XLPE foam is an abbreviation for crosslinked polyethylene foam. XLPE is a soft foam, that has a smooth surface which has a refined look and feel. This foam is oftentimes used in packaging and medical applications because of its ability to protect Class A surfaces. To the touch, crosslinked polyethylene can feel very dense. XLPE foam comes in a closed cell structured configuration. This provides it with the ability to resist almost all water intrusion. Not only does crosslinked polyethylene resist water absorption, it also is lightweight and extremely buoyant. XLPE foams typically exhibit great performance at a wide range of temperatures, albeit the operation temperatures vary from product to product. Crosslinked polyethylene foams also have good ozone resistance. Because of all of the beneficial properties of XLPE foam, its popularity has grown significantly. It now comes in a number of branded products including Microcell™, Volara™, Zotefoams™. The applications that XLPE foams are typically used in can seem endless, including:
- Lining in Orthopedics
- Thermal Insulation
- Medical Applications
Crosslinked polyethylene can come in a number of densities ranging from 2 to 8 pcf. Standard PCFs depend on the manufacturer of the products, typically they are provided in 2, 4, 6, or 8. One of the great things about foam materials is that they frequently are available in non-standard thicknesses without much added cost, though this is not always the case. If the thickness is not available, NEDC is usually able to laminate the foam to the thickness required. Since foams are often thick, they can be difficult to convert. Thankfully, NEDC operates CNC machinery, such as its in-house waterjet cutters, that is used for dealing with excessively thick materials. NEDC also offers converting services for flame retardant blends of XLPE foams. While XLPE foam normally comes in a light grey or white, it is also available in other colors upon request. Lastly, customers will ask for their foams to have a PSA backing. NEDC can provide foams with acrylic PSA backings. For more information about XLPE foams, or if you’d like your foam converted (die cutting, waterjet cutting), please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.