Open Cell Foam Vs Closed Cell Foam: What’s the Difference?

USA. COLDWATER, MI – September 18, 2019

What is the definition of closed cell foam?

In closed-cell foam, the gas forms discrete pockets; each completely surrounded by the solid material and are sealed, so air does not get inside the structure at all. Closed cell foams are more frequently used from various industries including construction, packaging, marine, electronics, automotive, and medical.

What is the definition of open cell foam?

In open-cell foam, gas pockets connect to each other and the cell walls are broken allowing air to occupy the space.
A camping mat is an example of a closed-cell foam: gas pockets are sealed from each other so the mat cannot soak up water.

The main property differences between closed cell foam and open cell foam:
Air pass through: Closed cell foams do not allow air to flow through the foam. Open cell foams will allow air to pass through the material
Insulation: Closed cell foams will have a higher R-value (better insulation value) at the same density and thickness as an open cell foam
Moisture: Closed cell foams will absorb less moisture than an open cell foam – measured as percentage
Sound: Closed cell foams will reduce sound transmission by reflecting the sound waves while open cell foam will absorb the sound waves into its open cells and allow for sound pass through
Rigidity: Closed cell foams will be more rigid at the same density and thickness as an open cell foam

When looking at the durability factor, there are very few differences between the two. While closed cell foam is generally stronger and longer lasting than open cell foam, both options offer lasting durability. Closed cell is tougher since it provides improved rigidity. It is also tougher in terms of rips or tears whereas open cell foam is more vulnerable to surface damage.