Thursday, September 11, 2008

Choosing foam for making weapons: Testing the Foam

Rating: 
People in my Realm and in Strathclyde in general have been asking about foam, and since Walmart changed brands to World Famous (Junk), I cant just refer them to Walmart, so, here is one thing you need to look for when choosing  your foam.

1. The two things you are looking for are first safety, and second durability.

Safety:
The foam needs to be able to condense/claps a reasonable amount and then immediately re-take its original form. In other words it needs to able to soften blow, and then be immediately ready to soften another.

Durability:
Your weapon needs to take a beating, for example, pool noodles are the right kind of foam, but to cheep, they break down within a few short hours of use and become unsafe. If you see damage in foam at all as a result of testing it in store, more on, it ant worth you money.

From Stuff Maker Blog
2. This pict shows the old Walmart Ozark Trail brand (Dark Blue) next to the SuperStore brand (Light Blue). Both are Closed Cell foam, notice however that you can see the cells in the dar foam and not in the light. Look for Foam where you can see the cells.


3. The first test you should do on foam is to press your thumb in to the foam. If it springs back immediately, then you are good to go on to the next test (note how the light blue does not spring back, and shows sines of cell damage, very bad) .

4. The next Test to perform (see video above) is to scrape it with your nail, and maybe try to tear it. If it shows sines of damage, or tears easily, this bodes poorly for its durability.

5. Another thing to consider is how thick the foam is, I would not suggest any thinner than around  7mm or 6/16"

Hope this helps!

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