Foam lamination is a fabric surface modification technique often used to improve the structural or performance properties of a material. Lamination is used to waterproof materials and add protective coatings, and is also often used to form a composite material – a combination of multiple materials. Laminated materials are often composed of at least two or more layers, including a polymeric, continuous layer, often a foam core. Foams can be combined and laminated with other foams, textiles, backings, and coatings.
You can find laminated foam materials commonly used in a variety of industries, including aerospace, military, construction, medical, and more.
- Automotive: seats, seat covers, soft touch surfaces, headliners, car seats, arm rests, door cladding, floor mats, sound proofing, interior fender panels, bed liners
- Medical: braces, supports, splints, slings, gaskets, sealings, orthotics, dressings, device attachments, wheelchair padding
- Home: insulation, mattresses, weather proofing, hoses, insulation, tubing, HVAC, hot tub covers
- Soft goods: performance accessories, padded athletic gear, rain gear, wetsuits
- Footwear: uppers, sleeves, pads, vent panels, tongues
- Electronics: headphone padding, watch wristbands, soft touch wearables,
- Sports: soft grips, sleeves, weighted wearables, protective equipment
The most common types of foam laminations are adhesive lamination and flame lamination.
Adhesive lamination requires a chemical adhesive or bonding agent. These can be made of pressure sensitive adhesive or synthetic compounds such as polyurethane. Some types of adhesive foam lamination require a solvent for production. Heat is also used during the process to allow the adhesive to cure. The chemical adhesives can be used on both surfaces, or be pre-treated onto one of the liners, and then transferred during the manufacturing process.
Flame lamination is very effective for bonding soft, flexible foams and non-wovens to fabrics, but is also frequently used for papers and films. Flame lamination gets its namesake, because foam is literally passed over a flame, resulting in a layer of melted polymer on the surface. A secondary layer of material is then quickly stretched and pressed over that thin, sticky polymer, creating a strong bond between the two materials. There is oftentimes less energy used during the manufacturing of an adhesive lamination process, because less heat is required, resulting in lowered manufacturing costs and environmental impact.
However, over the past decade, water based foam lamination solutions have quickly become more popular for brands in a variety of industries. Tiong Liong Industrial Co. Ltd, the makers of Ariaprene®, started out as a foam lamination factory, and perfected a proprietary solvent-free, water-based foam lamination process over years of development. Using toxic-free, hypoallergenic foams as a base, these layers are bonded together using a patented, eco-friendly foam lamination process, and is available for every custom Ariaprene® package. These closed cell foam cores can be combined in a variety of thicknesses, colors, textures, perforations, and can be laminated with fabrics as well as PU foil to create leather-like appearance and add waterproofing properties.
Oftentimes Ariaprene is compared with other foam types, such as PU foam (Polyurethane), EVA foam (Ethylene-vinyl acetate ), SBR (Styrene Butadiene Rubber) and Neoprene. Although each of these foam types have unique characteristics, generally speaking prices of Ariaprene foam-core fabric is competitive to Neoprene where product is applicable, but a price higher than EVA foam and PU foam can be expected.
Prices of Ariaprene foam-core fabric range from single digit to beyond $20USD per yard, with widths of around 48 inches. Pricing can be quite varied, because each Ariaprene foam-core fabric package is customized to best fit product and design needs. Extra functions can be added to foam-core package after face and lining fabric is chosen, including water-repellent or resistant properties, wicking, or antimicrobial add-ons.
Ariaprene allows for a cleaner manufacturing process, as well as more design flexibility. Learn more about Ariaprene and get in touch with us today.