Gel Coats

I would like to in-mold paint, die or laminate a thermal/compression formed EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam. The foam is used as padding, so the coating must be flexible. Die process temperatures range from 220–400°F. Do you have any suggestions?


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Q. I am the shop foreman for a company producing molded foam products. We make a dense, closed cell foam that is currently coated after molding. I would like to in-mold paint, die or laminate a thermal/compression formed EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) foam. The foam is used as padding, so the coating must be flexible. Die process temperatures range from 220–400°F. Do you have any suggestions? B. B.

 

A. The process you are describing is generally called gel coating. I believe this process is currently used on products similar to yours. Ask you paint or resin supplier about it. I first heard of it while working for a paint company in 1957. At that time, to get a smooth surface on molded auto bodies, boats and other products, a pigmented coating was applied to molds before laying-up resin and fiber glass. At that time, the molded structure was polyester/fiberglass and the gel coat was polyester. I suggest you look at flexible two-component polyurethane enamels to use as gel coats. Certain vinyl coatings may also work. 

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