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Insulate Your Home’s Pipes to Save Energy

June 24, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Insulation is one of a home’s most important cost-savings measures when examining how to maintain an energy-efficient home. But in addition to keeping the attic, roof, and walls insulated, there is another area that can benefit from proper insulation: the basement. By insulating water pipes, you’re implementing a simple strategy that improves your home’s efficiency and can result in savings in energy.

With flexible foam sheets, like neoprene or polyethylene roll, it’s easy to create a cushioning wrap that reduces the amount of energy being transferred away from your temperature-conditioned water. Adding insulating foam helps hot water pipes lose less heat, and keeps cold water pipes from attracting condensation. With cold water pipes especially, fiberglass wrappings are a poor choice, as they can absorb moisture. Closed-cell foam however, is non-absorbent and makes for a great insulation material. Even old or worn-out closed-cell foam items around the house like flexible yoga mat can be turned into a beneficial wrapping material. By minimizing the energy lost through piping, conditioning systems have to spend less energy keeping water at the right temperatures. And the less these systems have to work, the less energy used and the less your bill will be.

The other benefit of pipe insulation is in the winter. Adding insulation can help guard against frozen and burst pipes. Insulation is particularly important in homes where pipes are placed near exterior walls, and even more important when basements are unfinished. Insulation against cold air or drafts can help prevent the temp drops that cause pipes to freeze and rupture.

With the benefits of pipe insulation being something you can trace directly to your wallet, wrapping pipes is one of the smartest and easiest DIY improvements you can make to your home.

Foam Rubber Gaskets

June 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Small but strong is the perfect way to describe gaskets, as they’re overlooked in nearly all of their applications, while being one of the reasons so many mechanisms can function efficiently. Made in all sizes, shapes, and materials, a gasket is a pad that gets compressed between two interlocking objects, helping create a seal otherwise impossible due to surface imperfections in the two meeting objects. Examples include O-rings in hose nozzles and head gaskets in automobiles.

Because of the number of potential applications, gaskets are made out of various materials, from the traditional rubber rings most people think of, to custom-cut foam pads that can compress and seal. The biggest benefit of using a rubber neoprene gasket is how cost-effective foam materials are over traditional materials like rubber, metals and silicone.

Neoprene is particularly valuable for gasketing because it is structurally resistant to many compounds that damage or cause breakdown in similar materials. While remaining soft and pliable enough to compress, it maintains resistance to Ozone, sunlight, oxidation, many chemicals and petroleum derivatives, and breakdown by water and air. This versatility makes it great in low-pressure applications where frequent replacement is difficult. Another benefit of foam gaskets is the shaping customization the material offers. With today’s cutting technologies, nearly any shape or size gasket can be produced quickly and accurately. All that you need to do is to buy foam rubber, contact a stamping shop, and pick up your parts. Foam also minimizes material waste because scraps and leftovers are always able to be repurposed into another product, even if only shredded into scraps. Whether you’re looking at a large-scale project or a small run, consider foam for your next gasket application.

Solid Foam Beds Benefit Your Pet’s Health and Comfort

May 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’re a pet owner, it’s a given that you’ve seen them fall asleep in the strangest positions and places possible. But while our furry friends seem to have a natural ability to catch some Zzzs anywhere and anyhow, that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be appreciative of their own comfortable place to curl up for a nap. For the pet in your life, foam pet beds are perfect for giving them the comfort and support they want and deserve.

Because a pet can’t say a bed isn’t as comfortable as it should be, many are stuffed with low-quality filling. They’re soft and fluffy when new, but flatten out and bunch up over time, leaving a lumpy, uneven cushion. A custom pet bed of foam will offer your friend something that is both comfortable and durable. Beds are able to be purchased in a variety of sizes and thicknesses to fit your pet, just like mattresses for humans. Solid foam pillow fill will evenly distribute pressure and won’t get lumpy or bunch inside of the cover, like loose fiber filling tends to.

Memory foam can even be used to make special pet cushions, working for pets just like it works on people. The foam will conform to their bodies and offer terrific comfort and better circulation – something of particular benefit to older pets. A solid foam pet bed is also resilient, able to easily return to shape nap after nap. And due to its compressible, squishy nature, a foam pet bed can be easily moved, stored, or taken on trips. A pressure-relieving cushion like these can be squeezed down to a fraction of its regular size and still return to its original shape when unpacked. Getting your pet a solid foam bed is simply a win-win situation; your pets will feel better and so will you.

Move Smartly With Foam Packaging

April 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Moving is one of the most stressful events in life. Between finding a new place, maintaining a schedule, and leaving a place you’re familiar with, it’s understandable. On top of that, throughout the moving process, many things inevitably pop up that only complicate the process further. One example is smartly packing your possessions.

In our homes and apartments, everything has its own place where it belongs. But when we move, we have to throw everything we own in a truck or container with everything else. This can be a problem when things are hastily jammed into boxes and then shaken and rattled in transit, with only a few thin towels or newspaper for a buffer. To for more peace of mind, investing in custom foam padding protection can keep your valuables safe during a move.

Eggcrate-pattern foam sheets are some of the best moving materials, due to their padding ability and economical manufacturing method. It is also easy to trim to size at home for padding smaller or uniquely sized items. For protecting larger or heavier furniture like dressers or tables, foam rubber sheets are strong enough to absorb impact and prevent scratching without tearing from pressure. After getting to your new home, they can be placed under the feet of tables or couches to serve as a protective furniture cushion sliders if you’re concerned about damaging hardwood or tiled floors while moving and arranging things in your new place.

If you plan on moving soon, get the right packing materials ahead of time and give yourself one less thing to stress about.

Anti-Static Packaging For Delicate Electronic Products

March 26, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Packaging a product to be shipped is one of the most vital steps in commerce, whether you’re sending it across the country or across your town. If an item doesn’t get to its destination safely and in perfect condition, money and time are lost and business relationships can be damaged. And the greater the cost of the product and the importance of the product to the recipient, the greater the consequences of it not arriving as promised.


When it comes to shipping electronic components, you have to deal with the fact these parts are often very small and light, which increases the chances they’ll be handled less-than-carefully. There is also the concern over static buildup damaging sensitive components. The solution to this dual-headed problem is anti-static foam. Anti-static foam is engineered to dissipate electro-static charges that can build during transit and handling while possessing the padding and impact-absorbing qualities of open-cell polyurethane foam or closed-cell polyethylene foam.


Built-up charges can damage delicate circuitry, even if the package is handled carefully, and those charges can even be generated by other components in the packages or the movement, impacts, and vibrations of transit. The anti-static compounds in these foam types prevent these charges from being released into the components of these delicate products, be they computer chips, recording equipment, or sensitive testing instruments.


This pink foam can be used as a one-time shipping solution, long-term storage, or even as protective pads in camera cases, computer cases, or other pieces of technology. The compounds used to treat the foam are also added to plastic film packaging and protective pouches, which share the material’s signature pink foam color.


Packaging doesn’t just protect items from physical damage of being dropped or roughly handled. Special situations call for special materials, and when shipping electronics, anti-static packaging materials help combat one of those unseen packaging issue: electro-static energy.

Benefit From Precise Waterjet Cutting

March 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

As the business world grows increasingly competitive, and consumers’ demands increase, precision in manufacturing is a necessity. With the competition eager to steal your customers in the blink of an eye, giving people exactly what they want is one of the most important parts of running a successful business today.


This is true nowhere more than in the manufacturing sector, where a single mistake can cost you a vendor’s business and untold dollars in revenue. To ensure accuracy and quality in production, many manufacturers utilize computer controlled cutting machinery, and waterjet cutters are one of the most precise and popular in the comfort and support industry.


Waterjet cutters use a highly pressurized stream of water, barely .005 inches in diameter, to cut foam quickly and precisely. This machine can create a couch or stool cushion with sharp lines and contoured curves more intricately than any individual could ever come close to accomplishing by hand. On some machines, the stream of water is run at pressures of more than 60,000 PSI, and may be either pure water or abrasive-treated water. A water-only jet can slice through four and a half inches of polyurethane foam like butter, while a waterjet with added abrasives can go through almost one and a half feet of the same material, though the machine’s lifespan is less than one that uses only pure water.


Foam custom-cut on a waterjet is an affordable project for a cushion or prototype, because it just requires computer programming and no stamping plates or dies. Without the lead times required to build those plates, the turnaround between getting your plans to the manufacturer and getting your final product is also greatly reduced.


Waterjet cutters are able to switch the water stream on and off, allowing them to cut inside of a foam shape without having to enter from the perimeter. This means products like gaskets can be created, with an opening in the middle and a solid outer edge to help form a seal.


If you are in need of a precision job, done to your exact specifications, consider doing business with a waterjet owner to get the results you need.

Give the Gift of Relaxation

January 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the best things you can give someone is a gift that improves their quality of life and helps them relax when they use it. Accomplishing this doesn’t mean you need to break the bank either. Similar to how slow and steady wins the race, meaningful and useful can put a smile on a face. A gift of comfort falls along those lines, whether it’s a gift for a holiday, birthday, or just because. Foam materials make some of the best comfort products while being affordable and durable, making them the perfect candidate for a much-loved and appreciated gift.


Because of the material’s versatility, foam can be cut or formed into a wide range of comfort products for any kind of comfort need. Whether for use in bed like a body pillow, at work as a seating wedge, or for a neck pillow while traveling, foam products can offer comfort that leads to a general improvement in happiness that anybody would appreciate.


For the individual who isn’t happy with the rigidity of their mattress, an eggcrate foam pad mattress topper can boost comfort without negating the supportive characteristics of the mattress underneath.  For people spending all day sitting at a desk or behind a wheel while driving, a memory foam wedge can offer contoured softness while providing just enough boost to help reduce back pain. For people who have problems with circulation or simply find propping their legs up to be comfortable, a firm foam pillow like a round bolster under the knees can make reading, watching TV, and relaxing after a long day that much more pleasant. Soft foam travel-sized pillows can help you get some sleep on plane and train trips, or at the very least, make them more comfortable. Even something as simple as a kneeling pad for a gardener or someone who loves working on cars in the garage can make them much more comfortable while enjoying their hobbies.  Giving the gift of comfort is like giving the gift of happiness, as people can get more out of their lives, and foam can play a big role in making that happen.

Marine Foam Bumpers Can Help Protect Boats and Docks

December 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Buying a boat is one of the biggest investments you can make, and one that doesn’t end after writing the last payment check. Besides the obvious costs of fuel, registration, and a slip space, every boat requires maintenance along the way to keep it running well. Fortunately, there are myriad ways to minimize the wear and tear on a boat and prevent accidental damage. One of these methods is the implementation of dock bumpers or fenders; padding that protects boats against contact with a dock.


Dock bumpers are able to be made in numerous ways from many materials, whether they’re old tires or out of service fire hoses. One material in particular that works well for this marine application is closed-cell foam. With different types of closed-cell foam able to be used in many fashions, from wrapping a foam rubber mat around pilings, to adhering a polyethylene rubber cylinder   to the edge of a dock for a cushioning bumper, protecting a boat with foam is surprisingly easy.


Closed-cell foam like gymnastic foam makes excellent protective dock padding because of its combination of water resistance and shock absorption, two of the most-needed qualities in a dock padding material. Many closed-cell foams are nontoxic, which eliminates the worry over polluting the body of water they are used in. To get the job done, bumpers don’t need to be complicated or fancy either. Some people create more than adequate protection from materials as common as pool noodles.


The reason these minor investments are so important is that the minimal effort and cost they require greatly outweighs the significant effort and costs that negligence can cause in damage to your boat. By reducing the potential harm of docks, wakes, or even operator error, bumpers are well worth implementing.

Improve the Sound of Speakers with Cabinet Fill

November 28, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

For people who have a habit of turning everything into a DIY project, building your own set of speakers is one of the more advanced projects that can be taken on. There are numerous potential designs for speaker cabinets, some of which can make a speaker sound terrific, while other designs, though attractive and cool in concept, can make a great speaker sound terrible. But once you’ve designed an acoustically proper cabinet and selected your horns carefully, one easy way anybody can improve their setup is with polyester batting speaker cabinet lining.


One of the reasons speakers are housed in cabinets is to reduce the bouncing, echoing sound waves that are generated from rearward sound waves. This can’t always do the trick however, and sometimes secondary sound waves escape and detract from the sound. Adding fiberfill upholstery batting helps scatter the sound waves and break up air movement, helping the speaker to perform like it is in a bigger box; generating deeper, crisper bass. More typically used to fill pillows or throw cushions, the fibrous polyfill is an excellent sound insulator because the material’s fine strands provide enough resistance to diffuse the bouncing sound waves without reducing the airflow within the cabinet too much. Polyester fiber batting is easily ripped apart by hand into clumps for a loose filling, or left in sheets and attached to the inside of the box for a tidier design.


The general rule of thumb when using fiberfill stuffing is to add a pound of material for every cubic foot of airspace the cabinet possesses. Even with that, trial and error is often the easiest way to find the point where sound is at its best. Some individuals use fiberglass in the same way, but in ported boxes, the movement of air from the speakers can blow fibers into the room. Polyester fiberfill stuffing is nontoxic and won’t degrade over time either, making it a smart and affordable addition to your speakers, whether they’re made at home or in a store.

Practical Uses for Scrap and Leftover Foam

November 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Keeping pieces of scrap foam on-hand around the home can help you out in pinch, as the uses for these remnants and leftovers are innumerable. Here are just a few of the ways it can help!


  • Upholstery: If you have a flattened throw pillow, stuffing the casing with extra foam scraps can fluff it back up to the fullness and softness it once had. You can do this on a larger scale, filling things like beanbag chairs, or go small, filling something like a stuffed animal.
  • Painting: Are you trying to paint a hard-to-reach area with a tiny brush that just isn’t getting the job done? A small piece of scrap foam is compressible, trimmable, and can be fit into corners and edges to get an even coat in the tightest of spaces. Larger pieces can also be cut into fun and creative stamps for painting patterns on walls or ceilings.
  • Foam Pits: On a grand scale, foam scraps have been used for years in the making of safety pits for fun or exercise. A gymnastics or motocross pit filled with foam is a common sight in those sports and can help a gymnast or biker practice with confidence. Rubber cushions for tumbling are soft but stable flooring materials as well.
  • Comfort Padding: Braces, splints, and casts can take time to get used to and occasionally have hard or rough edges causing discomfort. A small foam rubber pad can soften and protect those problem areas by fitting into place without impacting the performance of the support structure.


These are just a few reasons out of many that keeping some foam scraps around the house is a smart idea. As life happens, you’ll surely find even more uses!

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