Types of PVC Foam Board

Types of PVC Foam Board

Summary

There are 3 types of PVC foam board: pvc celuka board, pvc free foam board and pvc co-extruded board. They differ in appearance, size and performance. We can choose them according to the purpose.

It is certain that most people who know rigid PVC foam board (expanded PVC board) know that there are three types of PVC foam board, which are pvc free foam board, pvc celuka board and pvc co-extruded board. However, do we know what are the differences between these three? And, which type of PVC foam board should be used for our purposes?

To answer these questions, we analyze the differences between these three types of PVC foam boards from manufacturing technique, appearance, performance, specification, price. And, some common uses for each of them.
PVC Free Foam Board
PVC Celuka Board
PVC Co-extruded Board

MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUE
The naming of these three types of PVC foam boards is derived from their manufacturing technique. In the previous blog, we shared the manufacturing process of PVC foam board. We can know that PVC foam board is made of PVC resin mixed with other auxiliary materials, foamed, and then extruded through the mouth die and shaped into a board. So, what are the specific differences between the manufacturing processes of pvc free foam board, pvc celuka board and pvc co-extruded board?

PVC Free Foam Board
After the PVC raw material melt leaves the mouth die, it continues to expand freely to a certain distance under the action of the foaming agent, and is shaped into a board by shaping dies. The PVC foam board produced by the free foaming process has a thinner skin, and the density of the inner core and outer layers is about the same.

PVC Celuka Board
The opposite of the free foaming process is controlled foaming process. Controlled foaming means that the PVC raw material melt is rapidly cooled as soon as it leaves the mouth die, preventing the surface of the PVC foam board from continuing to foam. The cooling methods include water cooling and oil cooling. The celuka process belongs to controlled foaming process. The PVC celuka board has a harder skin, and the density of the outer layer is greater than that of the inner core.

PVC Co-extruded Board
The co-extrusion process also belongs to controlled foaming process. The production equipment of PVC co-extruded board is different from that of PVC free foam board and PVC celuka board. The production equipment of PVC co-extruded board has more than one raw material barrel, but two. One of the barrels provides the raw material for the inner core and the other provides the raw material for the two surfaces. The PVC raw material melt enters the mold from two raw material barrels at the same time and extrudes to form the surface layer, inner core and bottom layer of the board respectively. The PVC foam board produced by the co-extrusion process has a relatively obvious three-layer structure. The top and bottom layers are not foamed, so the PVC co-extruded board has a harder outer layer.
Production of PVC Celuka Board
Production of PVC Co-extruded Board

APPEARANCE
It can be said that different manufacturing processes determine the appearance of pvc free foam board, pvc celuka board and pvc co-extruded board.

The surface of the PVC free foam board is formed by the contact between the cells and the shaping die. Due to the free foaming process, the surface retains a fine uneven surface. It can be seen from the sides that the cell pores distributed in the surface layer and the middle core are uniform in size.

The manufacturing process of PVC celuka board has one more cooling process than PVC free foam board. After being rapidly cooled, a rigid skin is formed on both surfaces of the board. The surface of PVC celuka board is flat and smooth without impurities, pits or bumps. Looking at its sides, we can see that the change of cells is gradually and uniformly smaller from the middle core to the surface layer and the bottom layer.

The appearance of PVC co-extruded board is relatively easy to identify. It has the same smooth surface as PVC celuka board, even a glossy surface. Therefore, sometimes we may not be able to tell whether it is PVC celuka board or PVC co-extruded board just from the surface. But looking at the side of the PVC co-extruded board, we can find that its two surface layers and the middle core have obvious delamination. The two surface layers are not foamed and therefore solid. And the cell pores in the middle core are all of the same size and uniformity.

Remarks: For too thin PVC foam sheet, we may not easily observe the change of cell pores on the side. PVC foam sheets with a thickness of more than 10mm will be easier to identify. Friends who are interested in this can contact us to get a free sample and ship through the freight collect account.  
PVC Free Foam Board
PVC Celuka Board

PERFORMANCE
There is no difference in chemical properties between pvc free foam board, pvc celuka board and pvc co-extruded board. They are all waterproof, mildewproof, and self-extinguishing when away from fire. 

What differentiates them is the physical properties. In terms of strength, both pvc celuka board and pvc co-extruded board have better performance than pvc free foam board. Because the harder two surfaces allow them to obtain a better rigid structure. However, it does not mean that the physical properties of pvc free foam board are not good. When we are looking for a more flexible and bendable plastic material, pvc free foam board with a low density is the best choice.

SPECIFICATION
PVC Free Foam Board
PVC Celuka Board
PVC Co-extruded Board
Standard Width
1220mm, 1560mm, 2050mm
1220mm, 915mm
1220mm
Length
The length of the extruded plastic sheet is not limited. Common lengths are 1830mm, 2440mm, 3050mm
Thickness
1mm - 25mm
3mm - 30mm
3mm - 20mm
Density
0.45 - 0.9 g/cm3
0.4 - 1.1 g/cm3
0.4 - 0.9 g/cm3

PRICE
The main reason for their price difference lies in the material consumption and energy consumption in the manufacturing process, that is, the production cost.

As far as our own factory is concerned, the price comparison of the three types of PVC foam boards is:
PVC co-extruded board ﹥ PVC free foam board ﹥ PVC celuka board

USES
PVC Free Foam Board
PVC free foam board is also called PVC sign board because of its wide use in the advertising industry. It has a fine matt surface, which has good adhesion to ink and adhesive, so it is conducive to printing, spray coating, and laminating. When used as a billboard or sign, it can be used both indoors and outdoors. In addition, as a rigid foam board, PVC free foam board has the advantages of light weight, large size and low price compared with solid plastic boards of the same size.

PVC Celuka Board
PVC celuka board has a very smooth surface, high hardness, and is not easy to be scratched. In addition, its waterproof, mildew-proof and termite-proof properties make it commonly used in making cabinets in kitchen and bathroom, furniture, etc. And PVC foam board is free of formaldehyde and can be self-extinguishing from fire (fireproof reinforcement board meets ASTM E84 grade A), these characteristics are not found in wooden board. That's why we call PVC celuka board PVC building board. If you want to use the PVC celuka board as the exterior panel of the cabinet, you can also choose the board laminated with the decorative surface, and the aesthetics will be greatly improved.

PVC Co-extruded Board
PVC co-extruded board can be said to be an upgraded version 2.0 of PVC celuka board. It has a closer performance to PVC celuka board, but we have strengthened the hardness of its two surfaces. The combination of the solid surface and the foamed inner core not only retains its advantages of light weight and good strength structure, but also increases the surface hardness, making the overall appearance of the board more glossy and beautiful. PVC co-extruded board can usually be used directly in decoration and furniture making. For example, one of our customers uses high density PVC co-extruded board to make cabinets on ambulances. Another customer makes movable self-assembling houses, and they use PVC co-extruded board for the house's wall panels and ceilings.
PVC Free Foam Board for Sign
PVC Celuka Board for cabinet
PVC Co-extruded Board for Shoe Cabinet

SUMMARY
PVC Free Foam Board
PVC Celuka Board
PVC Co-extruded Board
Manufacturing Technique
Free foaming process
Celuka process
Co-extruded process
Appearance
Matt surface, uniform cell pores on the side
Smooth surface, the cell pores on the side gradually become smaller from the middle to the two surfaces
Glossy surface, with two solid surfaces and uniform cell holes on the side
Performance
Soft surface
Rigid surface and good strength structure
Ultra-hard surface and good strength structure
Price
Middle
Bottom
Top
Uses
Printing, sign, billboard substrate
Cabinet, furniture in humid environment, wall panel
Same as PVC celuka board

There are no good or bad between the three types of PVC foam board. But because of the different production process, they have different appearance and performance. Taking full advantage of their different properties, we can find the most suitable material for our application.

If you want to know more about PVC foam board, or don't know how to choose the material, please feel free to contact us or email us at sale@boardwaybuilding.com