Is foam important to have in my case?
We understand the significance of having a safe, reliable way to transport your valuable merchandise and instrumentation. The value lost when your products arrive damaged is devastating. Protecting your products with foam is one of the most important, value-added services we provide. Our extensive experience with foam fabrication coupled with a wide array of materials allows us to provide unmatched expertise for the protection and preservation of your priceless equipment.
Listed below are descriptions of foam cushioning we can provide for all of our cases:
No Foam: Empty case with no foam lining or insulation. All case size descriptions provide interior measurements that do not include foam specifications.
Foam Lined: The case walls are lined with foam, including the lid and the base of the case. We recommend at least 2” of foam, but different thicknesses are available.
Foam Filled: The case’s interior of the case is completely filled with 1” or 2” thick layers of foam (or in one solid piece for special applications).
Pick ‘N’ Pluck: Typically used for self-customization of smaller case applications, the case’s interior is filled with layers of foam comprised of small perforated cubes. Typically there is solid foam pad below the Pick ‘N’ Pluck. The lid foam may be solid foam or convoluted (egg crate) style.
Fabricated: Multiple layers of foam are glued together to create square or rectangular shaped cavities. We recommend at least 2” of foam around the perimeter of the case and 1”-3” between the items depending on their weight and size.
Die-Cut: A custom fit interior is made from a steel die shaped to your exact specifications. This method is cost effective for production runs of 20+ cases.
Water Jet: A high pressure water stream is used to cut custom foam interiors. The smallest details are easily cut with great accuracy. Unlike the die-cut method, in which the cavity walls are slightly bowed, water-jet cutting allows for straight, full-depth walls. Unlike a die-cut, water jet cutting does not require a cutting die tool, but may require an economical programming charge.
Routed: A router bit is used to cut the custom foam interior. The advantage of a routed foam insert is that cavity heights can be precisely controlled, and individual cavities can have varying depths to protect the contents. Routed foam, like water jet has straight, full-depth walls. The cavity walls are not bowed, like they are in die cutting. This process does not require a cutting die tool, but may require an economic programming charge.
Types of Foam
Polyethylene: Firm dense closed cell foam that will not absorb water or moisture, and is impervious to most chemicals. Meets MIL P 26514, type 1, class 2 specs. Used with heavier products or equipment. It is great for positioning and cushioning. Popular varieties of Polyethylene (PE) are Cross-linked, and EVA.
Polyurethane: Soft, open-cell foam. Best for delicate and lightweight items. Popular varieties of Polyurethane (PU) are Poly-Ester, and Poly-Ether.
How do I know how much foam is necessary to protect my product?
As a rule, most applications* are well-protected with a minimum of two (2) inches of quality foam cushioning surrounding delicate equipment. To ensure adequate protection, measure your equipment left to right, front to back and top to bottom; add 4 inches to those dimensions. (Be sure to include any protrusions such as knobs, handles, and connectors in your measurements.)
When measuring monitors, LCD flat-screen displays, or swiveling equipment, always make sure that the screen/face is perpendicular to your work surface. Dimensions for such items are still calculated by LxWxH as above, but their upright orientation inside the case resembles bread in a toaster more than clothing in a suitcase.
If you have more than one item going in to the case, space the objects 1” to 1.5" apart for items less than 5lbs, and 2"apart for larger items. Add 1" to all sides of the perimeter for the smaller items and 2" for the larger ones.
For most cases, visualize the case laying flat on your work surface, with the hinge side furthest from you (as it would be if you were packing a suitcase). The left to right measurement of the case is your length, the front to back measurement is your width, and the top to bottom is your height. The height measurement is typically broken down into two proportions called “splits”: The measurement of the lid (H1) and the measurement of the base/bottom (H2) are added together to get the full case height). For example: if H1 equals 4” and H2 equals 11”, your case’s height would be 15”.
*The 2" rule may not pertain to smaller OEM applications.