The difference between different products under PU foam category

November 06, 2023


Polyurethane (PU) foam is a versatile material with applications across several industries. While often referred to as a broad category, there are actually substantial differences between the various types of PU foams. This review article examines the compositional, structural, and performance variations among the primary PU foam classes, and this article specifically focused on the characteristic of different lines of product. In today’s article, we use following grades of PU foam for experiment:

Item O, Item R, Item M, Item K, Item B2.

Keyword: Foam property, PU foam categories, spray PU foam.


Test 1 Hardness Test

Five polyurethane (PU) foam samples were evaluated for hardness and compressive strength properties. The samples included Item O, Item R, Item M, Item K, and Item B2. Item O represented the highest quality foam, followed by Item R and Item M, while Item K was the lowest quality. Item B2 was a specialty foam focused on fire resistance.


A simple finger pressing test demonstrated noticeable differences in the foam hardness. When pressed firmly by hand, no obvious dents or impressions were observed on the high quality Item O and Item R samples. Moderate dents and impressions were seen when the same force was applied to the middle-tier Item M and Item K foams. As expected, the specialty Item B2 foam was extremely rigid and no finger impressions could be made in the material.

Test 2 Load Bearing Test

The same hardness distinctions were also apparent in a basic load bearing test. When a person stood on the foam samples, the Item O and Item R showed minimal compression and rebounded fully after the weight was removed. Significant compression and permanent indentations were observed with Item M and Item K under the same loading conditions. The fire-rated Item B2 foam was barely compressible when stood upon, confirming its high rigidity and density properties.


In summary, the finger press and load tests clearly differentiated the hardness and compressive performance across the range of PU foam samples. The results matched the expected relative quality levels, with Item O and Item R demonstrating a much higher resistance to deformation compared to the lower-tier Item M and Item K foams. The unique Item B2 foam provided an extreme example of rigidity focused on fire safety rather than cushioning.

3 Fire resistance test

Among all the testing samples, only Item B2 has fire-resistant characteristics. When exposed to an open flame, Item B2 initially started to burn just like the other samples. However, when the open flame was removed, the Item B2 sample extinguished immediately. In comparison, the other samples continued burning even after the open flame had been moved away. While the initial exposure to flames caused Item B2 to catch fire briefly, it self-extinguished as soon as the heat source was eliminated. The other PU foam samples did not have these fire-resistant properties, as they continued burning and were not self-extinguishing.

This test highlighted that the unique Item B2 foam formulation provided fire-retardant abilities that the other samples lacked. Its fire-resistant qualities allowed Item B2 to suppress the spread of flames much more quickly once the ignition source was no longer present.

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