1

I'm sure all of you have seen these interlocking mats:

Gym Floor Mats

Credit: Amazon

I make my own packaging for my artwork and use some stiff foam to hold everything together in the boxes I ship out. I am specifically using closed cell foam because of its great properties for packaging. The foam I have is very expensive and not as high quality as the foam floor mats in my basement, so I took a spare mat and successfully cut it into foam cutouts for my artwork. There are a lot of companies that use very similar foam it seams. For example, this packaging for a USB adaptor I recently bought is almost identical to the floor mats:

Closed Cell Packaging

These mats are available at far better prices (1/10th of the cost of what I currently pay), but the one thing that annoys me is the pattern on the top. I tend to glue and layer my foam when one sheet is not enough. I have seen some foams like this on Amazon which have a flat surface on both sides:

Galaxy Rubber-Coated Foam Mat

But these mats are coated with rubber grip, so it defeats the purpose. What this does prove is that factories DO manufacture these closed cell foam mats at affordable prices without the grip on top.

The interlocking aspect of these mats also makes it feasible to reuse offcuts by locking them together, making them the perfect solution for product packaging foam. Where can I get mats without a grip pattern that can be cut for packaging? Also, as the thickness is a little too thick for my liking in some cases, are there any sellers that sell mats, say, half the thickness?

1
  • For those who are wondering why 'this proves that factories manufacture closed cell foam mats at affordable prices without the grip,' it is because the chemical process of adding the rubber on top is done AFTER casting the foam. This does not necessarily mean that the underlying mat is sold to consumers... – Hackstaar May 30 at 22:05
5

The mats are common, as you suggest and are composed of EVA foam. Almost every source I've found involves textured surfaces and interlocking edges. This is not universal. Cosplay costume makers use this material for creating various components of costumes, including masks and armor.

My brief search returned un-textured foam in 0.25" thickness (6.35 mm) and may be available in other thicknesses. I've found some one-inch thick textured mats from Walmart but you've indicated that textures are undesirable.

Another search discovered a cosplay support site that sells the foam, untextured(!) in thicknesses of 24, 36 and 48 mm in 600 mm squares. (~1, 1.5, 2", 24" squares) but I suggest it's not particularly inexpensive at up to US$20 for the thick stuff. Photo courtesy of linked site:

extra thick eva foam

I've received purchases packed with a lighter density closed cell foam which I think would be better suited for your purposes, and possibly less expensive. Running with that thought in a search resulted in much-lower pricing for lower density EVA foam from another source.

This one lists thicknesses from 0.125" up to 2" with seven different choices. The sheet is 40" x 80" from US$20 for the 0.125" piece and US$127 for the 2" thick sheet.

The page uses EVA and cross-linked polyurethane foam interchangeably, which may give you other options in your searches.

3
  • 1
    this is a fantastic resource in my search for EVA foam! Cosplay seems to be a good trend to bank with as well; I did not realize that that is a big demand for this foam as well. $20 for a sheet of the demensions listed is a great price, but the website linked charges handling and shipping and it ends up being well over twice the product value if I only buy 1. I will continue the search! – Hackstaar May 31 at 4:13
  • @Hackstaar in the UK I've just found the best prices (including shipping) on ebay for the thinner foam I want. – Chris H Jun 1 at 14:01
  • @Hackstaar There are EVA suppliers throughout the world! Off the top of my head, I know that Coscraft is based in the EU, for example. – Cooper Jun 10 at 17:00
1

A similar material is used for cheap camping mattresses. It's usually blue. Search for "blue foam camping pad" or "sleeping pad" or "camping mattress" or "yoga mat" etc. Not sure how it compares in terms of price. Make sure you're buying the smooth kind that can be rolled up; there's also a textured kind that folds up in sections. The normal thickness is about 1/3 of an inch. It's terrible for sleeping on, but decent for craft projects. There are now a variety of less expensive, better quality, lighter-weight camping mattresses available, so many backpackers are getting away from the terrible old blue foam. So you might be able to get some for cheap if you advertise on a backpacking forum or contact a local hiking club.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.