Enhancing Personal Protection with Compression Molded Foam Components

Flextech provides custom-made, laminated, and compression-molded foam components for customers in the personal protection market. This market encompasses several unique segments including :

 Military, tactical, and law enforcement gear

 Occupational/industrial safety
 Medical/orthopedic bracing and supports
 Protective padding for sporting goods

We use our compression molding process to manufacture parts that we supply to customers in this market. The compression molding process is utilized for the manufacturing of three-dimensional molded foam and foam composite parts. This process is perfect for making parts that have complex features, require precise part geometry, varying wall thicknesses, or critical dimensional tolerances.

In the compression molding process, the foam or foam/fabric composite is heated in an industrial convection oven and then placed in a machined, matched tool which is mounted in a molding press. The mold is then closed using hydraulic pressure. This pressure forces the heated and now pliable material into contact with all the mold surfaces while the pressure is maintained.

Once the material has cooled, the mold opens, and the finished part is removed from the tool. On most parts, we are also able to cut the perimeter and any internal features of the part during the molding process. Cutting features in tandem with the molding process results in a finished part and allows us to avoid the expense of a secondary cutting operation.

Advantages of Compression Molding

The foam compression molding process is chosen for creating components for the personal protection market primarily because these parts are often in direct contact with the user and are designed for comfort. Compression molding produces parts with channels for flexion and airflow, living hinges for controlled bending, and molded patterns that allow for a cooling effect. The process allows us to build functionality into parts. We can also mold customer names and logos into parts so that their brand is identified. 

Applications for Compression Molded Foam Components in Personal Protection

Our compression molding  process allows us to create a diverse range of components  that are ideal for military, tactical, and law enforcement use. We have used the process to provide components  such as ballistic vest and plate carrier panels, knee and elbow pads, semi-rigid holster components, helmet pads, shoulder pads, rifle slings, night vision goggle padding, riot gear pads, and molded case shells for medical kits. 

In the occupational/industrial safety segment we have made dual-density belts for fall protection harnesses, shoulder pads, safety helmet pad components, work knee pads and pads for firefighting helmets.

We have used the foam compression molding process to manufacture a wide variety of parts for the medical/orthopedic and sporting goods segment as well. We mold fabric laminated parts for knee braces, ankle braces, lumbar, and cervical bracing devices. We also make parts for sporting goods including soccer head protection, helmet pads, shin guards and assorted other protective padding applications.

If you would like to learn more about our materials and capabilities as they relate to personal protection applications, we invite you to connect and collaborate with our technical sales team at [email protected] or 952-345-0012