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Foam Selection Guide

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Determine the “fragility” level of your product-using Chart 1 as a guideline.
  2. Determine your product's static loading on the foam (psi). Do this by dividing your products gross weight by the largest surface area that will rest on the foam (square inches).
    Example: If your product weighs 10 lbs. and the largest surface area which will rest on the foam insert is 25 in.2, the static loading will be 0.4 p.s.i. (10/25 = .04)
  3. Match your answer to Chart 2.
  4. Find your foam on Chart 3. Enter at your products fragility level, move horizontally to intersect the drop height curve. Then move vertically from the point of intersection to determine the required foam thickness.
Chart 1: Approximate Fragility of Typical Packaged Articles
Extremely Fragile Missile guidance systems, precision aligned test instruments 15-25 g’s
Very Delicate Mechanically shock-mounted instruments and electronic equipment (Shock mounts should be firmly secure prior to packaging. They are provided for in-service protection only.) 25-40 g’s
Delicate Aircraft accessories, electric typewriters, cash registers and other electronically operated office equipment 40-60 g’s
Moderately Delicate Television receivers, aircraft accessories 60-85 g’s
Moderately Rugged Laundry equipment, refirgerators, appliances 85-115 g’s
Rugged Machinery 115 g’s and up
Chart 2: Foam Selection
Static Loading Recommended Foam
0.1 to 3.5 2# polyurethane
3.5 to 6.0 4# polyurethane
0.6 to 1.2 2# polyethylene
Chart 3: Foam Thickness

2 pound/foot3 polyurethane

4 pound/foot3 polyurethane

2 pound/foot3 polyethylene

Typical Drop Heights

Type of Handling Weight of Item (lbs) Drop Height (in)
Heavy equipment 250+ 12
Light equipment 100-250 18
2 people carrying 50-100 24
1 person carrying (arms down) 20-50 30
1 person carrying (arms extended) 10-20 36
1 person throwing 0-10 42