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Merryweather Foam Blog

Since 1948, we have been industry leaders in fabricating unique, foam components for customers in the medical, sound absorption, automotive, and unique packaging industries. At Merryweather Foam, we pride ourselves on our ability to combine experience, innovation, and excellent customer service. We have the knowledge, manpower & equipment to help you get the job done. Visit our website to see our fabrication portfolio as well as our capabilities.

Should you be using PORON® Urethane Foams?

Also available in Medical Grades

When budgets get squeezed the selection and purchase of every component, spare part or piece of material is scrutinized carefully. Many times engineers and maintenance technicians have little choice but to go with the least expensive, despite knowing it's likely to fail prematurely. That in turn leads to unplanned downtime and additional repair work, the costs of which can quickly negate the initial savings realized.

Gaskets and sealing materials are a good illustration. In many applications a better quality foam material will last longer and reduce overall costs, yet it's difficult to convince management of this.

PORON® Urethane foam is an excellent example. Properties like superior uniformity and compression set resistance result in much longer life and potentially lower overall costs. Making the case for using PORON® hinges on understanding the differences between it and other foams, and the benefits that result.

Introduction to PORON® Urethane Foams
PORON®is the name of a family of urethane foams produced by Rogers Corporation. They use a proprietary process plus special additives to control bubble formation during the foaming reaction. This results in an open cell structure with small pores of very consistent size that are distributed evenly throughout the foam. In contrast, the pores in other foams have a far more random nature.

The benefit of uniform pore size and distribution is predictable properties and performance. Two pieces of the same grade of PORON® will display the same characteristics, (within limits, naturally,) regardless of when each was made. In fact it would be fair to call PORON® an engineered foam.

Performance Characterization
The piece-to-piece consistency of PORON® lets Rogers Corporation publish a broad array of test and measurement data. In addition to the density numbers put out by almost all foam manufacturers, Rogers provide ASTM test results along with other material properties.

In select applications it's important to know parameters like thermal conductivity, dielectric constant and surface and volume resistivity. More generally, users of flexible foam fabrications want to know about elasticity and recovery. Merryweather can provide detailed performance information for every grade of PORON® on request, but the numbers below for PORON® 4701 (a firmer grade,) should give a general appreciation.

  • Density: 15 – 30 lb/ft3
  • 25% Compression force deflection: 8 – 60 psi
  • Shore "A" durometer hardness: 18 – 55
  • Max compression set: 10%

In less technical terms, PORON® is quite soft and resists taking a compression set. In other words, it's good material for many gasket applications.

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Selecting Foam for Sealing and Gasket Applications

Fabricated Gaskets
​Gaskets come in a boundless array of shapes, sizes and materials, but they all do the same job. Gaskets exist to seal gaps. It might be the gap between two pipe flanges, the gap around an electrical cabinet, or even the gap between two pieces of ducting in an a/c system, but the gasket's job is always the same: fill that gap.

Flexible foam fabrications are often a good choice for gasket material. There are many different types of foam but most are lightweight, can be cut into various shapes, and may be purchased pre-laminated with pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) for ease of installation. Most importantly, most foams compress readily and do an excellent job of sealing out, (or keeping in,) fluids, gases, dusts and other contaminants.

For a fabricated foam gasket to perform as needed it must be matched to the application. That demands a good appreciation of the following:

  • How gaskets work
  • Typical gasket applications
  • Key performance characteristics
  • Environmental factors
  • Media
  • Foam gasketing materials available from Merryweather.

How Gaskets Work
If surfaces like pipe flanges and cabinet doors could be made perfectly flat there would be no gaps for fluid to leak through. In the real world though, surfaces are far from flat. Sheet metal panels inevitably have undulations that cause varying gaps as a door is closed and pipe flanges have machining marks that create leak paths. And even if the surfaces were smooth, alignment tolerances would still create gaps of varying widths.

A gasket is a piece of compressible material fitted between two surfaces that will be clamped together. It's job is to prevent leaks from or through the joint. Being soft, it squashes down more where the gap is smaller while remaining thicker for wider spaces. Its softness also lets it flow into small indentations on the two surfaces, blocking even microscopic leak paths.
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4 Reasons Why Our Membership with the GFA Benefits You

As proud members of the GFA, or Gasket Fabricators Association, Merryweather foam is committed to delivering the best cutting-edge solutions to their customers. Through our engagement in GFA resources and events, our company connects with the best suppliers and innovators in our industry to ensure we remain competitive, agile and powerful for our end customer - you. We aren't content to rest on our laurels, despite having some of the industry's most cutting-edge choices in cutting edges - Water Jet Cutting, Die Cutting, Contour Cutting and more - as well as customer-focused production techniques and a commitment to overall product quality. Partnering with the GFA as a member has allowed us to expand our expertise:

Annual Meetings
As with many fabrication-based industries, a single piece of technology or technique breakthrough can provide better products, pricing and efficiency virtually overnight. GFA membership gives Merryweather Foam access to twice a year membership meetings. These gatherings allow us to peruse new suppliers and lock in component and equipment deals that empower us to deliver a more valuable product to you, our customers. 

A Strong Network of Peers
The seminars, presentations and networking opportunities enjoyed by GFA members allow us to meet and stay in contact with peers that can offer guidance for unique challenges. We pride ourselves in staying up-to-date on the latest problem-solving techniques in the foam fabrication field, and GFA seminars give our team the knowledge and network contacts they need to serve you.

Technical Webinars
Important industry news travels fast, and if it happens between annual meetings, GFA webinars help us stay informed. By virtually connecting with and learning from the brightest minds in our field, we're always well ahead of changes and ready to take advantage of any potential opportunities on your behalf. 

The TechTeam™
The TechTeam™ is a valuable panel of experts assembled and serving in conjunction with the International Association of Die cutting and Die making. The team is a unique GFA membership benefit that extends the reach of our problem-solving skills by giving us access to sharp industry minds outside of our factory walls. If you have an unusual product or unusual fabrication needs, we are able to confer with the TechTeam™ for new ideas and a fresh outlook, giving you the benefit of efficiency.

At Merryweather Foam Inc, our membership in the GFA is only part of our commitment to our customers. We know that the needs and demands of the marketplace - whether they're for retail goods, equipment operation and protection, filtering or other applications - deserve to be met as affordably and quickly as possible, and with the highest degree of skill and quality available. We're proud to meet those demands every day, and invite you to contact us for all of your foam fabrication needs.

To learn more about the Gasket Fabricators Association, visit their website. Also, we would love to help you with your next project--please get in touch with us if you are in need of help. 

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Advanced Cushioning & Gasketing with PORON® Urethanes

PORON® Urethane foams from Rogers Corporation offer high performance solutions that help solve a variety of industry problems. Serving a range of markets, from mobile communications to automotive to more general industrial needs, PORON® Urethane foams exceed performance expectations from one use to the next. Whether sealing against dust, managing vibrations, or providing impact protection, PORON® Urethanes can help.


With an impressive catalog of options, Rogers' PORON® Urethane foams are available in a wide range of thickness options. In addition to performance within an application, PORON® Urethane materials are also easy to fabricate. And while features such as excellent compression set resistance, low outgassing, and good chemical resistance are important, Rogers' materials provide peace of mind. With proprietary technology and a thorough understanding of the markets they serve, Rogers engineers its materials with the end use in mind. But with materials of this quality, "end" is not a word they use very often. Visit our materials page for more information on PORON® or please contact us and we would be happy to help you.

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Rotary Die Cutting - Foam Fabrication Capability

Rotary die cutting can be used to create shapes, creases, folds and guides in foam and plastic materials.

What Fabrication Processes Are Available to Business Owners?

Anytime a business needs to produce large numbers of identical and highly accurate shapes through cutting, forming and shaping sheet or rolled metal, or some other material, such as paper or plastic, business owners frequently use a versatile fabrication process called die cutting.

Different manufacturers use varying die cutting processes, which include:

  • Flatbed
  • Press
  • Laser
  • Rotary

What Is the Rotary Die Cutting Fabrication Process and Why Is It Chosen So Often?

Since the rotary die cutting procedure takes place on a heavy-duty cylindrical anvil, or rotary press, it provides a stable and efficient method that works well for clients' high-volume projects. This type of fabrication process produces little waste, mostly due to the sheer simplicity of the machine's design and specific capabilities.

Similar to the idea of a mold in other processes, a die serves as the customized tool that makes the cuts and shapes in the materials chosen. the The most common dies used in the process include engraved dies that offer stability and a solid base due to its mass, adjustable dies for varied blade options and magnetic plate tooling that also offers a stabilizing force due to the power of the magnets.

The rotary die cutting process begins when an operator feeds a long web or sheet of material into the die cutting machine's "station," which is the spot that contains the rotary cutting tool that creates the designed shapes by various methods, including cutting programmed shapes, creating perforations and creases or whittling the sheet or web down to smaller pieces. A set of well-calibrated gears ensure that a rotary die cutting machine will work at the same speed as the rest of the process for high accuracy and quality. As for the flexible foam material, it goes through the machine, the small amount of waste material filters into a catcher for easy clean-up and disposal.

Since the rotary die cutting cylinders feature a limited size, they are only suitable for smaller projects — a few feet wide or less — but that still leaves plenty of options for manufacturers, which include:

  • Polyester foam packaging
  • Gasket foam seals
  • Polyester foam rollers
  • Waterjet cut foam gasketing
  • Waterjet cut polyester foam spiral
  • Polyester foam case insert
  • Reticulated polyurethane foam filter
  • Flexible gasketing material
  • Fabricated foam gasket

Ultimately, this process offers many benefits to a company that regularly needs precision cutting on various materials, quick turnaround times and the potential for taking on multiple projects at once since users can combine die cutting with coating, embossing and lathing processes.

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