Looking back on the Hope Ball Project
When a Crocs shoe enthusiast and acquaintance called to ask if we could make a foam ball, I said “sure, we already have!”. And when asked if we could make component pieces and glue them all together over an internal bladder, I replied, “no need for that, we can take advantage of the Foam Injection Molding Process to make the ball as a sphere and the material will deliver the bounce on its own”. Créations Foam had been making balls for years prior to the idea of making a soccer ball.
Our first Ball project opportunity came in 2002 when we started to produce foam and crosslinked balls for a major pet company. We had also made a larger ball shaped aqua filter float for Jacuzzi, which like the dog retrieval ball, bounced very well and predictably. The one innovation that had not yet been tried was to mold a sphere and then cap the mandrel hole with another injection foam molded component. This innovation worked very well! This aspect was then patented, and rights fully granted to the inventor/team members with Créations Foam and to other stakeholders.
The tremendous rebound and recovery properties found in XL EXTRALIGHT® were confirmed in these Foam Injection molding projects and in the development of Crocs shoes. These amazing properties remain as a key aspect to the success of Foam Creations. Créations Foam continues to push the envelop in closed-cell cross-linked foams with timeless quality. Foam Creations is open to new ball opportunities for the playground, water sports, orthopedic and exercise applications. “We have only scratched the surface of ball sport opportunities with XL EXTRALIGHT®”, says Delphine Musellec , V.P. of Operations for Foam Creations. Molded Foam technology is only limited by the imagination of our clients.”
Injection molding foam has big potential in many aspects of consumer products including electronic cases, sporting goods, seating, rehabilitation, comfort, protection, floatation, footwear, lightweight impact protective packaging, and much more!
“The economy is booming, and inventors are feeling emboldened to explore, and so is Foam Creations”, says development and sales manager Kevin McCarthy. “We are approached by inventors and startups each week in new market areas. We have a commitment to product quality and product success; therefore, we feel obligated to advise each potential customer of the possibilities in cross-linked injection foam products.” XL EXTRALIGHT® can be used in so many industries and applications. Yet, when a customer or inquirer needs help finding a solution that can be better met in another process or industry, the Foam Creations team offers introductory advice.
“First and foremost, we are here to serve, and that includes steering inquiries to a better solution”, says Alex, one of our project leaders. “People remember a personal or technical helping-hand, and it is the best form of advertising for Foam Creations”. Our team of development and production staff are all here to help those looking for that better solution in cross-linked injection molded foams.
Article written by Kevin McCarthy, Co-Inventor of the Hollow non-inflatable Ball.