Flotation Foam Types & Benefites

Flotation foam is an important, but often overlooked component when working on, building or repairing a boat. Flotation foam serves a few different purposes that if not considered properly could come back to bite you. At Reinforced Plastics, we sell reliable, and affordable, flotation foam. We also sell urethane foam, too.

For more information about all that we have to offer, please give us a call. The number for our office is 631-249-5490. When you call, we can provide you with a fair and accurate quote. And ask about our wholesale ordering! We offer a line of Smooth-Cast products that are liquid plastics with ultra-low viscosity and perfect for these sorts of applications and projects. But only for industrial use! Check out our selection of products in stock.

How Flotation Foam Works

Flotation foam, in general, is any type of foam that is designed or repurposed for use in marine vessels and docks for the purpose of improving its buoyancy. Other key areas of improving are for thermal insulation and for sound deadening. There are generally a few different options, such as in the form of pourable foam, closed-cell foam mats or blocks, and boat foam pods that can easily attach to the outside of a boat.

Pourable foam is one of the most common types, because it forms a great mechanical bond with aluminum hulls that effectively hold everything in place. On top of that, this foam is waterproof, so it will not absorb any water as long as the foam remains in good, working condition.

And sometimes using a combination of pourable foam and closed-cell foam sheets is the way to go for best results. It always depends on the situation and how you want to accomplish the job. But one thing is for sure and that it is great for use with marine applications and can prevent a boat from fully sinking.

Benefits of Flotation Foam

Flotation foam offers some useful benefits to those that correctly utilize it. Here are some of the crucial benefits you will get when you use this material.

  • It provides a more permanent flotation for boats and docks.
  • Provides thermal insulation, which is important when using in hot and cold extremes for year-round boat care.
  • Sound deadening.

When applying flotation foam, you typically do so by applying it to boat hulls either through open or closed-cell mats and blocks. Or through special marine pour foam which forms a mechanical seal with the hull of boats. Consider the method that best works with your scenario.

3 Primary Types of Flotation Foam

When it comes to flotation foam, there are three primary types you can use. Let's take a look at these types of foam.

Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a very popular choice for flotation foam. It does not absorb any water or chemicals, and is also available in liquid form. So when you pour this type into an air chamber, it will mold perfectly to the boat. It essentially mechanically bonds to the hull for a perfect seal. The only con to this foam is that it is prone to abrasion, so over time it can degrade.

Polyethylene

Polyethylene is a great choice for flotation foam, since it works as good as polyurethane but without any of the potential risk of abrasion. You can compress polyethylene or even bend it to better fit some curved places. Polyurethane is rigid to complete that task.

Polystyrene

Not a very popular type of foam, since it often soaks up water, as well as absorbing other types of chemicals and glue. Due to these conditions, it is a danger when a gas leak occurs, since it can soak up the gas and become a fire hazard.