Nomafoam, the innovative, contemporary thermoplastic foam

Nomafoam high performance, lightweight thermoplastic foams have been available in the UK since 1990. During that time the range of profiles has grown dramatically in no small measure the direct result of specific project needs by design engineers and OEM’s.

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Nomafoam® high performance, lightweight thermoplastic foams have been available in the UK since 1990. During that time the range of profiles has grown dramatically in no small measure the direct result of specific project needs by design engineers and OEM’s.

At first glance it would be an easy matter to think that Nomafoam® is just another foam material. In fact it has unique properties which have enabled it to be specified and used safely and successfully in a myriad of demanding, rigorous and often unusual applications around the world.

Nomafoam® is found in a diverse range of standard components but increasingly it is the material’s capability to be customised and personalised that makes it an exciting design option with the added benefit of substantial cost savings.

Over the years the technical personnel from nmc (uk) ltd, the manufacturer, has demonstrated that early contact with design engineers will frequently lead to commercial development of a concept which, until their involvement, had remained just that – a design idea without a realisable future. The irony is that until exact design requirements are carefully identified through shared discussion the designer may not be aware of how and where Nomafoam® can be used.

The technical significance of Nomafoam®

Its insulation, acoustic, fire retardance and flame resistance properties enable Nomafoam® to be used within the most severe and demanding areas of operation including offshore. It provides high impact and vibration protection, factors which have led to its multi-use in the automotive and packaging industries.

Physically inert, resistant to temperatures between –40 and +100°C, having a water absorption of only +0.5% volume after 40 days with a thermal conductivity of 0.034W/mK at 0°C make Nomafoam® a very contemporary material capable of sustaining the most imaginative and innovative end uses.

By talking with nmc (uk) ltd detailed technical data is readily available, for example, on creep, density, elongation, stress, strain and tensile strength.

The traditional use of sheet material has resulted in high volume and expensive wastage of material plus a lack of product definition.

Nomafoam® is an extruded material with strict quality control at the point of manufacture and pre-delivery. Tight tolerances can be accommodated in the production process and a high definition finish means an aesthetically pleasing appearance when important and an ability to fit all shapes and sizes when used as an integral component. Wastage is a thing of the past.

Nomafoam® is CFC and HFC-free with an Ozone Depletion Potential of ZERO. It is non-hazardous, totally recyclable therefore minimising the cost of disposal whilst being totally safe to produce, handle, store, transport and use.

The outside of Nomafoam® is skinned. The nmc range of adhesives have been specifically developed to guarantee firm adhesion but are sufficiently “low tack” to be easily removable without marking, a major benefit already recognised by the automotive industry for windscreen protection and for bumper and door pad protection of vehicles in transit.

In either open or closed-cell foam, each with inherent linear properties, it has an automatic product memory which facilitates its re-use in practice.

Although LDPE is the most frequent component foam, the full family of material options comprises synthetic rubber; high density polystyrene; polypropylene and moulded polyurethane. As part of the company’s continuous development programme nmc(uk)ltd has recently introduced a new capability to manufacture cross-linked materials.

A very colourful solution

Nomafoam® is available in a most comprehensive range of colours making it an ideal medium where process or product identification, visual impact, marketing and corporate identity are important factors.

In the leisure industry whether for can coolers, swim floats, children’s playground equipment, equestrian centres, swimming pools or in the garden, the choice of distinctive or subtle colour shades can impact upon the public’s perception in a positive way at the same time as creating a safer and more enjoyable environment.

Assistance with prototyping

The nmc philosophy always has been to work alongside design engineers and
OEM’S to take an idea and help make it into a commercially viable product.

Assisting with prototyping is a fundamental aspect of the company’s technical support but it is critical that a considered business and production plan is available as part of the initial discussion.

Author
Tom Shelley

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