Before foam was introduced, people used products made of natural rubber. The large trees of rubber grew only in the tropics and until the voyagers introduced it to the West, the westerners didn’t know about this material. According to these voyagers’ accounts, the Mayans used balls made of natural rubber that bounced well. However, at the beginning, natural rubber had many problems. The main issue was products, like shoes, melting in hot weather. Later the quality of rubber was improved and these disadvantages were completely eliminated.
However, with the technological developments, the need of large quantities of rubber arose but it was not possible to increase the supply according to the demand. Only the large trees were able to produce a considerable amount of sap. Also, harvesting rubber sap was costly because it needed a lot of manual labor. Then the World War I started and the rubber shipments from Brazil slowed down. The need for more rubber was crucial and at that point the scientists decided to make synthetic rubber. This rubber was stronger and its elasticity was more expandable than in natural rubber. Foam is one of many kinds of synthetic rubber that was created. Today foam is used in many products.
The Foam Factory, a company based in Southeast Michigan is one business that thrives on selling foam products. Like many businesses that started after the World War II, the company was also a family owned small business which entered into the market more than 30 years ago. Its retail and manufacturing businesses have helped the company to lower the costs. As the use of foam became very common, many foam manufacturing and retail companies opened up for business in Southeast Michigan. There are more than fifteen thousand foam makers in the area today.
It is hard to find a household item that is not made of foam. Chair cushion is a very common item found everywhere. Craft makers advice is to always use hard foam for chairs. That way, the cushion will get adjusted to the user’s weight. If the cushion is made of soft foam, then it will go out of shape quickly and will have to be replaced shortly.
Foam is an extremely flexible material. It has the capacity to change shape or fit in a small place. People use foam to make the items that are not available in the market. For instance, if there’s special shape of cushion that a customer needs, making a custom cushion is the best thing to do. Customers can find do-it-yourself instructions on the web.
Foam cushion industry is a thriving business since the middle of the 20th century. The Foam Factory is a good place to start searching for all foam products.