Polyethylene foam

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Polyethylene Foam


A durable, chemically stable, closed-cell foam. Polyethylene (PE) foams provide a wide variety of shock-absorption, vibration-dampening, and insulation properties. The foams cut, carve and bond easily, with only the heaviest densities requiring power saws to cut. They will not off-gas, and are widely considered viable interior materials for long-term storage containers. PE foams are recyclable.

Crosslinked PE foam a high-density polyethylene with cross-linked bonds in the polymer structure, changing the thermoplastic into an elastomer. They share the qualities listed above, but have ultra-fine cells for soft, skin-like surfaces suitable for direct contact with most stable object surfaces. Unlike non-crosslinked PE foams, they are not recyclable. Thinner products like Volara are crosslinked by irradiation while thicker products like Plastazote and Minicel are chemically crosslinked.

See Polyethylene and Foams.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Ethafoam; Volara; Polyplank; Micro-foam; Plastazote; Minicel; Sentinel; CellAire; cross-poly foam


  • Packaging, storage
  • Sports equipment, flotation devices
  • Sound insulation

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Unaffected by water
  • High durability
  • Density = 5 g/ml

Resources and Citations