J-CAD has a long-standing positive experience of close to a decade in foam injection molding. All of our products are of superior quality. Our experience coupled with recent technological improvements has enabled us to develop our own advanced structural foam injection molding system that produces products of ultra high quality.

Contact us today to have your project quoted by one of our experts.

Design

At J-CAD Inc. we are not specific about the form in which you provide us information about your project design. It could even be hand drawn, we don’t mind. We will convert it to a 3D file required for mold making and injection molding mass production. We will work with you to ensure that the design is optimized for the purpose for which it is intended. Our experienced team of highly skilled designers will help you bring out the best out of your product.

Products made from foam

At J-CAD Inc. we produce a very wide variety of products owing to our diverse customer backgrounds and industries served. Our products include:

  • Automotive products
  • Construction products
  • Furniture
  • Beddings
  • Coating adhesives
  • Footwear
  • Packaging materials
  • Medical applications

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Here are some of the latest projects we’ve worked on with some of our clients
all around the globe!

Foam Injection Molding Company

In Foam injection molding, thermoplastic materials are first melted. When the melted plastic is evenly soft, an inert gas (blowing agent) is introduced into the polymer melt to make the solution foam-able. The solution is then injected into a mold to make the foam product.

Process for molding in foam

The visual above is just the basic principle of the foam injection molding process. The quality of the end product is highly dependent on how delicately the foam injection process is balanced which we have mastered at J-CAD Inc. We have done away with stop-and-flow molding because of the resulting inconsistency in gas dosing. We have come up with ways to ensure that there is continuous flow of both the blowing agent and polymer during the injection process. We have also introduced a lot more modifications to ensure that the end products are of superior quality and the cost of our products are affordable.

Foam injection has many advantages including:

  • Reduced part weight.
  • Whichever design you have in mind, foam injection will help you achieve it. It is suitable for very complex geometric designs as the foam expands much easier than a solid material,filling the mold cavity much easier.
  • The end products can be conditioned during production to ensure that they are closed cell, self-skinned and cross-linked.
  •  The end products are soft. They are very cushioned hence comfortable to handle or interact with.
  • Foam injection products are aesthetically rich compared to their plastic counterparts.
  • End products possess a very high strength to weight ratio compared to other products.
  • Products exhibit more rigidity than a solid part.
  • The resulting products are easy to clean.
  • The surfaces of the end products have consistent finish.
  • Products have a superior impact resistance.

If you don’t feel foam is right for your product (ask us to clarify if you’re not sure) we also have much experience in silicone and plastic injection molding.

Equipment for injected foam molding

Our equipment have been customized to ensure utmost efficiency and cost effectiveness while maintaining superior quality. Our pumps can handle a highly controlled flow rate of a very wide range. They also handle a wide pressure range that is highly regulated.

We have the capacity to handle both physical and chemical blowing agents.

Materials

At J-CAD Inc. we use several polymers for foam injection molding. They include:

Polystyrene

Polystyrene is a synthetic compound, that can be solid or foamed. It is made from monomer styrene
and is considered and aromatic polymer. It is one of the best materials that could possibly be used for
foam injection molding.

General purpose polystrene

High Impact Polystyrene

Polystyrene exhibits the following characteristics;

Advantages

  • Ease of melting, fluidity and reasonable setup times making the cycle time substantially short
  • Good surface finish of the final product
  • Low mold shrinkage
  • Inherent thermal stability
  • It is inexpensive

Disadvantages

  • Low impact strength
  • Poor weather-ability
  • Poor chemical resistance
  • It can’t be recycled

Properties

  • It is transparent or white but can be colored
  • It is hard
  • It is brittle
  • Low melting point
  • Exhibit amorphous density of 1.05 grams per cubic centimeter at 25°C
  • Its glass transition temperature is 100°C

Applications

  • Packaging materials
  • Consumer electronics
  • Construction products
  • Appliances
  • Medical applications
  • Toys

Polyethylene

Also known as polyethene, polyethylene is the most commonly found plastic around the globe, with
annual production being around 80 million tonnes.

Low Density Polethylene (LDPE)

 

High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

 

Polyethylene exhibits the following characteristics:

Advantages

  • It is inexpensive
  • It is very lightweight
  • It is flexible
  • It is impervious to rot, mildew, bacteria and mold
  • It is non-abrasive
  • Exhibits super strength and tear resistance
  • Possesses excellent shock absorbing and vibrating properties
  • Has no odor
  • Has no CFC
  • It is very buoyant
  • It is very easy to fabricate
  • It can be recycled

Disadvantages

  • Non-biodegradable

Properties

  • Its glass transition temperature is -78°C
  • Its melting temperature is 100°C
  • Its molecular weight is 28.05 g/mol
  • Its amorphous density is 1.00 grams per cubic centimeter at 25°C
  • Its crystalline density is 0.855 grams per cubic centimeter at 25°C

Applications

  • Packaging materials
  • Manufacturing materials
  • Construction materials

Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a polymer that is available in thermosetting (does not melt when heated)
and thermoplastic (melts when heated) versions.

General purpose polystrene

 

Polyurethane exhibits the following characteristics:

Advantages

  • Inexpensive
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • High resistance to mildew
  • It performs well in harsh environments

Disadvantages

  • Exhibits short lifespan
  • It emits odor though very slight

Properties

  • Highly resilient
  • Very flexible
  • Exhibits high load bearing capacity
  • Resistant to abrasion and tear
  • Highly resistant to grease, oil and water
  • Exhibits very good insulation capability
  • Strong bonding properties

Applications

  • Automotive
  • Building insulation
  • Footwear
  • Coatings and adhesives
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Furniture
  • Bedding

Structural Foam Molding vs. Injection Molding

Structural molding shares some similarities with injection molding, but these are the main differences between the two processes:

  • Structural Molding produces high-strength parts that are lighter; their weight can be reduced by 10% to 30% in comparison to injection molding parts without affecting structural integrity.
  • Structural Molding parts are thicker and sturdier, and can replace sheet metal, fiberglass, concrete, wood, and other structural materials. Parts can even be as big as weighing 150 lbs in a single mold.
  • Structural Molding utilizes less energy and has less raw material waste, due to density reduction. Plus, all structural foam molded parts are 100% recyclable.
  • Structural Molding parts remain straighter and have better dimensional stability. Due to the parts uniformly expanding until filling the mold, structural foam holds better flatness tolerances than conventional injection molding.
  • Structural Molding requires lower pressures; the foaming action caused by the gas expanding is sufficient to create the part, because of this it has low clamp force requirements, which means smaller/cheaper machines.
  • Structural Molding has a lower production speed than Injection Molding, but it can produce more reliable parts and reduce molding costs. Resulting in higher-quality products.

Flexible Foam Injection Molding

Flexible polyurethane foams are easy to use and durable, and very efficient for absorbing energy at controlled rates, changing resonance or shock-pulse frequencies and relieving static stress on flexible materials. Some foams are also great at handling really high temperatures, with some avoiding long-term effects up to 180°F.

One interesting fact about flexible foam is that it contours around molds, allowing you to take shapes and make flexible objects that can easily be used for production items. These are usually produced with silicone molds, but urethane or other molds
Keep reading

can work well as long as they are sealed and a silicone release agent is used on them prior to molding. Another plus with molding in flexible foam is the ability to add color pigments to achieve vibrant colors.

Polyurethane foams are made by mixing two-part polyurethanes, that expand upon mixing and fill the molds, allowing for a lot of variety in material density and functionality. It’s important to stabilize both polyurethanes to a certain temperature; if when mixing the temperature is too hot the foam will be too light and weak, if the temperature is too cold the foam becomes too dense.

As a side note, these foams are open-cell so they aren’t great at floating and are not suitable for water submersibles.

Direct Injection Expanded Foam Molding

Direct injection expanded foam molding is also known as injection molded foam, and it’s used to create soft foam products from a complex base resin made from an ethylene and polyolefin elastomer. They become very rigid, but are really easy to use and cure, and can be used as a lightweight casting or filling material.

This type of resin can also be colored with a variety of additives and is very resistant to most chemicals. This allows products to be suitable for lots of uses.
Keep reading

The foam made from it is closed-cell and waterproof, its cells are tightly connected, giving the foam a high tensile strength and making it strong and durable.The main benefit of injection molded foam is that its cycle is way faster; the foam and product are both manufactured simultaneously, as this process doesn’t require die-cutting or compression molding. Also, given its really high expansion rate, the products manufactured are self-skinning, meaning that they have a great reproduction of surface detail.

Chemical Foaming Agents For Injection Molding

When doing foam injection molding there are several ways of modifying a material’s properties. In most instances what you are looking for is weight reduction and sink removal on your parts, and one of the main ways of solving that is the usage of Chemical Foaming Agents (CFAs).

There are many kinds of CFAs, since they can be organic or inorganic compounds. CFAs generate exothermic or endothermic reactions, and they are used in this process to nucleate the foam structure that results from the expansion of the gas that is injected to the mold, as it decomposes while dispersing through the polymer melt.
Keep reading

The foam made from it is closed-cell and waterproof, its cells are tightly connected, giving the CFAs are typically used when trying to achieve higher density foams and they can improve the quality of the final product immensely. They are often used for the production of strong, yet lightweight structural foam moldings. As well as the extra strength, — depending on the shape of the mold – CFAs will also save you money, since thicker walls make it easier for the foam to form. You can generally expect a reduction of 10 to 25% of the weight, or even more with a well-formed design.

One important feature of CFAs is their ability to be processed on all injection molding machines, if you know what you are doing. In order to obtain a uniform foam structure, the CFAs injection rate requires special attention.

You can add CFAs to the injection molding machine just as if they were colorants or additives. CFAs can also allow for an increase in shot speeds and can reduce clamp tonnage, achieving a reduction that can be as high as 30% in cycle and production times. Pretty amazing benefits from using just one simple additive!

EVA foam injection molding

EVA, or ethylene-vinyl acetate foam is a soft and durable polymer processed as a thermoplastic material, commonly used in flooring and sports equipment due to it being highly cushioning and sponge-like.

EVA foam is non-toxic and easy to work with. It has some of the properties of a low-density polyethylene with increased gloss, softness and flexibility. It’s also weather resilient; with resistance to UV radiation, low temperatures, good impermeability and high stress-crack resistance. There are both filled and unfilled EVA products.
Keep reading

Some of the main qualities of EVA foam are:

High-Quality Dimensioning
With EVA Foam molding the process can be closely controlled, so you can expect to produce really consistent dimensional parts. The manufacturing of the foam and the final product are the same, they happen at the same time. Because of the simple controlling of the process, there is minimal part-to-part variation.

Aesthetically Pleasing
EVA Foam develops a perfect mold finish upon completion, the process creates parts with great aesthetics, and the quality is always consistent. And even though EVA Foam products are more expensive than other types of foam production, the result is always an attractive product with long-lasting value which is less likely to deteriorate over time.

Thickness variation
EVA Foam injection molded parts can be made to any height or width, they aren’t limited by the process. There’s no need for lamination.

Post Mold Stability
Injection molding gives EVA Foam parts a very soft and malleable body after finishing their molding cycle. Because of this malleability a cooling fixture is sometimes required during the post-molding phase.

Low-Pressure Structural Foam Molding

Low-pressure structural foam molding is very similar to the conventional injection molding process, with a much lower pressure. In most instances of low pressure molding, the molten polymer is injected with nitrogen gas, a chemical blowing agent or an inert gas (NI, CO2, CBA…). The mold won’t be completely filled with the resin as with high-pressure molding, the injected gases are mixed with the polymer, and then they are allowed to expand inside the mold.

The process starts with the gas/polymer mixture being short-shot injected through nozzles directly into the mold. The blowing agent then expands and pushes the molten resin into the cavities, thus reducing sink holes over heavy cross-sections. This approach to manufacturing gives the product a cellular core surrounded by a rigid and dense outer skin, building structurally sound products while reducing their weight and density because of the development of the structural core.
Keep reading

When working with lower pressure, there’s the benefit of being able to use more economical molding equipment, for this reason, it is cheaper to do mass production of larger, thicker parts by structural molding, than conventional injection molding. And you can expect the finished part to be typically 10 to 30% under the weight of an equivalent conventional injection molded part.

Structural foam has great benefits, and it can even replace (in some instances) materials like:

Concrete
Metals
Fiberglass
Wood

What are some of the advantages of foamed polymers and parts?

If you haven’t noticed, it is highly unlikely that a day comes by without you seeing some sort of polymer foam, they are being used everywhere with an incredible array of applications. You may ask yourself why are they everywhere?

Well, the reason is that they have a lot of advantageous properties. And here are some of them:

  • They have low density, meaning that the weight reduction compared to other materials is highly significant.
  • They are flexible and soft, there a lot of applications for this, especially in the comfort area.
  • They can be tuned to achieve specific features, like strength or moisture absorption.
  • Some make great insulators, because of their very low heat transfer.
  • Their popularity is so huge that the technology behind them is in constant improvement, there are always new polymer mixes coming out, with every advancement in technology making them cheaper and stronger.

If you have any question just get in touch with us! At J-CAD Inc. we’ll be glad to help you with your project. Call us 1-888-202-2052 or email jason@jcadusa.com

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