PU foam (polyurethane) is created in a basic chemical rection of a Polyol and Isocyanate

PU Foam corrugation, black

The final product is determined by the addition of other chemicals but also by the actual polyol type determines the 2 basic family types.

  • Polyether PU Foam (ether foam) – These tend to be the softest of grades and used in many retail and low cost applications. Densities range from 15 – 30 Kg/m³ as standard but others are available. The foams are prone to “blow holes” due to the foaming process.
  • Polyester PU Foam (ester foam) – Mainly of improved physical properties, and controlled cell structure. Densities in general are from 20 – 60Kg/m³ Used where better performance is required and more technical characteristics.

PU foam is also known as Sponge, because early grades were developed that gave the look of  Natural Sea Sponges, and are used for car sponges or bath sponges. Intec Foams has the ability to create shapes from these grades for bespoke applications.

Compared to most foams, Flexible Polyurethane PU Foams are of low density with a variety of inbuilt properties designed for specific applications.

There are also some grades of sponge and foam that have been developed with Hydrophilic properties, used for absorbing water e.g. in the Pottery Industry for removing water from pots before firing.

Technical Grades exist, which are derivatives of the above 2 family types:

PU foam blocks of assorted colours

Reticulated PU Foams

Special foams where the cell windows have been completely removed by a controlled explosion technique called “Zapped” Reticulation; in polyether and polyester grades. Available in different porosities to filter out different particle sizes.

Reticulated PU Foams Polyether

  • 10ppi to 60ppi for aquatic and pond filtration
  • 100ppi is available.There is a special 50 – 65ppi that has been developed for HME Filters and a 75ppi for Ink reservoirs, ink rollers and ink pads.


  • 10ppi to 90ppi for air and gas filtration.
  • Q110ppi (a special chemical etching reticulation process called “Quenching”) developed for cosmetic and medical applicators. This has a large MOQ

Typical Applications:

  • Water Filters
  • Pond Pump Filters
  • Tertiary Sewage Tank Filters
  • Heat & Moisture Exchange Filters
  • Cosmetic Foams
  • Air Filters
  • Ink Reservoirs
  • Pre-Cursor’s for Ceramic or Metal Filters
  • Many More

Sealtec PU Foam

Produced in polyether and polyester grades for low compression seals to replace heavier/higher density EPDM in Automotive applications where weight saving is important.. Needs to be compressed by 60 – 70% to achieve a seal.

Typical applications

  • Automotive lamp cluster seals
  • Automotive door seals
  • Caravan window and skylight seals

Sealtec Aqua PU Foam (new product)

Sealtec – Aqua has been developed to provide reliable sealing against gases, liquids and particulates at reduced levels of compression, in comparison to traditional PU sealing foams which have inferior qualities.  Needs only a 30% compression to achieve a seal.

Key Features v’s conventional PU foams for sealing

  • Improved Durability
  • Improved Hydrolytic Stability (better in water/moisture)
  • Lower compression to create a seal
  • Fine cell structure
  • Soft
  • Low density

Firetec PU Foam

Available in polyether and polyester versions, with UL94 HF1 and V0 grades of fire retardancy which is an important factor in many electronic and acoustical applications. Also to BS 476 part 6 & 7 Class O for the Building & Construction Industry

Typical Uses:

  • Lining of Electrical/ Electronic Cabinets
  • Lining of Acoustic Hoods and Generator Housings
  • HVAC panels for acoustic applications
  • Transfer rollers in high tech business machines
  • Prison Cell Mattresses
  • Fire-blockers for seating applications in aircraft

SAF (Shock Absorption Foams) Visco Elastic PU foams

Similar in nature to memory foam used in mattresses, except ours exhibit improved visco-elastic behaviour similar to Conforfoam™ but at a fraction of the price. Ideal for comfort management and protective padding applications especially shock absorption foam products.

  • Soften and conform when exposed to heat.
  • Virtually pressure free support
  • High energy absorption (up to 97% of an impact)
  • Resist Compression set

Typical Uses:

  • Wheelchair Cushions
  • Medical slings
  • Wrist rests
  • Shoe Insoles

Felted Foams

These are special grades of PU foams that are thermally compressed until the foam takes a compression set. Effectively, this treatment increases the density, reduces the pore size and makes the foam firmer.

This is especially effective when taking a reticulated foam and felting it. By reducing the cell size, it creates a structure which creates a “Wicking” effect and draws in liquids into the foam structure. Ideal for the creation of an ink reservoir.

The foam can be compressed by several factors, only restricted by the height of the daylight press and the final thickness required.

Typical Uses:

  • Ink rollers
  • Ink pads
  • Acoustic pads
  • Filters
  • High density padding

Most PU foams can be felted and some others too.

Special grades:

Polyurethane Foams can be developed to give specific properties or adding to existing grades

  • Automotive Foam Types
  • Anti-Microbial & Biocide additives to Resist Growth of mould/mildew
  • Anti-Static
  • Edge weldable
  • Water Seal (Superseal)
  • Low Permeability
  • Thermoformable
  • Hydrophilic – (Absorbs water)
  • High Elongation – Neoprene Replacement
  • UV Stabilised foams (Staywhite)
  • Many Others

Intec Foams manage both large and small enquiries, we are here to help.

Should you have a specific requirement or enquiry for these products or any other potential application, please give us a call on 01283 225796 for a friendly impartial discussion, or simply complete our online web form or email us at: info@intecfoams.co.uk and we will respond immediately.