, closed cell foam fills the distance between the two mating parts without allowing air or water to pass through the foam. The compression force against the closed cell foam is distributed across the foam surfaces, sealing the area where the foam meets the mating part.    The surfaces and the exposed edges of the foam are unable to be penetrated, retaining the liquid or gas in the desired location.  This makes it ideal for sensitive parts that may be harmed by changes to calibration or exposure to the elements.

Closed Cell Foam for Withstanding Compression

Due to its rigid structure, closed cell foam is also appropriate for many seals that must withstand various loads. Its structure allows it to compress just enough to provide a seal while maintaining its strength to withstand varying forces. A common end application for closed cell foam includes bolted flange joints on plastic containers, vessels and sheet metal housings.

While closed cell foam has many end applications, PGC most often uses the material for its gap-fill and compression properties. To learn if one of the many members of the closed cell foam family may be the right material for your application, contact the PGC team today.