The Types of Packaging Foam and their Best Uses

November 23, 2013

Your packages are in safe hands thanks to foam packaging. It’s the ideal and most dependable protection for your items during the processes of shipping. Characteristically speaking, foam has a wide variety of uses.

Foam packaging can be in the form of rolls, sheets, polystyrene, foam chips of molded polystyrene and many more. What’s ultimately great about them is that they allow you to package any type and shape of item, no matter how delicate it may be. And unlike other packaging materials, foam can be easily reused.

One of the most familiar of all packaging foam types are rolls, which is similar to bubble wraps but has more scratch resistance properties. Simply cover your precious antiques and other fragile items with rolls of foam for.

Packing Peanuts

Another popular type are packing peanuts, which are also known as “loose fill.” Made form polystyrene, this material is small, lightweight and, as its name suggests, shaped like a peanut. When compressed, it interlocks and acts as a cushion to the product inside the package by filling up the empty corners and extra spaces in the box.

The downside of using packing peanuts is that it can’t hold items in place, therefore, it is not practical to use this type of foam for products that are in for a bumpy ride. Also, these peanuts are bound to create static electricity so they are not ideal for electronic gadgets and equipments.

Expanded polystyrene sheets, or EPS, is a white rigid closed-cell material made by steaming and bonding beads together under pressure. With good insulation properties, it is used for coolers, wine shippers, and bio-tech packaging. EPS can be customized in shape to accommodate the size and the shape of the product for better fit without compromising the carriage cost.

Foam in Place

Because the polyurethane type of foam offers more power in shock absorption, it is considered to be versatile and can be made into sheets, foam-in-bags, or foam-in-place. This foam also provides great resiliency and is perfect for shipping lightweight items.

If you want compact packaging, foam-in-place and foam-in-bag are the right choice. With these two types of foam, chemicals are sprayed into the packaging, causing a reaction from these foam that makes them expand into polyurethane foam.

When foam-in-place is sprayed with the necessary chemicals, it molds itself to the shape of the item. For the foam-in-bag, the chemical is sprayed unto the bag, which is then placed around the object, and just like the foam-in-place, it molds to the shape of the product to allow a compact fitment.

Polyethylene is often used for furniture and electronics shipping. It is anti-static in nature that makes it ideal for computer parts and electronic equipments. This kind of packaging foam has high resistance against mold and bacteria and has shatterproof properties as well.