Polyethylene Advantages and Disadvantages

 

polyethylene foam

As with any foam solution, there are advantages and disadvantages of polyethylene foam. We have listed some of the most common ones in this article.

Advantages of polyethylene foam

  • It has good impact absorption and vibration dampening capabilities, making it one of the best solutions in packaging and transportation applications as items are better protected.
  • Polyethylene foam has a melting point of 80 degrees. Its heat resistant properties enable it to perform well in both high and low temperatures.
  • Water, grease, solvent and chemical resistance are also some of the advantages of polyethylene foam. Mildew, mould and bacteria are unable to easily penetrate the foam, making it a great solution for insulation.
  • Polyethylene foam is a closed cell foam meaning that it is often denser and stronger than open cell counterparts.
  • The buoyancy and lightweight characteristics are two of the key features of this type of foam, making it an ideal solution for flotation devices.
  • Load bearing resilience is another feature of polyethylene foam. It will return to its original shape quickly and easily once the load is removed.  
  • Polyethylene foam is CFC free, odourless and non-toxic (unless burned), making it a common choice in mattresses and bedding.
  • Its thermal insulation, lightweight and water-resistant properties make it a popular choice for clothing and apparel. 

Disadvantages of polyethylene foam

  • The fabrication and processing of polyethylene foam are time-consuming, meaning that it can sometimes be a costlier solution for certain applications where other foams can do the same job.
  • Polyethylene foam, depending on its formulation, can be prone to breaking or tearing.
  • There have been many reported circumstances where polyethylene foam has been produced to poor quality, leading to problems down the line. At Alanto, we only produce superior foam solutions, with stability and quality at the heart of all of our products.
  • The raw materials used in the production of polyethylene foam have been found to be difficult to recycle, however, later developments in the recycling industry are better equipped to handle the recycling or re-use of polyethylene foam products.  
  • Certain foams release toxic fumes and release poisonous gases into the atmosphere during combustion. In cases where combustion is likely, other foam or rubber solutions may be a better choice for your application.

Common uses of polyethylene foam 

Below we have listed some of the most common uses for polyethylene foam.

  • Packaging and transportation
  • Anti-static and ESD applications
  • Flotation devices such as life jackets and buoyancy aids
  • Clothing and outdoor apparel
  • Mattresses and bedding
  • Insulation for walls, pipes and more
  • Foam padding for furniture

There are many benefits of using polyethylene foam for commercial and industrial markets. Depending on the application it is intended for, polyethylene foam can be formulated to perform well in almost any condition. This being said, it isn’t always the most suitable solution for all applications, and careful consideration should be given when selecting a foam solution.

Here at Alanto, we have provided foam solutions for hundreds of applications over many years. Our experience and expertise in this area are exemplary. For help selecting the best foam solution for your application, speak to one of our foam specialists today who will be happy to provide expert advice.