Everyone that buys a low-end plastic chair understands two basic things: one, the chair will likely be cheap and two, they will likely need to buy a replacement shortly after due to minimal construction qualities. What if these qualities could be enhanced in production? Structural foam provides the strength that will make chairs last. Whether it’s an Adirondack chair or stadium seating, structural foam produces a strong, durable plastic product at a cost reduction.
With new stadiums popping up every year, the design teams and owners want the same thing, something that will last. The same is concept is applied to the seating, they want quality that will hold up. Unlike thermoformed seating options, structural foam creates a much stronger piece of material that will outlast the harsh elements in an outdoor setting. While the average fan usually does not even notice the seat they occupy inside the stadium, they will quickly focus on it if the seat is not up to usual standards.
Structural foam molding is an injection molding process, where virtually any thermoplastic can be foamed, that creates a bonelike core which equates up to a 20% lighter product, reducing cost while increasing strength.
Just how strong is structural foam? The molded products made from structural foam are 3 to 4 times more rigid than solid parts of the same weight. In addition to the high stiffness to weight ratio, structural foam products have low warp and part stress, which makes structural foam molding perfect for the seating industry.
Structural foam can also have significant advantages over alternative processes such as rotational molding, die cast, stamped metal, smc, thermoforming, rim and fiberglass layup. The biggest advantage? A reduction in cost and increases in performance offering a significantly higher ROI than rotational molding process.