What is Reticulated Polyurethane Foam?

Reticulated Polyurethane Foam

A widely used and popular foam is the reticulated polyurethane. Reticulated foams are open cell and have a wide range of porosity.  From 10 pores per inch to 100 pores per inch, this light weight foam is popular for filtration and is commonly referred to as “filter foam”.   Polyurethane foam is thermally reticulated which eliminates the traditional cell membranes and produces a flexible skeletal structure.  Because of its strength, durability, and ability to resist most chemicals, its usage is broad across several markets including medical devices, automobile components, aircraft filters, and even sound absorption.

The two main types of reticulated polyurethane foams are polyester foam and polyether foam.   Polyester foam is often more rigid, shock absorbent, and durable than polyether foam.  These qualities make polyester ideal for secure packaging during transportation or storage as well as sponges and mops for cleaning.  Polyether foams are more affordable, flexible, and perform better in wet environments.  Having slightly larger cells than polyester foam, polyether allows air and moisture to flow easily through its cell structure.   Therefore, Polyether foam is largely used for a variety of filters including air, sound, and liquid.