Breathable Foam Lamination for Orthopedic Devices

Dal-Bac has been creating custom foam lamination composites for orthopedic devices for over twenty-five years. Many of these composites utilize a foam substrate, of one type or another, to provide bulk, padding, stretch, air permeability or other important features. While we have worked with cross-linked polyethylene foams, polystyrene foams, vinyl-nitrile sponges, EVA sponges and other expanded polymers and elastomers, our primary focus has always been low density, open-cell polyurethane foams. We work with grades, peeled or skived to a wide range of thicknesses, of polyether or polyester base, clickable or non-clickable, in soft to firm grades and in a range of densities, to meet the performance characteristics that our customers have come to expect of our foam laminates.

Our process for producing foam lamination composites to provide padding for orthopedic appliances and braces includes:

  • Determining the appropriate thickness, flexibility and padding characteristics of the foam core
  • Understanding the impact of skin contact and the importance of breathability
  • Selecting fabrics that will provide comfort, durability, breathability and provide a secure fit for the device or brace

Many orthopedic braces and appliances have direct contact with the skin. This makes comfort a key component of any foam lamination materials used with the device. This is especially true for devices worn for an extended period of time and where excess perspiration is a concern. Dal-Bac solves these challenges by:

  • Using foam skived from flat stock to ensure uniformity of cell structure through the cross-section. This method produces optimum breathability.
  • Selecting fabrics that can be combined into foam laminate composites that deliver multiple functions:
    • Hook and loop components
    • Tensile strength to support the device
    • Breathability and wicking capability along with anti-microbial characteristics
  • Dal-Bac generally produces its foam lamination composites utilizing flame lamination.  This process is adhesive free and very cost effective. Finished materials are produced in bulk rolls up to 65” wide that can then be die-cut into various sizes and configurations.

    Creating customized solutions for orthopedic bracing materials is one of Dal-Bac’s key specialties.