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There are three primary categories for polyurethane foam, with the lowest level labeled as low density polyurethane foam. Low density foam refers to the concentration of polyurethane within the material, and lower concentrations create a lower density. This type of foam is typically recommended for items that experience infrequent use, such as an outdoor cushion, an infrequently used custom mattress, and certain types of furniture cushion. Low density foams include R21 and R28 with a 1.3 pound density rating.
Medium density polyurethane foam is a medium quality foam that is best used in moderately priced furniture including sofas, chairs and certain types of outdoor furniture. It can also be used as the base in certain types of custom mattresses, or as a base to provide support for higher quality foams like memory foam and latex foam. Medium density foam tends to fall between the high 1.8 pound range to just under a 3lb range. It may be referred to as an H series foam with appropriate numbers denoting its firmness, such as H21 (soft), H30 (medium) and H45 (firm). If it encounters everyday use the lifespan for the foam is typically 4 to 6 years.
High density foams are usually required for more extreme everyday use. When living room furniture such as a favorite couch or chair needs to be upgraded, high density polyurethane foams are the way to go. High density foam refers to a density weight from 2lbs to 3lbs with varying firmness ratings in between. This type of foam has a softer surface, greater comfort and support, and can last for years beyond what lower density foam can sustain.
Foam for packaging and sound proofing is typically recommended for environments like studios, practice spaces and certain businesses that have to package larger and fragile equipment. It's perfectly adequate to enlist a low density polyurethane foam for these purposes, and most reputable foam suppliers will be happy to custom cut this type of foam for your needs. There are also a number of foam suppliers that can put you in direct contact with businesses that specialize in certain types of sound proofing foam.
Polyurethane foam is a material that was engineered during World War II by Professor Dr. Otto Bayer to replace more expensive natural resources like rubber. Rapidly expanding beyond the war uses it was initially designed for, polyurethane foam today is one of the more wildly used materials around. The diversity of uses is also impressive – polyurethane foam can be found in everything from medical research labs to the cushions in your couch or chair. Polyurethane foam is also finding a use in economy mattresses because of its long-lasting comfort and affordability, as well as a way to reduce the costs of memory foam or latex foam mattresses by being used as a base. Polyurethane cushion foam is known as Qualux Foam for premium uses and Resilitex Foam for more economy uses.
The advantages of a polyurethane foam mattress have been quick to take hold among people who are looking for high quality comfort constructed from affordable materials. Where premium foams like latex and memory foam can be prohibitive for environments like boats, RV and storable guest spaces, polyurethane foam is an intelligent option. A polyurethane foam mattress can be custom cut to meet the requirements of any awkward or unusual spaces, and the durability and cushiness of the material offers a comfort that might otherwise be elusive. It is recommended that the mattress be built from Qualux Foam built by Carpenter Foam, as this is the most intelligently engineered and reliable polyurethane foam on the market. For those interested in completely customizing a polyurethane foam mattress, look for a supplier that offers a warranty (usually they will only warranty custom mattresses if they include a cover). A polyurethane foam mattress also makes an excellent base for supporting a 2 inch or 3 inch layer of latex or memory foam for those looking to reduce costs of an otherwise expensive memory foam or latex mattress!
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|