Polyethylene foam is a material most often used in the packing and shipping industry. However, the uses of this versatile product go far beyond that. Polyethylene foam is very dense but very light, giving it some unique characteristics. For instance, polyethylene foam is highly shock absorbent and very effective at insulating both heat and sound. The foam is also produced in a multitude of colors and shapes, which gives it a number of casual applications, from swimming pool toys to kneepads.
Polyethylene also has many uses in the construction and industrial sectors. Polyethylene foam is used to insulate pipes, and it's becoming an increasingly popular option for insulating roofs. All of these uses can be attributed to the foam's excellent heat insulation capabilities.
It's also being applied in the aerospace industry. In addition to being shock absorbent, it's also resistant to moisture, vibration and compression, and it can withstand exposure to extreme UV radiation and ozone. Finally, polyethylene foam is able to maintain all of these properties regardless of the temperature, making it very consistent and predictable.
Polyethylene foam is prominent in the shipping and packing business. It can be used to protect fragile objects like glass, TV sets, computer monitors and other delicate technology. Wrapping these objects in polyethylene foam and inserting them into a pre-formed foam brick greatly reduces the risk of damage.
The automotive industry is also using polyethylene foam more and more. Car interiors are often covered with a layer of the material that is heat molded to fit the shape of the dashboard, consoles, panels and other areas. It is also a key component in some elements of car repair – the double-sided tape used to fix spoilers, lights, mirrors and more is made of polyethylene foam.
Polyethylene closed cell foam is commonly used as a floatation device. Its density means that the foam doesn't absorb water, and is completely buoyant. Most people have used pool toys or life jackets made of polyethylene foam.