Foam engineering glossary

Unleash your inner foam expert with MSA and explore the world of industrial packing foam and technical foam services. We've got all the lingo you need to impress your colleagues and friends. Check out the definitions below.

Become a foam-tastic wordsmith!
A black custom foam insert stacked on top of a white custom foam insert manufactured by MSA Foams.
Anti-static foam:
A foam material that will not generate an electrical charge.
CAD (Computer Aided Design):
A software tool that helps people create precise and detailed drawings of objects using a computer.
Closed-cell foam:
Foam with individual pockets, resulting in a water-resistant cushion.
CNC machine:
(Computer Numerical Control) A machine in which a computer plays an integral part in its control.
Foam settling under load/weight.
Cross linked foam:
A manufacturing process that results in a foam with a greater resistance to creep.
Die Cutting:
Similar to a pastry cutter, this technique cuts out a shape by punching it out in one swift motion ... except it uses a machine that produces 60 tonnes of pressure!
A term commonly used in the automotive industry to describe protective packaging for components in transit.
Foam Conversion:
Taking a raw sheet of foam and transforming it into the final product.
High Load Bearing - an item that can take a large amount of weight.
The process of heat bonding sheets of foam on top of each other to create a single piece of foam with more depth.
Laser Engraving:
Using a highly accurate laser to engrave a design into a piece of foam - a great technique to consider when using bespoke foam for marketing purposes!
Materials Handling:
The use of foam as protective packaging when transporting goods, as well as during the manufacturing process.
Open-cell foam:
A type of foam material with a porous structure, allowing air and liquids to pass through it easily, making it softer and more flexible than closed-cell foam.
Pack density:
The number of items able to be placed within a packaging design, i.e. To maximise pack density would to be to fit as many items as possible within one container.
Remote product scanning:
An service where a portable scanner is used to create a highly accurate 3D impression of an object to map out the design of a custom foam insert.
Reusable packaging:
Also known as returnable packaging, is foam used as permanent packaging that can be used repeatedly over the lifespan of the item.
A foam cutting technique that utilises a fast rotating tool to cut the foam.
Static dissipative foam:
A foam material designed to prevent static electricity buildup by quickly dissipating any electrical charge that comes into contact with it. It is ideal for protecting sensitive electronic components from electrostatic discharge (ESD) damage.
A container or pallet used to transport or store items in a warehouse or production facility using a forklift or other material handling equipment.
The process of creating the specialised tools needed to produce a specific product.
These tools are used to shape, cut, or assemble parts, and are critical to the efficient and accurate production of high-quality products. Proper tooling can help to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and improve the overall quality of the final product.
Water jet:
A cutting machine that uses a highly pressured jet of water that can cut intricate shapes into a piece of foam with a wall as thin as 1mm between the two shapes. Often used to make extremely accurate and precise bespoke foam fittings.