EVA Foam Video: 01. An intro to PopFoam

  • February 19, 2019
  • | by Victor Lazzaro

 Recently made completed work on the first episode of a new video series we are creating. We really think you will love it. Check it out below:

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I want to talk to you today about an interesting material that I've had the pleasure of working with over the years. Now it's a material that you're probably familiar with. You've probably seen products such as these rubber shoes or products like these yoga balls but what I want to tell you is that this material's a lot more versatile than just some of the products that you've seen.

Now what is this material? Well it's called PopFoam and PopFoam is an EVA, which stands for Ethylene-vinyl Acetate or in other words, it's a closed cell foam, which means it has an exterior skin and then inside it's a foam material. Now more specifically, I want to talk to you today about injection molded PopFoam. Now my name's Victor and I've been an industrial designer and product developer for 30 years and I've had the pleasure of working on a lot of products in a lot of different areas but one of the things that's so interesting about PopFoam, and as being a designer is that I get to think about product solutions in a much different way and that's one of the joys of learning about new materials as a designer.

I think learning about new materials for a designer is one of the most important things that you can do to advance your career because really if you think about it, materials are a like the magic wand of designers. If we use the same materials over, and over, and over again our design solutions get stale, and they get boring, and we wind up rehashing the same solutions over and over.

So what I'd like to do, my goal today is to tell you a little bit about PopFoam and what you might actually be able to do with this material. One of the most interesting things about injection molded PopFoam is that it literally pops out of the mold, hence the name PopFoam and what that means is when the mold opens, the material actually expands and becomes larger than its finished size and then as it cools, it shrinks back down to the final dimensions.

Now look at what can happen with when you have something like a material that pops out of the mold like that. These types of undercuts are incredible and for me as a designer this is absolutely fascinating. This is an example of a cellphone case, and you can see again how the undercuts are totally doable in this process where in another material it just would not be.

Another thing that's really interesting about PopFoam is that it comes in different durometers. So this is an example of one of the softer durometers and you can see how pliable the foam actually is and here's an example of one of the harder durometers and you can see how stiff that is. This gives you a lot of design versatility to design in exactly the right kind of touch and feel that you want for you particular product design.

Because PopFoam is an injection molded EVA foam, all the rules of molding and textures apply. So you can have, in a sense, limitless different the textures molded into the product, basically to your heart's content. Also the material is fantastic when it comes to 3D applications of graphics. So you can do either dipped or printed applications of graphics.

Another great feature about PopFoam is the fact that it shrinks when it comes out of the mold. So that means you could put it around a substrate like this ABS backing board right here and the part will shrink down to its final fit. It also bonds extremely well. So in this example you can see that the PopFoam is bonded to the ABS creating a very, very, very secure and strong bond.

So I've only touched on a few of the characteristics of this really incredible material and hopefully I've peaked your interest to want to learn more. Go to the website at PopFoam.com check it out. Request a free sample and download their paper that tells you all about how to mold and use this material. So until next time, this is Victor. Keep creating.

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