Foam is most frequently used as structural core material for composite laminates, delivering added strength, stiffness, and insulation, without adding weight. Generally, it is easy to handle, readily conforms to shapes, and can be bonded in layers to add thickness.
At FibreGlast.com, you will find a variety of foams used for applications that include:
- Cavity filling
- Pattern making
- Flow media for resin infusion
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Divinycell DIVINYMATResin Flows Easily for Vacuum BaggingDivinymat has been engineered specifically for the resin infusion process and serves as both a sandwich core and a...
Foam can be found in infrastructure applications, wind energy, land transport, and throughout the marine industry.
At FibreGlast.com, look for foam in one of several categories:
- Mix-and-pour polyurethane foam--Once mixed equally, this foam expands rapidly to fill any sized cavity; best suited for flotation, sculpting, and for structural support.
- Vinyl foam--All selections are quality DIAB Divinycell brand; sold by the sheet and used chiefly as sandwich core material.
- Divinymat--Engineered to be both a sandwich core and a flow media for resin infusion; Divinycell foam sheet scored and held together with light scrim backing.
- Polyisocyanurate foam--Most frequently used for mold-less pattern making; sold by the sheet and in a 4' x 6' block.
Foam is commonly used in composites as a core material to provide structural reinforcement, insulation, and weight reduction. Here are some key aspects of foam's use in composites:
- Core Material: Foam is often used as a core material in sandwich composite structures. It is placed between two outer layers, known as face sheets or skins, to form a sandwich structure. The foam core helps provide stiffness and strength to the composite while reducing its weight.
- Structural Support: Foam cores provide structural support and distribute loads across the composite material. The foam's cellular structure adds strength and rigidity to the composite, enhancing its overall mechanical properties.
- Weight Reduction: Foam cores are lightweight materials, contributing to the overall weight reduction of the composite structure. This is especially beneficial in applications such as aerospace, automotive, and marine industries, where weight savings are critical for improved performance and fuel efficiency.
- Insulation: Foam cores offer thermal and acoustic insulation properties, making them suitable for applications where temperature control or sound dampening is required. The closed-cell structure of some foam types provides excellent insulation against heat transfer and noise transmission.
- Machinability: Foam cores can be easily machined and shaped to meet specific design requirements. They can be cut, routed, or sculpted to fit complex shapes and contours, allowing for customization and versatility in composite fabrication.
- Bonding: Foam cores can be bonded to the face sheets using adhesives or resin infusion processes, ensuring a strong and durable bond between the layers. Proper adhesion and compatibility between the foam and the composite materials are essential for achieving optimal strength and performance.
- Design Flexibility: Foam cores offer design flexibility as they can be tailored to different thicknesses, densities, and cell structures, depending on the desired properties of the composite structure. This allows for optimization of strength, weight, and other performance characteristics.
Foam's use in composites offers numerous advantages, including weight reduction, structural reinforcement, insulation, and design flexibility. However, proper selection of foam type, density, and fabricating processes is crucial to ensure compatibility with the specific application and to achieve the desired performance objectives.
See how foam matches up to other materials in our Sandwich Core category when you visit our Learning Center and read, Guidelines for Sandwich Core Materials, or when you view An Introduction to Sandwich Core Materials on the Fibre Glast Blog.
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