Reticulated Foam: The story behind this versatile product

Let’s start with 5 fascinating facts about Reticulated Foam:

1. During high-speed motorsport races, it helps prevent car fires by reducing fuel slosh.
2. It was first used for military purposes in the iconic A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft (also known as the Warthog). It helped to improve fuel tank survivability in combat.
3. Jim Henson used reticulated foam to create the Muppets.
4. It is incorporated into disposable cardiotomy and venous reservoirs used for life-saving open-heart surgery.
5. It helps to protect surgical instruments during sterilisation.


Curiosity drove US chemist and inventor Robert A. Volz

Robert A. Volz invented the process of reticulation of polyurethane in 1956. Volz’s breakthrough process involved removing the membrane of foam cells to create a porous foam product.

It was also widely used in products such as carpet cushion, automobile trim and accessories, packaging, ink-jet printers, batteries, and nappies. This led to an expansion of uses for polyurethane foam in cushioning for bedding and furniture.

Joyce Foam Products is the only Australian manufacturer of reticulated foam. First used by the firm in the 1970s, Joyce uses a custom-designed reticulation chamber to create high quality foam for a variety of uses.


Here’s how it works:

• The thermal reticulation process, also called “zapping”, creates a high temperature, high speed flame front that removes the cell membranes from the foam.
• This process melts the cell membranes and fuses them around the main cell struts, adding strength to the cell structure.

The advantages of reticulated foam are clear. It is strong yet flexible, quick drying and lightweight. The open cell structure means water can escape quickly, which makes it perfectly suitable for use in leisure and outdoor furniture.

Reticulated foams, like all Joyce products, are certified by Good Environment Choice Australia (GECA).

Joyce foam has developed and exported its reticulation chamber internationally. It has expanded into many more applications, including its use in:

• Air filters in air conditioners, vacuum and heaters.
• Flame lamination applications.
• Fluid management – lining oil filters and fuel tanks in motorsport and military vehicles (it reduces fuel slosh and potential explosions). It also has a resistance to petroleum products in some grades.
• Sound absorption – speaker grills and microphone heads.
• Liquid filtration.
• Cosmetic applicators.
• Medical applications, including cleaning equipment, sponges and surgical equipment.
• When combined with ceramic, it can be used in molten metal applications.


For more information about how we can supply you with this versatile foam product, please send us an email [email protected], or call your local Joyce sales representative on 1800 021 304.

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