Published 30th March 2016 by absolute
PVC foam sheet is a lightweight material with good mechanical and insulation properties. A mixture of Polyvinyl chloride and polyurea, foam PVC has a good bond strength and takes a solid shape due to its linear, closed-cell foam structure.
This very light (as little as half the weight of solid PVC) material is highly resistant to moisture and some chemicals, and very easy to cut and shape. It also has thermoplastic properties, and begins to soften at around 65c (149f). Typically, closed-cell PVC foam board can be cut as easily as wood, softened and shaped by immersing in boiling water or with a standard heat gun, and painted with standard automobile paints.
PVC foams are available in a variety of densities from 3pcf to 25 pcf (45kg/m3 to 400kg/m3). The raw ingredients are mixed together under controlled conditions and dispensed into a mould. The filled mould is then sealed, clamped shut, then placed in a large press and heated. After this process is completed, a slab of solid material emerges from the mould. The material is then expanded in a hot water bath to reach its final density and cured. The cured blocks are then cut into sheets of a varying thickness, depending on customer requirements. The process and formulation combine to give the foams their closed-cell nature and excellent physical properties.
As Foam PVC has good chemical resistance with low water absorption, it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. It has low impact strength and due to its range of colours it is often used for signage and displays. PVC foam sheet is easy to fabricate and bond, and is very well resistant to the damaging effects of rain, wind, and sunlight. Due to these factors, this material is perfect for every day products.