Articles made of foam usually have a low vertical range of manufacture. There are numerous ways of processing foam and depending on the properties required, several operations are usually combined. At PANA we process foam only to order, in accordance with your requirements.
Individual foam blocks, mainly cellular rubber blocks, polyethylene foam blocks or cell polyethylene and microcellular rubber blocks are glued together longitudinally to form continuous blocks. These foam blocks are then split into roll and web merchandise to the desired material thickness by the band cutter of the splitting machine.
With lamination a wide variety of foams can be joined together permanently with the application of heat and pressure. Another term used for the lamination of PE foam, cellular rubber, cell polyethylene etc. is 'welding'. You can join together different materials or colours or increase the material thickness by means of lamination.
We process and fabricate more than 120 different types of foam material to order – and if you want to provide the material yourself, we will gladly act as your partner for contract fabrication.
It is possible to process almost all types of foam with the 'cutting' operation. Besides PE foam, cellular rubber and cell polyethylene, small batches of filter foam, polyurethane foam and other types can be cut to length, or cut to size horizontally or vertically without long delivery times. Not only is the classic foam blank manufactured in this way - sealing strips can also be cut to size. Items with elaborate contours are produced as profile cuts on our CNC contour cutting machines.
Almost all foams processed by us can be provided with a self-adhesive backing on one side or on both sides. For this process the foam runs through the laminating machine, which joins the self-adhesive backing to the foam by means of rollers or additional heat. In addition to firmly adhering adhesives there are adhesives that are detachable without leaving any residue. High-tech lines often have integrated laminating stations as part of the manufacturing process.
In the splitting operation the foam blocks or foam sheets are split to the desired material thickness by a band cutter. The foam to be split is conveyed over rollers or by means of a conveyor belt to the cutter. Depending on the material, splitting can be performed as of a sheet thickness of 1 mm (with tolerances in accordance with DIN 7715, Part 5 Class P3). As well as cellular rubber and cell polyethylene, microcellular rubber and PE foam, we can also split polyurethane foam and filter foam.
Die-cutting offers the possibility of series production even for small runs. Cellular rubber, microcellular rubber etc. are processed into die-cuttings on automatic programmable CNC die-cutting machines and on die-cutting machines with a cutting die. Perforated, kiss-cut or loose die-cuttings are produced from foam blocks and foam rolls. Our high-tech die-cutting lines, which link several operations, are particularly beneficial in terms of time and cost savings during production.
In the water jet cutting process the foam is cut by means of a high-pressure water jet. Water jet cutting is ideal, if pre-series or prototypes are needed that do not yet justify making a cutting die. Small batches can be produced in a short time. Through the pressure created during the die-cutting process, foam die-cuttings are often cut with concave edges. However, due to the different process employed, the edges of parts that have been cut by a water jet are straight.
Photos: © PANA Foamtec GmbH, Hartmut Pöstges