The ultimate guide to foam inserts

Foam Inserts Foam Inserts

What are foam inserts?

Foam inserts are foam pieces that are placed inside boxes and packaging to protect the contents inside. Foam inserts are typically made of a high-density polyurethane foam and are used with a range of items, from fragile antiques to specialist electronic or other bulky equipment.

The most popular type of insert is a die cut foam insert, which ensures that the item is held firmly in place. Die cut foam inserts prevent an item from moving without placing any pressure on the item itself.

What are foam inserts for?

Foam inserts – specifically, die cut foam inserts - are mostly used for protection when transporting items. These foam inserts are often block-like and feature a hollowed-out shape that exactly matches its corresponding item. These inserts hold an item in place in a storage box or case.

However, foam inserts are also used to aid the presentation of an item in a box, or to prevent items from moving around in display drawers. For example, a polyurethane foam display mat can be cut to the size of a display drawer and used to showcase precious jewellery.

Foam inserts can be custom made for a range of items, large and small. Custom foam inserts are commonly made for hard shell flight cases and cardboard boxes that are storing and transporting fragile items. These can be of an industrial size or a more personal size, such as for the inside of a personal jewellery box.

There are more practical everyday uses for foam inserts to too. Memory foam inserts are also commonly found in shoes as insoles!

What are foam inserts made of?

The most popular types of foam used are polyurethane and polyethylene foam, which are cut to fit the various items to be stored. Other types of foam used include EVA foam and EPE foam, which can be processed in certain ways to give the foam inserts additional properties, such as fire retardancy.

EVA foams, and other closed-cell foams, are great for packaging and presentation solutions where the items must be protected from moisture, heat, and other oil-based materials. The smooth-like appearance of EVA foam makes it great for display applications. On the other hand, polyurethane foam is an excellent cost-efficient option for when the main aim is to the protect goods in transit.

Foam inserts are most commonly used in packaging applications. This includes cardboard packaging solutions for goods as and when they are sold to a customer. Foam inserts are sometimes used in place of polystyrene packaging inserts when protecting higher value and fragile goods like new glassware, silverware, musical equipment such as specialist speakers, china ornaments, and more. However, foam inserts also come in the form of end caps and inserts. These are corner pieces that wrap around the edges of a product to protect it against knocks and extreme impact. These caps and inserts are usually found wrapped around goods like televisions when they are delivered.

There are many different types of foam inserts and a whole range of applications. Inserts that are frequently custom made include foam inserts for jewellery boxes, gift boxes and for gun cases. Such inserts are also used for storage solutions that hold specialist tools.

infographic foam inserts

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