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Merryweather Foam Blog

Since 1948, we have been industry leaders in fabricating unique, foam components for customers in the medical, sound absorption, automotive, and unique packaging industries. At Merryweather Foam, we pride ourselves on our ability to combine experience, innovation, and excellent customer service. We have the knowledge, manpower & equipment to help you get the job done. Visit our website to see our fabrication portfolio as well as our capabilities.

All About Foam Convolution

Foam Convoluting is a process through which the surface of a piece of foam is customized to fit the requirements of a particular application. If a piece of foam in a hospital bed, for example, a unique pattern can be designed to allow for both levels of full body support and long-lasting comfort when compared to other options.

The Benefits of Foam Convolution
Foam Convoluting is a maximum yield process. Customizations to the foam are made specifically to provide the highest possible value given what a piece of foam will eventually be used for. If you use foam convolution to design a new piece of bedding, for example, the foam is customized in a way that will allow for things like:

  • Enhanced levels of air circulation.
  • Maximum support.
  • Increased comfort while still maintaining the desired level of support, and more.

It is for these reasons that flexible foam fabrication is often used across a wide range of industries, including in both bedding and healthcare, to create things like:

  • Acoustic applications, like use as sound treatment for a recording studio, thanks to their sound absorption properties.
  • Privacy panels that are more durable, more attractive and more versatile than concrete alternatives.
  • Office applications like ergonomic furniture, which creates a more comfortable environment for employees to maintain productive without sacrificing their health or stamina.
  • Insulation designed to eliminate drafts in a building, thus keeping cool air in during the summer and warm air in during the winter, increasing the energy efficiency of the whole building and decreasing utility bills at the same time.

Foam convolution is also often used in applications like sound management, acoustic treatment and similar products in an audio recording or other entertainment environment. Depending on the pattern being used, foam convolution can absorb mid and low range sound frequencies much better than alternative options.

The Materials Used in Foam Convolution
During this process, foam can be custom fabricated in one of four ways depending on the intended goal:

  • By pattern
  • By the total size of the pattern being worked with
  • By the depth of each intended cut that will be made
  • The spacing between multiple patterns that all come together to form a single piece.

In addition to the foam itself, a number of important materials are used during the foam convolution process. A specially designed divider is often used to slice a larger piece of foam down the middle, while at the same time also creating the specific pattern that will be present on the final product. A series of rollers move a piece of foam across the divider, allowing for the process to be largely automated after all of the initial design work has taken place.

By and large, foam convolution is one of the single best ways to achieve the results that you're after for a particular application. The products of foam convolution play an important role in the lives of millions of people on a daily basis - from acoustical engineers to patients in hospitals to people just trying to get a good night's sleep - and the process in general is something definitely worth celebrating. Questions about Foam Convoluting or other machine processes? Give us a call--we're happy to help!

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Choosing the Right Foam Product for Acoustical Insulation

Acoustical foam is a cost effective way to improve the quality of sound in a room. Contrary to what many believe, foam does not block sound, but absorbs it. Sound waves propagate through the air and reflect from surfaces to produce echoes. When sound waves enter the pores of the foam, the sound energy is converted to kinetic energy. It is transferred to the foam, causing it to vibrate. This prevents the sound waves from reverberating throughout the room. Acoustical foam is available for use on walls and ceilings. It is frequently used to control noise in auditoriums, recording studios and conference rooms and reduce vibrations in industrial settings.

Types of Foam
Melamine and polyurethane are the primary materials used to produce sound absorption foam. Polyurethane is tear resistant and may be found in a wide range of colors, textures and styles to allow limitless design possibilities. Polyurethane foams are available as either polyesthers or polyethers. Polyesthers are more robust, glossier and maintain their color longer than polyethers. Polyethers are less expensive. Polyurethane acoustical foams are Class B Fire Rated. The material is highly flammable and should not be used near high heat or open flames. Melamine is not quite as durable as polyurethane but has a Class A fire rating. It is often the choice of builders since it meets fire codes. Melamine is fire resistant and used in public areas such as hospitals, schools and cafeterias.

Foam Shapes
Acoustical foams are produced in a variety of shapes and sizes to enhance performance and increase specific sound absorption properties. Convoluted foams, such as the egg crate pattern, are designed to increase the surface area to provide greater absorption of sound waves. Wedge foam, with a one inch thickness, offers moderate sound control and is most effective for mid to high range frequencies. Increasing thickness to 2 to 4 inches increases the foam's ability to absorb a full range of frequencies. Though similar performance improvements are observed with increasing thickness, the increased surface area resulting from the unique geometry of pyramid foam offers a slight performance improvement over the wedge foam.

Application
Acoustical foams are lightweight and easy to install. To be effective, all wall surfaces of the room must be insulated with foam. Applying it to only one wall allows the sound to reflect from the remaining uncovered walls. The type of foam needed to treat your room will depend on the size, shape, surface texture and frequency of sounds.

How can we Help?
Let us help you select the right flexible foam product for your next project. We would love to answer any questions you have about custom foam fabrication.

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