Closed-cell foam is a novel materials, that, in its numerous formulations, is sturdy, resilient, and may be present in blocks and sheets, or thicknesses so skinny it behaves like material. Due to this versatility, folks routinely discover makes use of for it of their on a regular basis lives. Nonetheless, having foam custom-cut each time you’ve gotten a necessity is unrealistic. Luckily, closed-cell foam is an extremely straightforward materials to work with. Whether or not you're making pipe wraps, packaging, climate stripping, or one thing else, you'll must know easy methods to lower closed-cell foam precisely. By taking the next steps into consideration, you need to have the ability to lower a number of closed-cell foam supplies simply.
NOTE: These directions exclude expanded polystyrene (EPS), which is finest lower by sizzling wire.
Earlier than approaching the totally different foam chopping strategies, it's necessary to handle the supplies you will want. Not like open-cell foam, closed-cell supplies needs to be lower with a straight, non-serrated blade like a utility knife or crafting knife. These knives work properly as a result of their blades are disposable and simple to exchange as they uninteresting. Scissors may additionally be used for smaller, casual tasks, although they're solely efficient on explicit foam sorts and thicknesses. It's sensible to have a straight-edge to chop by as properly. Lastly, at all times lower foam on a secure floor that received't be broken.
Reduce: Neoprene, Cross-Linked Polyethylene, Health club Rubber, and Polyethylene Roll
Neoprene is a rubbery materials, cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) is barely "plasticy," polyethylene roll is a skinny, sheet-like materials just like XLPE, and fitness center rubber is spongy, however may be the softest or firmest materials amongst these 4 sorts relying on formulation. Regardless of these variations, the bodily constructions of those supplies are related sufficient to strategy them in the identical manner when chopping.
When coping with neoprene, fitness center rubber, XLPE, or polyethylene roll, the very first thing you’ll want to take into account is materials thickness. For those who're working with sheets 1/8 "thick or much less, you’ve gotten the choice of chopping with sharp scissors. Scissors are solely steered for leisure tasks as a result of they’ll depart jagged edges. For those who're making shapes for tub toys, or trimming backing for card making, scissors are quick and efficient. Due to its flexibility, PE roll is the simplest materials out of those 4 to chop with scissors.
Single-Move Chopping Technique
For exact tasks that contain supplies thicker than 1/8 ", you’ll want to lower with a straight blade. Thickness must be thought-about once more, as it can dictate the tactic you utilize to chop with the knife.
For those who're chopping a sheet half "or much less, you need to use the only pass-through methodology, the place you make a single blade stroke that slices by way of the complete thickness of the fabric. Merely observe your sample down the froth till you’ve gotten the lower you need. The only-pass methodology ensures the cleanest edges, although it isn't steered for foam thicker than half ", because it turns into tough to maneuver the blade by way of the fabric easily. Utilizing the sharpest blade attainable is important for the single-pass methodology, as uninteresting knives can snag when you get into the guts of the fabric.
To make your lower, be sure that the froth is anchored at the beginning of the lower to forestall the fabric from puckering underneath stress. Start chopping from an out of doors edge each time attainable and don’t cease chopping after getting begun.
A number of-Move Chopping Technique
For closed-cell foam larger than half "thickness, it turns into tough to drag a blade by way of the fabric in a single go. Making an attempt to take action can depart snags or sloppy cuts. Luckily, the multiple-pass chopping methodology will get the job finished properly on thick sheets of closed-cell foam. Utilizing a straight-edge that runs the complete size of the lower is crucial side of this technique, as you will want a information line to observe as you make a number of slices by way of the froth.
As soon as your chopping line is established and your straight edge is in place, start your lower precisely how you probably did within the single-pass methodology. However as a substitute of plunging the blade right through the froth, solely lower about 1/8 "to 1/4" of the way in which by way of; simply sufficient to maintain the blade transferring with out pressure. Additionally it is very necessary that every shallow lower runs the complete size of the froth. Proceed to make these lengthy, shallow strokes alongside your straight-edge, chopping extra deeply every go by way of. Do that till you've absolutely sliced your manner by way of the sheet.
Probably the most generally used closed-cell foams, polyethylene has a broad vary of densities that impacts the cell measurement, firmness, and adaptability of the fabric. In its lowest densities, it has an inconsistent, bubbly cell construction, which might have an effect on how clear a leading edge is. Due to this, we recommend not utilizing scissors when chopping polyethylene. Comply with the steps for single-pass chopping on sheets thicker than half "and for thicker items of polyethylene foam, use the multi-cut methodology.