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What Is EVA Foam? How Do You Choose Which Foam to Use?

By August 25, 2020 September 25th, 2023 No Comments

What is EVA foam material? How does it differ from other types of rigid foams, such as PVC foam? Here we’ll answer three key questions to help you choose the right material for your project:

  • What is PVC foam?
  • What is EVA foam?
  • How to choose EVA vs PVC for your fabrication project

Here at Polymershapes, we source and fabricate EVA foam, PVC foam, and dozens of materials into parts, components, and products. If you’re considering using these materials, talk to an expert about your project.

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What Is PVC Foam?

First, let’s look at PVC foam. Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, is one of the world’s most popular plastics. One of its many derivatives is PVC foam board. (A “foam” is simply a material with small bubbles introduced into its structure.)

PVC foam is strong, rigid, and durable, and the bubbles also make it lightweight. Like the EVA foam material, it comes in a variety of densities, but on the whole, is much lighter than solid PVC. Some of the most popular applications for PVC foam fabrication include:

  • Indoor & outdoor signage
  • Point of purchase (POP) displays
  • Freestanding cutouts
  • Dimensional lettering
  • As a substrate for printing, lamination, etc.
  • As a core material in watercraft and even some aircraft
  • As a material for prototypes or mockups

At Polymershapes, we offer a variety of PVC foam fabrication services. This material is especially popular for exhibitions and retail displays, but we get orders for many other types of applications as well. Whether you need PVC or EVA foam material for your project, our experts are here to help you identify the ideal material and fabrication process for your product applications.

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Benefits of PVC Foam

Besides its versatility, PVC foam offers several other benefits, including:

  • Highly workable; easy to cut, bond, and fasten
  • Able to be thermoformed
  • Naturally has a matte finish, but can be made with any finish desired
  • Strongly resistant to organic solvents

Marine Industry Origins

Just like the EVA foam material, PVC foam is highly resistant to water, wind, salt, temperature, and sunlight. This makes it highly suitable for outdoor use, particularly in marine applications.

In fact, PVC foam owes its origins to the sea. PVC was used to great effect in marine tools and equipment during World War II. After the war, the private sector deemed PVC too heavy. But since the other properties of PVC are so well-suited to marine applications, researchers set about to develop a lightweight version, eventually resulting in the invention of PVC foam board. What is PVC foam if not a testament to market innovation!

What Is EVA Foam?

If one of those applications for PVC foam isn’t right for your project, another option to consider is EVA foam. Ethylene vinyl acetate, or EVA, is a highly versatile plastic that has rubber-like properties and comes in a variety of textures. It can range from rigid to supple and is one of several materials sometimes known as “foam rubber.”

EVA foam isn’t usually considered a direct alternative to PVC foam. Like PVC, EVA foam is very impressive in its versatility. What is EVA material best used for? Here are just a few of its applications.

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  • Bicycle seats
  • Exercise mats
  • Fishing rods
  • Running shoe midsoles
  • Cosplay components like belts and swords
  • Shock absorption padding

Let Polymershapes Help You Find the Right Material for Your Project

At Polymershapes, we can help you find the right materials for the job, whether that requires foam, aluminum, or nylon. We have 70+ years of experience delivering products that meet our customers’ needs, and we have the facilities to manufacture a wide variety of plastic products at competitive prices and with a fast turnaround.

To learn more about our plastic fabrication services right here in the Los Angeles area or EVA vs PVC, contact us for a consultation. We’ll take your vision and project specifications and help you find the ideal solution. Request a quote for EVA foam material today.

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