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Foam Engineering

Foam engineering is a very broad subject with far-reaching consequences in the world of packaging. We at Protechnic pride ourselves in the fact that we approach this subject with a solid engineering foundation. We have a full range of process machinery at our disposal from CNC machining centres, CNC water jet cutting, high-frequency CNC knife cutting, laser cutting and etching, die-cutting to name a few. Each process has its own particular merits but before we start a packaging design, we examine the properties of the product to be transported, explore the methods of transit and determine the loading that the product may endure during transit.

The main purpose of a packaging design must be to ensure that the products arrive at their destination in full working order and without damage, it is essential to establish how vulnerable a product is, this is often referred to as fragility measured in g, this is the amount of force applied as either shock or vibration that a product can sustain without damage. All products would have a fragility level and the ability of the packaging to attenuate the shock as a result of the transit method is critical to the design. Each method of transit, whether it be road, rail, sea or air, has its own signature in terms of shock and vibration and there will always be some compromise between shock – very low frequency, high amplitude and vibration – high frequency, low amplitude but, with sophisticated modelling software and the use of engineering foam products, it is possible to arrive at a solution that will ensure your products arrive at their destination in perfect condition time after time.

Foam Inserts

There is a vast range of foam engineering solutions to attenuate shock and vibration if the design calls for a foam solution we are able to specify the type and grade of foam from both open and closed cell polyethylene to open cell polyester and polyurethane, we can also specify conductive, anti-static and flame-retardant foams. We are also able to specify multi colour foams, very useful from an aesthetics point of view but also in terms of utility, a high contrast colour, black against yellow, for example, gives an instant visual indication that an item is missing from the package, often used in tool control settings particularly in aerospace applications but also used in emergency service applications that can be operating in low light levels. There are circumstances where the combination of product weight, fragility and shock level preclude the use of an engineered foam solution and, in those circumstances, we are able to use shock and vibration rubber dampers, we have, on occasion, used spring and damper solutions for extreme applications.

We have a high level of expertise within our ‘in house’ CAD and engineering capability that allows us to fully engineer a solution for most applications but we are also able to draw on the knowledge of a wide range of industry experts for the most extreme applications. We are very happy to discuss any foam engineering application you may have.

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