structural foam
May 24
The Role of Structural Foam in Modern Industries
  • May 2, 2024
  • Linden Polyurethane Team

What is Structural Foam?

Structural foam is an umbrella term for a wide range of materials with a microcellular structure.

These materials are highly moldable and formed through a unique foaming process, involving a chemical blowing agent and a plastic polymer. During the process, the two materials mix and the blowing agent decompresses, releasing a gas that creates a cellular structure within the material. The result is a product that’s strong, durable, and extremely lightweight. Typically, parts made out of this type of foam have a dense outer skin and a lightweight, foamed core, providing an excellent strength-to-weight ratio.

So, what is structural foam used for, exactly? Where can you find it and what are its benefits? Let’s dive into the specifics.

How is Structural Foam Used in Modern Industries?

Structural foam is made similarly to polyurethane and can come in a wide range of finishes. That’s exactly why it’s so popular for a wide range of products! From insulation to automotive components, you can find it everywhere in modern-day life. Let’s look at some of these applications in-depth.


Both closed-cell and open-cell structural foam varieties are popular choices for insulation. Experienced professionals will use specialized equipment to spray foam directly into the building. From there, it expands and fills in any gaps. Using polyurethane foam for insulation provides a range of benefits, including:

  • Energy savings: Because of its high R-value, structural foam can result in energy savings for residential and commercial properties. The insulation effectively seals cracks and gaps, reducing air leakage.
  • Mold deterrent: Closed-cell foam is made of elastomeric foam, which means it won’t absorb moisture and reduces the risk of mold growth.
  • Sound barrier: Open-cell foam is a great way to improve the soundproofing in buildings. Because the foam is porous, it absorbs sound waves and contributes to a more peaceful environment.

Automotive Components

Due to its versatile and lightweight nature, this kind of foam is common for many automotive uses. It can be found in everything from car seats and headrests to dashboards and door panels.

Marine Applications

Because structural foam is corrosion-resistant and has low water absorption, it’s ideal for marine applications. Overall, it provides buoyancy and structural support while withstanding harsh marine environments.

Sports and Recreation

From surfboards and kayaks to playground equipment, structural foam is everywhere. It’s lightweight yet durable, making it the perfect choice for many sports and recreation equipment.


This kind of foam can even be found in packaging applications. Many companies opt for structural packaging foam because it offers excellent shock absorption and protects fragile items during transit.

Why Use Structural Foam Over Other Options?

Structural foam isn’t the only kind of material you can use to create products. You might also choose solid plastics, metals, composite materials, or another material. However, structural foam provides benefits that these options can’t match. They include:

  • Strength-to-weight ratio: As mentioned above, foam is lightweight yet strong, making it ideal for reducing weight without compromising structural integrity.
  • Cost-effectiveness: This kind of foam is often less expensive than other building materials, positively impacting your bottom line.
  • Chemical resistance: In industries where exposure to chemicals is common, this foam’s resistance to corrosion and chemicals makes it a preferred choice.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the benefits, either. Want to learn more about if structural foam is right for your application? Talk to the experts at Linden Polyurethane.

Looking for Structural Foam Solutions? Turn to Linden

For all things polyurethane, turn to Linden for help. Founded in 1985, we are a world-class designer, engineer, manufacturer, and service provider for standard and custom polyurethane machinery. This includes both polyurethane equipment and a wide variety of mix heads. We can help you understand what’s best for your business, matching you with the right equipment for your needs.

Since our inception, we’ve pioneered many polyurethane innovations. Additionally, we’ve refined the tools and equipment used by countless industries. Today, we’re able to design and manufacture all kinds of polyurethane metering, processing, distribution, and storage systems in-house, as well as provide service and repair for equipment manufactured by other organizations.

We also partner with organizations that have demonstrated their expertise in their respective segments in the polyurethane industry. With these partnerships, we can bring their expertise to the North American market. These companies include Isotherm AG, Polytec EMC, Feedall Automation, and more.

Let’s Get Started

If you’re ready to learn more about how we can help you meet your polyurethane needs, reach out to us today.


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