Help us help you by speaking the same language. Below we have listed some terms that will assist us in communicating with you over material choices and specifications.
Bottoming Out- This happens when a gel is subjected to a load and the gel is no longer evenly distributed under the load, thus no longer supporting the load.
Closed cell- Used to describe the cell structure, or bubbles, in foams. Closed cell foam has closed cells making the foam denser and usually more impervious to the environment.
Compression load deflection- The force required to compress a material a given distance.
Compression set- The amount of deformation which a material retains after compressive stress is released, usually given as a percent of the original dimensions.
Cone penetration- A method used to show the hardness of a very soft gel by pressing a cone into the material and measuring the depth of its penetration.
Density- The mass per a unit of volume.
Durometer- A testing method used to show the hardness of a gel, in different scales. It measures the depth of an indentation in the material created by a given force on a standardized presser foot. (see table)
Elastomer- A polymer with the ability to return to it original shape after being deformed by a load.
Elongation- The amount of deflection a material can withstand without failing while being stretched, usually given as a percent of the original dimensions.
Hydrophilic- The aptitude of a material to absorb water.
Hydrophobic- The aptitude of a material to repel water.
Indentation force deflection- A test method to determine load bearing capacity, meaning the firmness or stiffness, of a foam at a given percentage of deflection
Knit- When thread is looped together to form a uniform fabric, also known as stitching
Mil- One thousandth of an inch.
Open cell- Used to describe the cell structure in foam, open cell foam has open cells making the foam less dense than closed cell.
Polyester (gels, films, foams)- A polymer consisting mostly of carbon and oxygen with great ability to resist chemicals
Polyether (gels, films, foams)- A polymer consisting mostly of carbon an d hydrogen with great ability to resist water
Polymer- Is a molecule comprised of repeating structural units usually comprised mainly of carbon.
PU- Common abbreviation for polyurethane, a polymer.
Resiliency- The ability of a material to absorb energy while being deformed, and unloading the energy and return to its original state.
Shore durometer scale A- Used for soft rubbers, elastomers, and plastics (see comparison chart)
Shore durometer scale OO-Used for foams, and gels (see comparison chart)
Shore durometer scale OOO- Used for very soft gels (see comparison chart)
Specific gravity- The ratio of a substances density to the density of water. If the specific gravity is greater than 1 it is denser than water.
Tack- The measurement of the ability of an adhesive to adhere to another surface.
Tear strength- The force required to rip, or fail a material latitudinally.
Tensile strength- The force required to fail a material longitudinally.
Thermoplastic- A polymer that when heated turns to liquid, and when cooled returns to a solid. This material can then be melted repeatedly.
Thermoset- A polymer that irreversibly cures, either by heat or by chemical reaction.
TPE- Abbreviation for thermoplastic elastomer.
TPU- Abbreviation for thermoplastic polyurethane.
UV- Stands for ultraviolet light, which could either negatively or positively, effect polymers.
Viscoelastic- A material that has both viscous and elastic properties. Viscous materials resist shear flow and strain linearly with time. Elastic materials can return to original state once a force is removed.
Warp- Threads of a weave that run lengthwise against the weft
Weave- When threads are woven together in a criss-cross pattern often measured in the number of threads per inch.
Weft- Threads of the weave that run across from side to side, supporting the warp which run lengthwise.