Foamed plastic

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Closed cell polyethylene foam


Polymers containing uniformly dispersed air pockets. All foamed plastics are lightweight and buoyant. Additionally they may be soft and spongy (foam rubber, polyethylene, etc.) or rigid and strong (polystyrene, epoxy). Steam, air, or an inert gas is mechanically added or chemically produced in the plastic resins during manufacture to form a cured open cellular structure. Closed-cell foams have individual non-connected bubbles while open-cell foams have an interconnected tunnels formed when the incorporated gas or steam escapes during cure. Foamed plastics are made from most types of polymers (Foam rubber, Polyethylene, Polystyrene, Epoxy, Polyurethane, vinyl resins, silicone resins, etc.)

Closed cell polyethylene foam

Synonyms and Related Terms

goma espuma (Esp.); plastique expensé (Fr.); mousse de plastique (Fr.); plastic foam (AAT preferred); foam rubber; expanded plastic; cellular plastic; Styrofoam;


Most are combustible.

Resources and Citations

  • Theodore J. Reinhart, 'Glossary of Terms', Engineered Plastics, ASM International, 1988
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976