PANA Foamtec GmbH

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As a pioneer of foam processing, we process now over 120 different foams, certified in accordance with DIN ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO / TS 16949

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Foam lexicon

Tips and information on foam, foam processing etc. can be found here in our foam lexicon. You will find other helpful answers in the section FAQs

Photos: © PANA Foamtec GmbH, © pressmaster/Fotolia.com, © Hartmut Pöstges

C

Cell structure of foam

The cell structure of foam is open, semi-open or closed, depending on the material type and material handling. The closed-cell foams include mainly cellular rubber and crosslinked PE foam.

Foam with an open cell structure is usually PUR foam. Post-treatment of the material includes reticulation. With foam reticulation, e.g. of filter foam, cell walls are removed by means of a controlled gas explosion. The result is completely open or semi-open cells.

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Crosslinked foam

With a crosslinked foam monomers become macromolecules. The molecular chains branch out and are interconnected chemically and physically by polymerization. This leads to an increase in the mechanical and thermal load capacity.

The crosslinked foams include, for example, crosslinked PE foams processed by PANA, e.g. all PE-H foams and PE-K foams such as Plastazote.

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D

Deep drawing of foam

The deep-drawing method is used for the forming of flat foam in sheets or rolls up to a certain material thickness.

The foam is drawn over a model or mould subject to temperature and/or pressure, which often does not allow a wall thickness that is uniform throughout.

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DIN EN 71 Part 3 – the standard for safe toys

It is assumed that children will lick and gnaw toys, which means that certain amounts of material can find their way into their stomachs. DIN EN 71 Part 3, which is also known as the 'toy standard' or 'toy directive' defines when a toy is safe and harmless.

The European standard defines the requirements and test methods for the emission of certain elements from toys. PANA processes foams that comply with DIN EN 71 Part 3, e.g. our PE block foam PE-H30.

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F

Food safety with foam

The safety of foam in contact with food is frequently required. And that applies even if foam does not come directly into contact with food, but is used, for example, as a packaging material for the storage and transport of foodstuffs or as a seal on machines and production lines.

Various guidelines and standards confirm the food safety of foams, e.g. the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) or the EU food contact directives. PANA processes foams that are safe in indirect contact with food. These include, for example, our PE foams with the designation 'PE-K' and our PUR ether soft foam 'PHL'.

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R

REACH and foam

REACH is European legislation on chemicals that came into force as of 1 June 2007. REACH stands for 'Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and restriction of Chemicals' and is intended to ensure the protection of human health.

PANA is a so-called 'downstream user'. In our capacity as a downstream user there is no duty of registration for our products. Independently of the registration duty PANA processes only REACH-compliant foams and materials!

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S

Saliva resistance of foam

The term 'saliva resistant' designates a test for for perspiration and saliva resistance in conjunction with children's toys. The term 'saliva resistance' is often associated with the standard EN 71 Part 3. EN 71 Part 3 defines the requirements and test methods for the escape of certain elements from toys. Foam that meets the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Product Class 1 is also safe in contact with children.

PANA processes PE foams and PUR foams that are safe in contact with children, e.g. PE foam 'PE-H45' and 'PE-H30' in multiple colours as well as black and white, all 'PE-K' foams, our PUR sponge type 'T250', PE foam in rolls 'PE A30xxP' in all colours and in specific material thicknesses (except the types with a flame retardant finish).

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T

Tempering

With tempering the material, e.g. cellular rubber is heated up in order to achieve artificial ageing. Foam is tempered to achieve artificial and at the same time foam conserving ageing.

In this process foam blocks and cellular rubber blocks are heated up in a tempering oven over a defined time period to a defined temperature range. Cellular rubber, for example, is tempered prior to processing, i.e. artificially aged to prevent the material-related unavoidable shrinkage.

Outside of this process, though, material shrinkage is also inevitable and possible!

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Tensile strength of foam

The tensile strength of foam can be measured longitudinally and transversely.

The tensile strength is a test value that is determined in a tension test on a defined test specimen under certain conditions. In this test a specimen is uniformly pulled apart up to the point of failure in order to determine the tensile strength. Specification of the test value takes place in kPA.

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Thermal conductivity of foam

Thermal conductivity is a dimensional specification for the capability of a substance of allowing heat to pass through it. If you need foam as an insulating material should ideally use a foam material with low thermal conductivity.

The most important property of an insulating material is its insulating capacity. The measure of the insulation performance of a foam material is the thermal conductivity or thermal resistance. The lower the thermal conductivity of foam, the higher the thermal resistance and the better the insulating capacity. In the trades or in the construction of buildings the thermal conductivity is therefore an important determining factor for the selection of insulating material.

The thermal conductivity of foam is frequently described on the accompanying technical data sheet. The thermal conductivity is specified in W/mK on the technical data sheet.

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Thermal embossing of foam

Thermal embossing is used for the texturing and compaction of foam surfaces, e.g. for PUR foam such as PANASORB. Thermal embossing simplifies handling and maintains the acoustic properties of foam.

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Thermoforming foam

With thermoforming the foam is thermally formed subject to different temperatures that depend on the material thickness and colour of the foam materials.

As with deep drawing the thermoforming process is used to form flat foam blocks and rolls of web-expanded foam up to a specific material thickness.

Foam is drawn over a model or mould subject to temperature and/or pressure. A wall thickness that is uniform throughout is often not possible. This process is frequently referred to as 'injection moulding'.

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Thermal resistance

The thermal resistance of foam specifies how good is its insulating capacity. The higher the thermal resistance, the better the insulating capacity of the foam. A high thermal resistance of foam also means low thermal conductivity.

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U

Ultimate elongation of foam

Another term for ultimate elongation is also 'elongation at break'. The ultimate elongation is a value that specifies the permanent elongation of a material specimen after breaking, in relation to the initial measured length.

The value of the ultimate elongation can often be found on the technical data sheets for PE foam, cellular rubber and polyurethane foam.

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Uncrosslinked foam

An uncrosslinked foam contains monomers with linear molecular chains that are not polymerized. This brings about a lower mechanical and thermal load capacity than, for example, with the crosslinked foams such as Plastazote.

Uncrosslinked foam is widely used in the packaging and logistics sector. PANA processes an uncrosslinked PE foam with the material PE-E.

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W

Water absorption of foam

The water absorption of foam is the specification of a percentage that represents the absorption of water in a defined foam material under certain conditions.

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Water vapour permeability of foam

The water vapour permeability of foam is the specification of a tested value. In the water vapour permeability testing of foam, Foam with a defined material thickness is exposed to certain conditions.

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Yellow Card

Die Yellow Card ist ein begrenztes Prüfzeugnis, das von den „Underwriter’s Laboratories“ ausgestellt wird und ein Nachweis, dass ein Material die Anforderungen nach UL94 erfüllt.

Unterwriters Laboratories (kurz UL94) ist eine weltweit genutzte Norm für die Einstufung der Flammwidrigkeit von Kunststoffen wie Zellkautschuk, EPDM etc. Schaumstoffe nach UL94 werden in verschiedene Einstufung geordnet.

Die Einstufung der Schaumstoffe richtet sich nach Brenngeschwindigkeit, Verlöschzeit, Tropfenbildung und Nachglimmdauer. Abhängig von der Materialdicke sind auch für ein und dasselbe Material mehrere Einstufungen möglich.

Fotos: © PANA Foamtec GmbH, © pressmaster/Fotolia.com, © Hartmut Pöstges

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