April 30th, 2011
Visco-elastic polyurethane foam, or memory foam as it is more commonly known, has started a revolution in the world of mattresses and bedding. It provides a kind of comfort that cannot be matched with traditional mattresses and pillows. Sleeping on a memory foam mattress can even help to relieve back and neck pain, and other related conditions like headaches or insomnia. These high tech foam mattresses and pillows have had many years of research and development put into them.
Memory foam was originally developed in the 1960s by NASA to be used in its spacecraft seats. It was found to provide such comfort and so many health benefits that more widespread uses for the foam were found. The first memory foam mattress became commercially available in 1991. Back then, it was known as a ‘tempur-pedic’ mattress. This is because memory foam reacts to the temperature of your body to mould itself around your every contour.
Memory foam is an excellent material to use for mattresses because it much kinder to the joints that traditional spring mattresses. With spring mattresses, parts of your body can be in mid-air. This creates points of pressure all over your body, which can lead to stiffness in the morning, and eventually chronic pain.
Memory foam eliminates the pressure points, giving you a more comfortable night’s sleep. They can benefit anyone, but particularly those who suffer from sleep related conditions or orthopaedic complaints. Potentially, memory foam mattresses can even reduce the chance of you developing back pain later in life.
April 27th, 2011
It’s becoming increasingly popular to convert a basement into a usable space. A converted basement can be used as a study, for storage, as an entertainment room or just for additional living space. However, basements can be susceptible to damp from even the smallest cracks in your basement walls. Damp in your basement can lead to significant health hazards, so it’s vital that any cracks are repaired as soon as possible with a material that will not allow any more water to come in. PU foams are perfect for this.
It’s extremely common for cracks to develop in concrete. When concrete dries, it shrinks in volume. This develops stresses that are relieved by the concrete cracking. These cracks can begin at the top of a concrete wall and may go all the way down to the floor, and can even extend to outside walls. When it rains, water can seep through these cracks into your basement.
Injecting PU foam into basements cracks can stop water from entering the room. This process can be completed from inside the basement itself, making it an extremely quick and inexpensive process. The PU foam is injected into the crack as a liquid. Once it’s inside the crack, it turns into a foam and expands to fill the gap. Once the foam is dry, the gap will be completely sealed, preventing any water from seeping through. This is where PU foams have benefits over different kinds of sealing products.
April 23rd, 2011
Modern house buyers expect their homes to reach certain levels of energy efficiency, warmth and comfort. Closed cell foam insulation offers all of these things at an affordable cost. Closed cell foams are extremely resistant to air and water, meaning that it will keep your home warm without attracting mould and mildew. It also offers many advantages over other forms of insulation.
Closed cell foam has an extremely high density. This means that it is very effective as keeping heat inside your home and moisture. It’s also incredibly environmentally friendly, offering unprecedented energy efficiency without emitting ozone depleting chemicals during its manufacture.
Closed cell foam can be used as a barrier against thermal bridging. Thermal bridging occurs when materials that are poor insulators allow heat to escape, for example, when heat gets trapped between wooden or metal structural frames. Closed cell foam can be used to bridge gaps in structural frames, keeping heat where it matters – inside your home.
Closed cell foam can be applied with a spray directly onto area where it’s needed. Because of this unique application process, the foam can be layered so that it expands to perfectly fit all the gaps in your structure. This makes it an incredibly effective and efficient form of insulation. Its ease of use means that it can be used to insulate almost anything, including freezers, pipes and tanks. Closed cell foam is also incredibly durable, and once applied, will likely last as long as you live in your property.
April 20th, 2011
Efficient insulation is a necessity in any house. It makes your home more hospitable in the cold winter months, and can even reduce your energy bills. Rigid foam is an extremely effective form of insulation, and can be used in a variety of ways. Foam suppliers offer a number of rigid foams that can be used in your foundations, walls and roofs to make your home warmer and more comfortable.
• Expanded Polystyrene
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is extremely cost effective, offering effective insulation for very little money. Of all the rigid foams available, it has the highest vapour permeability. It is usually used to insulate structural panels or concrete forms, but can be susceptible to crumbling.
• Extruded Polystyrene
Extruded polystyrene (XPS) has an incredibly high water resistance and compressive strength. This makes it ideal to be used in slabs and foundation walls. Its smoothness and density makes it a much better insulator than EPS, but it is also more expensive.
Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso) is the most environmentally friendly of all the rigid foams. This is because water is used in its manufacturing process, rather than ozone-depleting chemicals. It’s not suitable to be used everywhere because of its water absorption properties, but it can be extremely effective to insulate exterior drainage planes. It is resistant to ignition, but it can be expensive to use.
Rigid foams are extremely effective insulating solutions, and the range of them available offers something to suit almost every part of the home.
April 17th, 2011
Neoprene is an extremely hardwearing foam rubber that has a variety of applications. It does not break down even in extreme heat, cold, wind or rain, and can resist burning and a variety of chemicals. Because of these properties of neoprene, it can be used in a huge number of ways.
• Wet Suits
Neoprene is the material that wet suits are most commonly made of. They offer their wearer unbeatable protection from the elements, and keep them warm even in extremely cold waters. Modern wetsuits are made of a combination of neoprene and Lycra for the ultimate flexibility when participating in water sports.
• Life Jackets
Because of the extremely long life of neoprene, it’s the perfect material for life jackets to be made from. The lifejacket will not breakdown even when it’s exposed to extremes of weather. Neoprene is also flame retardant, making neoprene life jackets perfect to use in an emergency situation.
• Household Goods
Recently, neoprene has been used in protective covers for the more fragile household items. For example, a neoprene case for your laptop or mp3 player will ensure it stays protected even when being carried around all day. More and more remote controls are being made from neoprene, protecting them from bangs and falls.
• Industrial Applications
Because of its resistance to oil and many chemicals, neoprene has numerous industrial applications. Gaskets, fan belts, weather proofing and electrical insulation can all be made from neoprene, and more and more uses for this foam rubber are being discovered every day.
April 14th, 2011
Protective gloves are a necessity in the medical profession. They protect both the staff and the patients from infectious diseases. In the past, medical gloves could be very cumbersome, feeling very uncomfortable and restricting a physician’s ability to perform a procedure. Many people also developed an allergy to the latex that the gloves were made from. Foam manufacturers have developed gloves made from nitrile for sufferers of latex allergies. They are also incredibly comfortable, making it incredibly simple to perform procedures when wearing them.
Nitrile is a foam rubber with an extremely high solvent resistance. This means that nitrile gloves will be able to withstand the chemicals that are used in a medical setting. They also have very little friction and are highly flexible. They allow a wide range of intricate movements when preforming procedures, and can easily be slipped off and disposed of once the procedure is completed. This means that bacteria and viruses are not passed on from patient to patient.
Nitrile gloves can also protect the health of medical staff. Wearing them during a procedure and disposing of them afterwards will stop medical professionals from contracting illnesses from bugs that would have otherwise been on their hands. They also protect their skin when working with dangerous chemicals, and can even offer some protection from burns from hot water. Nitrile gloves are an excellent option for medical professionals to help them stay safe in their work, and keep the patients safe too.
April 11th, 2011
Sponge foam is one of the most versatile and useful items around the home. It can be used for cleaning, bathing and crafting. Using sponge rubber in your paper crafting can give your projects that perfect finishing touch, tying all its elements together and giving your designs a professional look.
You don’t need to buy special sponge foam to use in your paper crafting. Any regular household sponges will do. You can even cut up pieces of sponge to get unique shapes that will enhance your projects. To use your crafting sponges, you should rub them in a circular motion on rubber stamping ink.
Always rub lightly so your sponge foam doesn’t get overloaded with ink – you can always add more if you need to. Practice with different amounts of ink and use different levels of pressure on your paper to find a look that will suit your project.
Sponge foam can be used in a variety of ways in paper craft projects. Lightly sponging a contrasting colour around the edge of your card can create a subtle vignette, softening your main image. If you intend to create images of outdoor scenes or landscapes, you can use sponge foam to create your background. For example, you can sponge white ink onto blue card to create look of clouds, or sponge a few different shades of green together to create a rolling landscape.
Paper crafting is an incredibly relaxing and rewarding pastime, and using sponge foam is an inexpensive way of adding an extra dimension to your projects.
April 8th, 2011
Pain in the back and neck is an extremely common ailment. Contributed to by modern lifestyles, often spent with poor posture in front of a computer, it’s at night in bed when we hope to have some relief from the discomfort. However, a poor quality, unsupportive mattress and uncomfortable pillows will only further contribute to the pain, and make it worse during the day. Memory foam pillows can provide support and comfort to the head and neck, reducing back pain in the process.
Memory foam pillows are made from an intelligent foam that responds to heat. They mould themselves exactly around every contour of the head and neck, supporting them perfectly. Every time you move your head in the night, the memory foam remoulds itself around you, ensuring continual support whatever your position. After sleeping on a memory foam pillow, you’ll feel refreshed and revived, and you’ll gradually become free of neck and back pain.
To further enhance your sleep, you could combine your memory foam pillows with a memory foam mattress. Traditional coil mattresses produce pressure points all over the body, leading to pain and stiffness in the morning. When lying flat on a traditional mattress, the small of the back is typically in mid-air.
This puts incredible strain on the back muscles, creating significant pain and discomfort and a restless sleep. A memory foam mattress ensures that the small of your back is always supported equally and there are no pressure points, resulting in a restful night’s sleep and less pain in the morning.
April 5th, 2011
Bath sponges are a constant addition to almost every bathroom. They are something we use every day without thinking about it. But simple bath sponges can improve and enhance our bathing experiences, helping revive us before a long day or relax us in the evening. The right sponge can even improve the look and feel of your skin. These basic, everyday accessories can improve the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom, as well as offering a number of useful features while you are bathing.
A natural sponge or loofah is one of the most common additions to a stylish bathroom. As well as bringing the beauty of nature into the bathroom, they are also incredibly good for your skin. Loofahs have excellent natural exfoliating properties, making your skin feel much smoother and look more revived after you’ve used them. Natural sponges, produced by foam manufacturers, are capable of holding a huge amount of bath or shower gel, making your skin feel incredibly moisturising. Modern loofahs and natural sponges are generally improved to make them much more pleasant to use in the bath or shower and much kinder to the skin.
The latest bath sponges have soap, gel or moisturiser within them right out of the packet. They are incredibly convenient, with the gel inside them being released as soon as you put the sponge under water. As the product within the sponge emerges, it gradually works into a moisturising later, removing the need for bottles of bath and shower gel. They are particularly useful for people who travel a lot or want to keep clutter in their bathroom to a minimum.
April 2nd, 2011
Every day, foam manufacturers produce thousands of tonnes of cellulose sponge. We use these sponges for a variety of applications around the home, but give little thought to where they come from. What we consider to be a mundane, everyday tool actually has an interesting and intricate production process. Here’s how cellulose sponges are made.
Sponge foam begins with exactly the same building blocks that plants are made from – cellulose. The cellulose that sponge foam is made from is extracted from wood pulp and manufactured into huge cellulose sheets. These sheets are delivered to the foam manufacturers, who soak them in a mixture of chemicals and water. This mixture softens the sheets. Once soft, the cellulose is transferred to a mixer with a combination of hemp fibres, sodium sulphate crystals and colouring agent. The ingredients are then thoroughly mixed together.
These ingredients are then poured into large rectangular moulds which are ‘baked’ to create an enormous wedge of sponge foam. As the sponge mixture bakes, the sodium sulphate crystals melt. The draining away of the sodium sulphate crystals creates the characteristic ‘holes’ in the sponge foam. The size of the holes can be varied by using different sizes of sodium sulphate crystals, for example bath sponges will require larger holes than packaging sponges.
Once the sponges are removed from the moulds, they are thoroughly washed in bleach to soften them. They are then cut to size in an automatic cutting machine, and finished with a scouring pad if necessary.