The best types of protective foam packaging

Discover if foam packaging will provide the best protection for your product delivery needs before identifying the perfect material for foam inserts or pick-and-pluck foam protection.    

With lightweight properties, a smooth texture, soft cushioning and robust protection, there are a few reasons why foam makes the perfect packaging material for numerous transportation and storage purposes. However, finding the ideal foam packaging material and product type for your item and delivery requirements relies on some research to know you’re investing in the best solution.

So, to ensure you maintain your business reputation and healthy consumer relations, read on to see what foam packaging product will keep the quality of your products in pristine condition.  

Discover if foam packaging will provide the best protection for your product delivery needs before identifying the perfect material and product type.

What is foam packaging?

Foam packaging protects items from potentially damaging forces such as vibrations, abrasion or high-impact collisions. By adding an extra layer of cushioning for protection, foam packaging is suitable for product delivery, whether delicate or heavy-duty. Due to the soft yet robust nature of foam, it makes an ideal material for protective packaging. Foam packaging is available in sheets, blocks, inserts, pick-and-pluck variations, or foam wrap rolls that can hold items in place alongside providing a protective cover.

With lightweight properties, foam is an ideal solution to protect all various materials, from glass to ceramic and polished products looking to maintain a shiny finish and avoid scratches or stains. While applied across numerous industries, foam packaging can protect expensive medical equipment to cushion and compress heavy-duty machinery and even separate automotive car parts.

Why use foam packaging?

The core purpose of using foam packaging is to protect your products from external forces or direct contact with other abrasive materials. Whether held in storage or travelling for delivery, a spongy foam material is lightweight with multipurpose protection and compression capabilities ensuring your items remain in pristine condition.

This versatile nature of the materials makes it an ideal solution for numerous packaging purposes. With a smooth texture and appearance, packaging foam leaves no trace while offering a professional aesthetic to your product impression.

Foam can fill voids, soften edges and even provide pre-made foam liners with preformed contours, bends and self-adhesive attachment capabilities. We can break down the purpose of protective foam packaging into three core categories:

  • Impact
  • Vibration
  • Compression

Often during delivery, regardless of the size and weight, all packages must withstand an element of physical impact. Packaging damage can cause real issues for businesses, with ‘Packaging Digest’ reporting that 11% of unit loads that arrive for distribution will incur some damage. Vibration is another cause of item damage, with trains a main culprit causing quality deterioration and wastage of fresh produce like fruit and vegetables to even larger heavy-duty items. 

Another reason to use foam packaging is for accurate compression. Sometimes, packers will not load an item correctly within the defined space and compress the product effectively. As a result, the product can incur damage and defects during delivery, causing further damage to business reputations and consumer relations.

Types of foam packaging material

Now you understand the importance and capabilities of how foam packaging can protect your goods, let’s look at the different foam packaging materials available to best suit your packaging needs. Here are some popular types of protective foam with specific details:

Polyurethane foam

Polyurethane foam is an ideal protective packaging solution due to its open-cell properties that provide cushioning, protection and vibration dampening. For these reasons, polyethylene foam is a reliable protective packaging solution for heavy-duty and large items that may withstand heavier impacts.

Polyethylene foam

Also known as “PE” or “LPDE” foam, polyethylene is a rigid and resilient foam material used for its overall strength and lightweight properties. Therefore, polyethylene foam is an ideal foam protective packaging solution that may incur intense impacts for various item sizes, shapes and weights.

Pyrosorb foam

As another open-cell foam packaging solution, pyrosorb foam is a cost-effective protective solution, offering excellent flexibility and cushioning alongside pliability to irregular surfaces.

Foam Packaging Products

For the best results, we recommend you choose one of the following two custom foam packaging products:

Foam inserts

Foam packaging inserts help restrict and stop items from moving during delivery. Often, we find foam inserts within delivery boxes, keeping certain parts inside separated. Whether you require a lightweight packaging solution and a protective layer to withstand rigorous environments, custom foam inserts are ideal for your protective delivery requirements.

As an IATF16949, ISO 19001 and ISO 14001 accredited company, Ramsay Rubber Cellular Sealing Solutions provide custom high-quality and dependable foam insert products. We offer foam inserts in the following three materials to meet your specific packaging purposes:

Polyurethane foam inserts

Polyurethane foam inserts present a cost-effective packaging solution with cushioning and protective properties suitable for multiple logistics, international couriers, and shipping companies. Several polyurethane grades are available to suit density, anti-static, flame-resistant or high load-bearing requirements.

Polyethylene foam inserts

A popular choice across the packaging industry, polyethylene provides a versatile foam packaging solution with a range of densities available. Other protective and packaging properties you can expect from this product include chemical resistance, lightweight transportation, static dissipative and weather resilience.

Pysrosorb foam inserts

As an open-cell impregnated polyurethane, pyrosorb foam inserts present a good option for cushioning small-to-medium-item specifications.

Pick and pluck foam

Pick-and-pluck foam solutions allow you to easily remove pre-scored segments to create a custom protective compartment for your packaging needs. As the spongy and soft material offers cushioning and protection, you can also ensure you secure your item within a case with optimal compression control.

Ideal for shipping irregular small to medium-sized items, custom pick-and-pluck foam packaging awards additional tailor-made features to package goods with suitable compression, cushioning and support. Like foam inserts, we offer custom pick-and-pluck foam products in the same three materials with unique shapes, sizes and assemblies available on request:

– Polyurethane pick and pluck foam
– Polyethylene pick and pluck foam
– Pysrosorb pick and pluck foam

All our foam packaging materials and products are registered under IMDS and are compliant with REACH and RoHS regulations. As a UK industry leader and over half a century of experience, we’re trusted by numerous companies to provide protective foam packaging solutions that meet the following purposes:

  • Packaging and protection
  • Transit packaging
  • Gift box inserts
  • Padding
  • Point of sale
  • Tool case inserts

With a full range of conversion capabilities, we can offer various material slitting, adhesive laminating, fabrication and assembly capabilities to create the best foam packaging solution for you.

Speak to a foam packaging specialist like Ramsay Rubber

With global accreditation manufacturing over 60,000,000 products across 27 countries, we’ve developed a reputation as a UK industry leader for cellular solutions. Our range of materials and professional expertise means we can create custom products across numerous industries, including automotive, construction, technology and electrical. Get in touch to learn more about foam packaging solutions and ask if we can customise your perfect protective packaging product. 


Get in touch

Please feel free to get in touch, to speak with one of our team of experts or simply fill out our online contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • Max. file size: 8 MB.
  • Please enter a number from 2 to 2.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Scroll To Next Section

Get In Touch
Ramsay Rubber & Plastics Limited
Vulcan Road, Bilston
West Midlands WV14 7HT
T +44 (0) 1902 407150
F +44 (0) 1902 407160