Phenolic Foam FAQ


Will phenolic foam burn? 

Phenolic foam is resistant to burning and supporting flame.  Phenolic foam will char in high
temperature and will punk.

What is the pH of phenolic foam? 

Phenolic foam is slightly acidic with a water leachable pH of 3 – 4. 

What tool care is needed when cutting or CNC phenolic foam? 

Phenolic foam is slightly acidic and all tools should be wiped free of foam dust and the tools should be lightly coated with oil. 

What is the close cell content of
American Foam Technologies phenolic foam? 

Normally the phenolic foam produced at AFT has a close cell content of 10% - 50%. 

How resistant is phenolic foam to chemicals? 

Phenolic foam is very resistant to chemical attack.  However some
chemicals may cause the foam to swell.

What is the range of density for phenolic foam
produced at American Foam Technologies? 

Phenolic foam produced can have a large density range from 0.5 – 70 pounds/cubic feet.  Normal density ranges are 0.5 – 35 pounds/cubic feet.

What sizes of phenolic foam
can be cut at American Foam Technologies? 

American Foam Technologies can cut a variety of shape and sizes.  AFT normally cuts sheet size 8 foot by 4 foot with a large range of thickness.  AFT also has two computer controlled, high speed, wire saws for cutting various shapes.

Are there different types of phenolic foam? 

There are two types of phenolic foam–– wettable and dry. 
The wettable phenolic foam will absorb water or liquids.

What is the advantage of using Phenolic Balsa Foam (Thermo-Cor) vs. Urethane or Styrofoam for carving models? 

Phenolic foam (Thermo-Cor) has no memory, unlike urethanes and Styrofoam.  When you make an impression in phenolic foam, it does not rebound, thus giving sharper detail.

Can Phenolic Balsa Foam (Thermo-Cor) pieces be glued together? 

Yes.  We recommend using any type of thick glue, from Elmer’s carpenter glue to thick cyanoacrylate gel-type super glue.  Epoxy can also be used.  It is best to leave a border around the outer edges, as the glue line may interfere with carving the surface of the joined pieces.

Can Phenolic Balsa Foam (Thermo-Cor) be painted? 

Yes.  You can use any type of water based or solvent based paint with phenolic Balsa Foam
(Thermo-Cor) An initial coat of acrylic spray paint will help seal the surface.  Solvent based paints tend to leave surface texture intact, while acrylic paints tend to fill the texture.

Can Phenolic Balsa Foam (Thermo-Cor) be used to make a mold? 

Phenolic Balsa Foam II (Thermo-Cor 10 pcf) and phenolic Balsa Foam III (Thermo-Cor 20 pcf) have been used effectively to make a positive master for a negative fiberglass or silicone mold.  Phenolic Balsa Foam II (Thermo-Cor 10 pcf) and phenolic Balsa Foam III (Thermo-Cor 20 pcf) can also be used effectively for vacuum form molds. 

Is Phenolic foam flexible? 

Phenolic foam is rigid and is not soft or flexible. 

Can color dyes be added to Phenolic foam?  

Can color dyes be added to phenolic foam? Yes. The natural color for a phenolic foam is tan to pink but dyes and color can be added to achieve a desired color.



Contact us for more info on this product

Phone: (800) 366-7222