Precision Foam Skiving

Precision Foam Skiving

Cutting thick or large foam blocks into uniform sheets can be a challenge. Foam skiving transforms standard slabs of polyurethane foam into custom layers of precise thickness in a quick, standardized process.

Not sure whether Merryweather Foam’s skiving machining services are right for your project? Read on for answers to all your foam skiving questions, including:

    • What does skiving mean?
    • How does a skiving cutter work?
    • What are the advantages of skiving over other foam cutting methods?
    • Which industries can benefit the most from foam skiving machining services?

    Then reach out to request a quote or get our expert advice on the perfect foam products and processes from Merrywether that will meet your needs.

    What Is Foam Skiving?

    Foam skiving is the process of horizontally slicing a thick foam material into thinner layers. The skilled technicians at Merryweather perform skiving with state-of-the-art machinery and software for precision cutting. Sometimes called a continuous band knife or foam splitter, this top-quality skiving cutter looks like a bandsaw laid on its side and suspended over a conveyor belt.

    The blade is actually a steel belt that’s 1 millimeter (0.040 inch) thick with a very sharp edge. This band is positioned horizontally above the cutting bed and looped over two drums that maintain downward pressure while the foam block moves through it. This configuration helps the blade slice cleanly and evenly through the foam block, creating perfectly even sheets of uniform thickness.

    Advantages of Foam Skiving

    When efficiency, precision, and cost-effectiveness are paramount, foam skiving brings many advantages to the table. The benefits of our custom skiving cutter services include:

      • Zero Waste – Other cutting methods, like sawing and water-jet cutting, lose some material thickness as they cut. This wasted material is called kerf – and there is no kerf in our skiving machining. Zero waste means lower overall costs.
      • Negligible Dust – Another downside to traditional cutting is the way the saw’s teeth chew away little chips of material. These foam “dust” particles stick to everything and generally make a mess. Almost no dust means less downtime between jobs and faster turnaround times.
      • Smooth Edges – Traditionally sawn edges are rough and untidy looking. Foam skiving yields perfectly smooth edges. That means no secondary cleanup and less potential for fitting problems.
      • Close Tolerances – The precision skiving cutter we use at Merryweather keeps the blade tight and parallel to the cutting bed. That means we can maintain tight tolerances and deliver uniform sheets of consistent thickness.
      • Continuous Resharpening – Cutting edges in other processes get dull with use, which can result in a finish on the final piece cut that’s different from the first piece cut. Our precision foam skiving machine continuously sharpens the blade, so every piece looks identical – whether you’ve ordered 10 or several thousand.

      Merryweather Foam’s Skiving Process

      Here’s what happens when you partner with Merryweather Foam for your precision skiving machining needs:

      1. Our technicians carefully review the specs you’ve provided, noting the exact thickness you require in your foam sheets, the type of foam material required, and the total number of sheets to be delivered.
      2. The technician enters the desired thickness into the software linked to our skiving cutter and verifies that the specs are correct.
      3. The technician places the foam piece to be cut on the cutting bed, ensuring it is flush with the bed edge.
      4. When the technician indicates that the material is ready, the machine pulls the foam slab through the cutting area to the far side of the machine.
      5. The cutting blade lowers to the prespecified height.
      6. The foam block is pushed horizontally through the knife blade, which slices off a sheet of material of the desired thickness.
      7. The technician guides the process, then removes the sliced sheet from the skiving cutter and sets it aside.
      8. The process takes less than half a minute per sheet and is repeated until the entire block has been skived.

      Industries That Benefit From Foam Skiving

      Merryweather Foam is proud to be one of the leading custom foam suppliers for a variety of industries. Our precision foam skiving services complement the full slate of capabilities we offer and can be combined with other services, like adhesive lamination, to produce a wide range of custom foam products. Industries that can benefit from our skiving process include: Medical – From the cushions on hospital beds to the sound dampening that protects patient privacy, foam skiving enhances the custom foam medical supplies for the medical industry that Merryweather delivers. Industrial – Whether you need uniform foam sheets for insulation, shock absorption, or safety, Merryweather can accommodate the fast turnaround times that keep industrial projects on schedule. Automotive -The comfort, quietness, and performance of most cars rely on precisely skived foam. Engineers and OEM manufacturers in the automotive industry develop innovative solutions in partnership with Merryweather Foam’s skiving services. Appliances – Custom-width sheets of foam are necessary to produce properly insulated refrigerators, freezers, water heaters, and other consumer goods in the appliance industry. Merryweather Foam delivers cost-effective foam skiving to help meet energy-efficiency standards while staying within budget parameters.

      Overview

      Skiving entails pushing a solid block of polyurethane foam through the blade of a knife. The blade is actually a steel belt around 1mm (0.040″) thick with a very sharp edge, and is positioned horizontally above the machine table. To help the blade cut its looped over two drums that pull it perpendicular to the direction the block is moving. These two motions help the blade slice through the material, shaving off the thickness required. The skiving machine, sometimes called a continuous bandknife or a foam splitter, looks rather like a bandsaw laid down on its side. Keeping the blade under tension ensures it doesn’t sag, so we can cut a block of foam into thin sheets quickly and efficiently.