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Chemically cross-linked polyolefin polyethylene

The chemical cross-linking process undertaken on this type of foam interweaves the cell structures and creates a rounder improved cell shape. The benefits of this extra processing include an improved texture to the material as the cells are uniform and an enhanced performance on the standard properties, such as higher strength to weight ratios

Environmentally, this material has little impact because it is easy to recycle and is non-toxic. Roll foams of this type are extruded with fairly large cells and strong cell walls, giving a resilient surface. Block foams are available in two types made in two differing processes:

  1. We have a comprehensive range of chemically cross-linked, chemically expanded block manufactured by heating blended polymer pads in moulds to expand them - very much like baking a loaf of bread. Typically the block thickness generated through this process is around 90mm.
  2. We also have a comprehensive range of physically expanded block using a unique high-pressure nitrogen process, which is clean, environmentally friendly and does not cause contamination. These foams are particularly good for packaging and conservation of archival items as they do not cause staining or corrosion and do not impart odour. They have a noticeably more rigid feel and a consistent density throughout the block. They are manufactured under the brand names of Plastazote & Evazote.

Typically the block thickness generated through this physical expansion is about 35mm. Prices tend to be higher than the heated and chemically expanded products.

XPE Foam Roll

How is it supplied?

We can supply these types in either roll or block form.

Our extruded stock rolls are typically between 45 to 200m in length, 1 or 1.5m in height, 3 to 10mm in thickness and with densities ranging between 25 to 50kg/m3. These roll foams have a hard-wearing surface and we can supply some grades with a metallic surface for extra thermal performance and visual appeal.

Blocks come with a skin finish to the outer faces and our stocks are typically between 1.5 to 2m in length, 0.85 to 1.2m in width, 26 to 105mm in thickness and with densities ranging between 15 to 167kg/m3.

Flame retardant options are also available.

Camper CM-F3VR008L Marine Blue corner closeup


Closed cell chemically cross-linked polyolefin polyethylene has a pleasing texture and visual appearance because of its uniform closed cell structure. It is flexible and chemically resistant and so is not prone to breaking down through vibration, oils, greases or solvents and it has a good resilience to water.

The material has a high resistance to everyday wear and tear and it has resistance to temperatures typically in the range of –60OC to +90OC, ensuring excellent thermal insulation and heat transfer reduction properties for your application. Also it gives an excellent performance in the reduction of noise - for instance when used in gaskets and seals - as well as guarding against dust and moisture. Its shock absorption properties are also notable, providing protection to your sensitive equipment.

The cross-linked, closed cell structure is typically 99.8+% non absorbent to liquid.

Routing Result


Closed cell chemically cross-linked polyolefin is easy to process and convert through slitting, band sawing, die cutting, butt welding, lamination, gluing and routing or milling. It can be adhered or laminated to other materials, such as other foams, textiles or polymers. Other processes, such as embossing, printing or press forming can also be performed.

Common Uses: Gaskets, seals, fillers, expansion joiners, case inserts, tool control, padding for sporting equipment, leisure equipment manufacture, marine buoyancy, formers and fenders, insulation, packaging and health care applications. It is widely used in the automotive and construction industries.

Beacons factory_16

                                                                               Chemically expanded block.