Material Spotlight: ISOLOSS LS Polyurethane Foams
At JBC Technologies we often speak with customers that have a need for laminated and die-cut microcellular soft and very soft open cell polyether polyurethane foams. In today’s volatile environment with tight supply chains and unpredictable lead times, it is good to have options – so for today’s material spotlight we’ve chosen to feature an option that checks off a lot of boxes: ISOLOSS™ LS Polyurethane Foam, manufactured by Aearo Technologies LLC, an independent wholly owned3M subsidiary. 3M works with Aearo Technologies to provide ISOLOSS™ LS Foam to the broader market. Not only are these foams easily and cleanly processed using different types of equipment, but our partners at 3M are committed to doing what it takes to assist us in getting samples in your hands as quickly as possible. Another benefit: if you are already using a 3M adhesive, having one material manufacturer that can supply both the foam and the adhesive, streamlines the supply chain.
Here’s a short list of things you should know about these versatile foams.
What are ISOLOSS™ LS Polyurethane Foams?
ISOLOSS™ LS Polyurethane Foams are a family of durable all-purpose microcellular polyurethane foams. They are ideal for energy absorption, cushioning, gasketing, and sealing applications that require a low compression set and consistent force deflection. Available in a range of densities, stiffnesses and thicknesses, these UL gasket and seal rated foams can have a broad temperature range, with a maximum operating temperature up to 107℃ and minimum as low as -40°C. Thanks to these and other benefits, die-cut ISOLOSS™ LS Foams are often used for gasketing, sealing, cushioning and vibration control in heavy equipment, appliances, HVAC, general industrial, medical equipment/ hard goods, and automotive exterior applications – essentially anywhere there is a need for lightweight, efficient vibration and energy control solution.
Are ISOLOSS™️ LS Foams Right for My Application?
The best way to determine if ISOLOSS™️ LS Foams are right for your application is to contact JBC to get samples for testing – but if you are looking for a quick list to help you narrow down options, consider the following.
ISOLOSS™️ LS Foams might be a good fit for your application if…
- You need a soft or very soft open cell foam that can conform to irregular and uneven surfaces
- Your application requires a foam that needs to maintain its original fit, form and function under changing compression cycles
- Your application requires a foam that is resilient and durable and can maintain its shape under extreme environmental conditions
- Your application requires a foam that exhibits strong energy absorption characteristics
- Lightweighting is a priority
4 Benefits of ISOLOSS™️ LS Foam
There are a number of fit, form, and functional benefits associated with ISOLOSS™️ LS Foam, a few of which are listed below.
1 - Low Compression Set
One of the core differentiators of ISOLOSS™️ LS Foams is that they experience less than 1% compression set at room temperature per ASTM D1667. This low compression set, coupled with the exceptional durability of the foam, enables it to hold its shape under stress. This means that the die-cut gasket, cushion, or seal will return to its original thickness after repeated / continuous compression, maintaining the same form, fit, and function throughout its entire operating cycle, providing consistent performance throughout the life of the product. This is particularly important in long-term gasketing and sealing applications that will experience constant use and changing compression, like an enclosure door opening and closing.
2 - Wide Range of Densities & Thicknesses
Whereas some competitive microcellular polyurethane foams are available only in 15 lb/ft3 density and above, ISOLOSS™️ LS Foams start at 10 lb/ft3 density.. Because the lower density foam will actually work in many applications that currently call for the 15 lb/ft3 density, it presents an opportunity for both cost savings and lightweighting.
- Available Densities (lb/ft3): 10, 15, 20, 25
- Available Thicknesses: 1/32”, 1/16”, 3/32”, 1/8”, 3/16”, 1/4”, 3/8”, ½
3 - Tight Compression Force Deflection Ratings
For most gasketing and sealing applications, the foam that is chosen needs to be soft enough to compressand have enough pushback force to spring back. .In many applications, foam is in different compressive states throughout normal use cycles and it is important to know how the foam will perform at different levels of compression. This is measured through compression force deflection (CFD). CFD measures how stiff the material is when you squeeze it and is used to determine the performance of a seal or gasket by measuring the force required to compress the material to a specific thickness... Most competitors provide the CFD at 25% compression. ISOLOSS™️ LS Foams provide a “sweep” of measurements every 10% from 0-70% compression enabling product designers to design with tighter tolerances.
CFD targets can be achieved through optimal product selection of density & thickness
- You provide us a CFD window with the minimum and maximum kPa and % compression
- Your JBC Technologies representative will work directly with our partners at 3M to select the LS Foam to meet your application requirements
4 - Resiliency and Vibration Damping for Effective Noise Control
As indicated above, the low compression set properties demonstrate that LS foam is a resilient foam that can withstand repeated impact or energy forces without taking a set. Its conformability, high strength and controlled compression characteristics combine to make it an ideal solution for vibration damping and isolation applications. The air in the foam is inherently damping because it acts as a cushion upon impact, thereby reducing shock. And, because it is so compressible, it can fill gaps between two hard or uneven surfaces that might otherwise produce unwanted sound. As a result, ISOLOSS™️ LS Foam is quite effective at vibration isolation and damping to reduce noise, vibration and harshness and to mitigate buzz, squeak, and rattle.
JBC: Your Partner for Custom Die-Cutting and Flexible Materials Converting
As a premier flexible materials converter, JBC Technologies partners with many industry leading material manufacturers like 3M to provide our customers with the highest quality die-cut products. Whether your goals are lightweighting, noise reduction, thermal management, bonding, sealing, or gasketing, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about how our custom engineered die-cut solutions can help you convert your design concepts into reality.