Plastics in the offshore industry: Plastic foams

Soft foams

The soft foams are flexible polyethylene foams (PE). The foams are available in a range of different densities and degrees of hardness and they are expanded in a special oven.

These foams are also used as soundproofing materials. The ‘memory’ this material contains means the treated object will return to its original shape after a collision. Depending on the foam’s hardness, this ‘return to shape’ may take anything from a few minutes to a day.

We use these in floating buoys, floating bodies (including for dredging piping) and fenders.

Hard foams

The hard foams (popularly known as PUR foams) are generally polyurethane foams. They are also available in a range of densities and with different flammability properties. The PUR foams can be sprayed or moulded into any conceivable shape but they are also available in block or sheet form. The spraying and moulding can be done for the purpose of creating buoyancy; applications include floating piping and floating and mid-depth buoys. The material’s density varies from approx. 35 kg/m³ to no less than 600 kg/m³ and we have experience with depths of up to 1,500 metres.

Wind turbines

In addition to the applications mentioned above, we have also completed projects for the transportation of wind turbine masts across water and anchor buoys. Each new project demonstrates the power and versatility of foams!