The basic materials used by IFG are plastics. This means that these materials are produced by an industrial chemical process. The materials we use are known as polymers. A polymer is a substance consisting of molecules in a series of identical subunits that are linked together like a chain.
Foam is created by creating pockets of gas during the production of the polymer. The pockets of gas may be open or closed, and this is why we refer to open-cell or closed-cell foam. Naturally, the particular structure of a foam will have an effect on its properties.
The gaspocket-structure determines, among other things, the weight, resilience and strength of the foam. Through combining and varying the properties of a foam can be increased in various respects.
This results in ’crosslinked’ and ’uncrosslinked’ types of foam. In crosslinked foams, the molecules are bonded together to form a three-dimensional network. This is not the case in uncrosslinked foams. This gives the foams unique properties.
IFG will be happy to provide you with information about the possibilities and options offered by foam.
Polyethylene (PE): the most commonly used plastic. Manufacturers and users of this plastic often use an alternative name - polyethene. Polyethylene is made through the polymerisation of ethylene. Ethylene is obtained through breaking down (’cracking’) substances such as naphtha, a derivative of petroleum.
Polyurethane (PU): a major polymer family with many applications. For example, PU is used in construction as an insulator, in furniture or in the walls of a refrigerator or freezer. PU is a copolymer composed of two segments: a hard or a soft component.
Polyurea (coating): a two-component polymer (isocyanate and polymer resin) with a high molecular density. As a result of a short exothermic reaction, a very tough and extremely elastic protective layer forms. Polyurea is often used as an alternative to leather.