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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 Precision Foam Skiving

​Skiving is a manufacturing technique you don't see very often. Google it and you'll learn about thinning leather or shaping metal gears. What you won't see much of is how it's used for precision foam sheeting.

Skiving foam entails using a sharp knife to cut thin layers from a large block. That's the skiving process. It's different than sawing because that removes material whereas skiving splits it into two parts. It's an excellent way of cutting sheets of foam, which is why we use it here at Merryweather. To learn more about our precision foam skiving capabilities, keep reading.

Skiving basics

Skiving entails pushing a solid block of polyurethane foam through the blade of a knife. The blade is actually a steel belt around 1mm (0.040") thick with a very sharp edge, and is positioned horizontally above the machine table. To help the blade cut it's looped over two drums that pull it perpendicular to the direction the block is moving. These two motions help the blade slice through the material, shaving off the thickness required.

The skiving machine, sometimes called a continuous bandknife or a foam splitter, looks rather like a bandsaw laid down on it's side. Keeping the blade under tension ensures it doesn't sag, so we can cut a block of foam into thin sheets quickly and efficiently.


As skiving splits the foam rather than cutting pieces out it, there's no material removal. That gives it five big advantages over traditional sawing-type processes:

  • No waste - Sawing, and for that matter, processes like water jet cutting, have a 'kerf' or thickness of material that's lost. Skiving has no kerf so there's no waste. That helps keep costs down.
  • Dust free - Sawing is messy because the teeth carve away little chips of material. They stick to everything and can never be completely brushed off.
  • Smooth edges - Sawed edges are rough, which looks untidy and creates problems when sheets are put to use. Skiving polyurethane foam blocks avoids this problem, which means no secondary clean-up operations.
  • Close tolerances - A precision foam splitting machine, as we use at here Merryweather, keeps the blade tight and parallel to the machine bed. That ensures tight tolerances are maintained, which means customers receive sheets of consistent thickness.
  • Continuous resharpening - In material removal processes the cutting edge dulls with use, so the last piece cut has a different finish to the first piece. Skiving machines continuously resharpen the blade, so every sheet looks the same.

Merryweather for polyurethane & polyethylene foam skiving

The best way of producing thin foam sheets is by skiving. It's an efficient process that produces smooth, clean sheets of uniform thickness. If you need closed tolerance foam sheets, discuss it with us and we'll explain what skiving has to offer.

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The ViaBuff: A Skincare Exfoliation Product Made with Polyurethane Foam

ViaBuff Skin Physical Exfoliator
Exfoliation isn't a short term fad--it's crucial to maintain healthy looking skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and debris that lurks on the outer layers of skin, and which can potentially clogged pores if left alone. Even better, exfoliation encourages cell renewal and healthy growth so that your beautiful and glowing skin can continue to shine. Exfoliating properly can be a precarious endeavor – scrubbing just a little bit too vigorously or using a strong exfoliating cream can further dehydrate the skin and cause outbreaks of inflammation. but foregoing exfoliation can leave the skin dried out and congested with dead skin cells and bacteria. That's why using a puff custom designed for the skin, like the ViaBuff, is so important. Most people with normal skin types should exfoliate once to twice a week. Those with oily skin may need to do so three or more times a week, whereas those with eczema or other serious dry skin conditions should consider exfoliating only once only per week. For more information, check out the ViaBuff posts about exfoliating dry skin and exfoliating oily skin.

Support from Merryweather Foam
People who are looking to exfoliate their skin are bombarded with an endless variety of exfoliating tools – dry brushes, loofahs, mesh puffs, nylon puffs, exfoliating creams – the list can go on and on. Exfoliators like loofahs and nylon puffs harbor exceptionally high amounts of bacteria. Dry brushing and some exfoliating creams can create small tears in the skin. That’s why Merryweather Foam worked with the ViaBuff design team to help create a custom series of ViaBuff Exfoliating Puffs. These puffs not only last 30% longer than most other exfoliating tools, but also to protect against bacteria colonization. Our customer service team at Merryweather worked intensely to source the right foam that would be ideal for the Viabuff skincare exfoliation products. "We settled on an open cell polyurethane foam because it's known for its durability and ability to customize its properties," describes Ryan McCune, Vice President of Customer Service. "We started by sampling different types and colors of the urethane foams to the ViaBuff design team to gather feedback from customer trials. We don't want to be known as just a foam fabricator. Instead, we want to be known as a team of experts that learn the needs of our customers and help find the best solution for their application," says McCune. Ultimately, the ViaBuff team decided on four different exfoliation intensities and colors of open cell polyurethane foam.


The ViaBuff is the first to offer a thorough yet gentle exfoliation, and custom designations for different skin types and concerns, as outlined below.

 B2ap3 Thumbnail ViaBuff Exfoliation Types

* Level 1 - (Purple) is great for those oily skin, acne-prone skin or sensitive skin;
* Level 2 - (Green) for normal to eczematous skin types;
* Level 3 - (Pink) for ingrown hairs, freshly waxed skin and keratosis pilaris;
* Level 4 - (White)forexceptionally dry skin.


ViaBuff Puffs also are available for those with combination skin, such combining Level 2 and 3, 3 and 4, and 1 and 4, etc. ViaBuff handles are also sold so that those with mobility issues or have trouble exfoliating hard-to-reach places can have an easy exfoliating experience.


Why Exfoliating Puffs?
"We chose to make an exfoliating puffs as opposed to exfoliating mitts and pumices because these puffs provide a stronger soap lather and are more durable for all-over body use. In 2014, we launched the product so that people with varied skin concerns and types could finally have an exceptional total body exfoliating experience," says ViaBuff Representative, Jim Inama. Made from an open-cell polyurethane foam, the ViaBuff puffs were formulated specifically promote speedy air-drying, which in turn reduce the likelihood of bacterial growth on the puffs. With over 1,200sq/in of usable surface area, ViaBuff Exfoliating Puffs offer a more efficient exfoliating experience than most store-bought puffs and loofahs. ViaBuff Puffs’ cell structure enables them to absorb a small amount of water so that more exfoliating product stays on the surface of the puff, thus ensuring a more thorough and deeply-penetrating exfoliation.


Where Can I Purchase ViaBuff Products?
ViaBuff products can be purchased at ViaBuff.com and Amazon. If you are interested in selling ViaBuff products or would like more information, feel free to contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit their customer support page.
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