Halco is a major supplier of specialty hook and loop materials and components into medical, transportation, defense and general industrial markets. It’s quite common for hook & loop to be sewn or adhered into a product made with textiles, but the second most common substrate for hook & loop fasteners is probably foam.
Whether it’s a medical device, an automotive product or a solution for the defense industry, foam and hook & loop are frequent companions. Halco helps engineers and designers integrate foam and hook & loop fastening systems into one seamless design. Halco also provides converting and contract manufacturing services to join these materials together into a part or component that is supplied to the customer for their final design.
Types of Foam Used with Hook & Loop
Here are some of the most commonly used foam types with hook and loop fasteners. The choice of foam depends on the specific application and the desired characteristics:
- Polyethylene (PE) Foam: PE foam is a versatile and lightweight foam material. It has good shock absorption properties and provides cushioning. PE foam is commonly used in packaging, protective cases, and padding applications where hook and loop fastening is required.
- Polyurethane (PU) Foam: PU foam is a flexible and resilient material with excellent cushioning and impact absorption properties. It is often used in upholstery, automotive interiors, and sports equipment. PU foam can be easily attached to hook and loop fasteners for securing various components.
- EVA Foam: Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) foam is a soft and flexible material known for its durability and shock absorption properties. It is commonly used in footwear, orthotics, and protective gear. EVA foam can be easily bonded with hook and loop fasteners for closures and adjustable straps.
- Closed-Cell Foam: Closed-cell foams, such as neoprene foam, provide excellent water resistance and buoyancy. They are commonly used in water sports equipment, marine applications, and wetsuits. Closed-cell foams can be used with hook and loop fasteners for secure closures and adjustable fittings.
- Cross-Linked Polyethylene (XLPE) Foam: XLPE foam is a dense and durable foam material with excellent chemical resistance. It is commonly used in industrial applications, such as gaskets, seals, and insulation. XLPE foam can be used in combination with hook and loop fasteners for closures and attachment points.
These are just a few examples of foam materials commonly used with hook and loop fasteners. The specific requirements of the application, such as desired cushioning, flexibility, water resistance, or durability, will determine the most suitable foam type to use. The data sheets provided by foam material manufacturers commonly provide the density, tensile strength, tear strength, elongation, shore hardness and performance related to compression, water absorption, temperature and flammability.
Attaching Hook & loop to foam
Depending on the materials chosen, hook and loop can be secured to the specified foam using liquid adhesives (such as a hot melt), pressure sensitive adhesives, welding and sewing operations. Many manufacturers already have these capabilities in house, but Halco also often operates as a contract manufacturer where die-cutting, bonding, welding and sewing services are needed to make a specific component.
Pressure Sensitive Adhesives. Halco provides a comprehensive selection of pressure sensitive adhesives that bond well to most foams. See our Adhesives Selection Guide for more information
- Rubber adhesives. For indoor, room temperature applications, Halco Type 4 adhesive works well on most foam materials except for EVA and PVC. For these two materials, choose 9472le.
- Acrylic adhesives. Halco frequently uses 3M’s 9775wl adhesive for lamination to most foams except for EVA and PVC. 6038pc is often used in automotive applications. Both of these adhesives are in the 300MP acrylic adhesive family and have proven performance on foam. 9472le is sometimes used to adhere to closed cell foams.
Welding. For permanent bonds, hook & loop can be welded to foam using heat sealing, RF or ultrasonic welding and solvent-based welding. For heat welding, Halco supplies a heat activated welding tape, Halco Premium Weldable WDF1. If you need welding services, please speak with one of our representatives.
Sewing. Halco frequently provides sewing services especially in the fabrication of custom straps. If you need sewing services, please speak with one of our representatives.
Halco’s specialty hook & loop products are an excellent choice to pair with a wide variety of foam materials. Talk to us about the best pairing and consider using Halco’s converting and contract manufacturing services to fabricate a reclosable fastening solution for your product.
Request Our Foam Fastening Sample Kit! Let us know if you have a question or need a specific sample for evaluation in your design