Home / Library / Glossary


Glossary of Terms

ASTM: American Society for Testing Materials. This organization develops testing standards to determine the properties and performance of materials.

CFC’s: Chlorofluorocarbons. Any of several organic compounds composed of carbon, fluorine, chlorine, and hydrogen. Contributes to stratospheric ozone depletion.

Closed-Cell: A cell totally enclosed by its walls, and therefore does not interconnect with other cells.

Compression Creep: The loss of thickness of a material under a constant load over a specific period of time.

Compression Deflection: The amount of force required to compress a foam specimen by a given percentage over the entire top area of the specimen. Usually expressed in pounds per square inch.

Crosslinked: The establishment of a chemical bond between the molecular chains of a given polymer, thereby imparting superior physical properties.

Cushion Curves: Reams of statistics that are material specific, related to G factor, allowing optimal solutions with cost always a factor. Measures the amount of cushioning protection provided by packaging materials of a specific density and thickness.

Density: Describes the weight per unit volume of a material – usually expressed in PCF (per cubic foot) – weight of one cubic ft. (12″ x 12″ x 12″) or kg/m3 (kilograms per cubic meter).

EIFS: Exterior Insulation Finishing System such as dryvit.

Elongation: The maximum length a material can be stretched without tearing, or exhibiting permanent distortions. The value expressed as percentage of the materials original length.

EPS: Expanded Polystyrene, also know as beadboard.

Density/Compression Codes: i.e. 1232 indicates a density of 1.2 PCF’s and an ILD or IFD of 32 lbs. Important designation for PU.

G Factor: A measure of fragility ranging from extremely delicate (15-25 G’s) to rugged (115 G’s).

HCFC’s: Hydro chlorofluorocarbons. Gaseous compounds that contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion.

ICF’s: Insulated Concrete Forms

ILD or IFD: Initial load deflection or initial force deflection. This is a gauging of compression, i.e.: softness or firmness. The higher the number the firmer the foam.

K-Factor: A measure of thermal conductivity. The amount of heat (BTUs) that is transmitted through one square foot of a material, one inch thick, during a period of one hour. Lower values indicate better insulating properties.

kPa – Kilo Pascals: Metric equivalent to PSI (pounds per square inch).

Laminate: Product made by bonding together two or more layers of similar, or dissimilar materials.

Non-Reticulated PU: A random network of cells found in ethers, esters, and grafted. 99% of polyurethane packaging foam is non-reticulated.

Open-Cell: A cell is not totally enclosed by its walls and therefore exhibits a predominance of interconnecting cells.

PE: Polyethylene foam.

PP: Polypropylene foam.

PSA: Pressure sensitive adhesive that can be applied to all foams.

PSI: Pounds per square inch.

PU: Polyurethane foam. Also know as flexible urethane.

Resilience: The ability of a material to recover from impressions and withstand additional impacts. Usually expressed as the ratio of return to impressed energy.

Reticulated PU: A foam with a network of uniform cells, used to filter everything from blood to air. Often referred to as PPI (pores per inch) foam.

R-value: Unit of measure describing the ability of an insulation to resist heat flow. Higher values permit less heat flow.

SIPs: Thermal Foam Structural Insulated Panels.

Tensile Strength: The maximum amount of stress a material can withstand without tearing while being stretched lengthwise.

Thermal Stability: Dimensional stability in any direction of a material at elevated temperatures.