Protective Tooling foam (Polyethylene PE) is one of the widely used protective tooling foam solutions because of its versatility and durability. Today, one of its major uses is the manufacturing of high-performance tooling foam that is used in producing foam end caps. Foam end caps work as support that is placed on both ends of the product to provide maximum protection. The increase in this product’s demand led the manufacturers and innovators to create variations that would suit each product.
Traditional End Cap Set
The Traditional End Cap Set has the most basic concept among the three main types of foam end caps and provides the most protection as well. The end cap is made from one rectangular die cut piece (that is a simple rectangle cut out of the center of a larger rectangle piece), and one rectangular solid pad. The end cap is then thoroughly encapsulated on the two ends of the shipping product. There is an empty space in between the product, the box and the foam which is the air cell that gives the product enough breathing space to move and let the foam absorb the shock while on transit.
Ribbed End Cap Set
The Ribbed End Cap Set is very similar to the traditional end cap. Having the same rectangular die cut, it has a smaller rectangular cut in its center with two ribs that are placed in the center of the space. Since these cuts need to occur in one stroke, the tooling foam ribs are stripped out of the center and separated into three parts: one frame structure and two ribs. This concept is one of the most efficient and effective foam packaging solutions. This can be used in almost any product due to its increased thickness and density.
Hinge-lock End Cap
Finally, the Hingelock End Cap set is considered the most innovative concepts among the three. Similar to the first two concepts, it fits at both ends of the product protecting and securing the product at the center of the box. The ribs are cut all the way through on three sides with a fourth side that is partly cut through. The cut stops before it reaches the higher density blue material that works as a hinge allowing the ribs to fold out and lock in place creating a protective tooling foam configuration that has a rectangular void fitting over the end of the product.