How Robafoam is Improving Quality Control with the Hexagon Measurement Tool

Here at Robafoam, we take great pride in delivering high-quality sealing parts to our customers. We believe that continuous improvement is key to maintaining our reputation as an industry leader. That’s why we are excited to share the news about our latest investment – the Hexagon Absolute Arm 8325. This tool is revolutionising our quality control efforts, enabling us to verify, record and report our production quality and therefore exceed customer expectations. In this blog post, we will take you through how the Hexagon Absolute Arm 8325 is transforming our quality control processes and the significant impact it will have on our operations.

Unveiling the Hexagon Measurement Tool:

At Robafoam, we are always on the lookout for technological solutions to enhance our manufacturing processes. Our recent acquisition of the Hexagon Absolute Arm signifies our commitment to raising the bar in quality control. This new tool combines advance features and capabilities, making it the perfect fit for our quality control needs. With its precise measurements, streamlined inspection, and advance data analysis, we are confident that the Hexagon Absolute Arm will revolutionise our quality control practices and solidify our position as an industry leader.

Enhancing Accuracy and Precision:

One of the standout advantages of the Hexagon Absolute Arm is its unparalleled accuracy and precision. This advanced tool allows us to capture precise measurements and data, enabling us to identify even the smallest deviations or defects in the sealing of parts. With its 7-axis design, we have the flexibility to conduct thorough inspections at multiples angles, ensuring that every aspect of our parts is meticulously examined.

Streamlining Inspection and Increasing Efficiency:

Efficiency plays a crucial role in our manufacturing processes, and the Hexagon Arm help us streamline our quality control inspection. By automating certain aspects of inspections and integrating advance software, we have significantly reduced inspection times while maintaining a high level of accuracy. The tool’s user-friendly interface and intuitive controls enable our quality control team to work more efficiently, allowing them to focus on analysing the data and making informed decisions. At Robafoam we provide comprehensive training and support to ensure that our team maximises the potential of this new tool. By combining their expertise with the capabilities of this system, we are confident in our team’s ability to deliver exceptional results and elevate our quality control processes.

Driving Customer Satisfaction and Future Growth:

Quality control directly impacts customer satisfaction, and with this system we are dedicated to exceeding our customer’s expectations. By consistently providing high-quality products, we strengthen our relationships with existing customers and attract new clients. This is another step to ensure Robafoam has continued growth and success in this innovative industry. Precise measurement, streamlined inspection, and the advanced data analysis offered by the Hexagon Absolute Arm give us a competitive edge. Enabling us to deliver sealing parts that meet the highest quality standards.

Bonding, Potting and Sealing needs covered by Robafoam

Your Bonding, Potting and Sealing needs covered by Robafoam – Customized Solutions for Every Application!

Bonding, potting, and sealing are three important processes used in the manufacturing industry to join and protect components, devices, and systems. While these three techniques have similar objectives, they differ in terms of their application, materials, and outcomes.

Let’s start with bonding. This process involves joining two or more substrates using an adhesive material. Adhesive bonding creates a strong, permanent bond between two materials without adding weight or altering the properties of the materials. The adhesive can be in the form of liquid, gel, or film, and it is chosen based on the substrate materials and the intended use of the bond. Bonding is a popular technique in various industries including electronics, aerospace, and automotive. This technique is used to join metals, plastics, composite, ceramics, and glass.

Moving on to potting, is the process of encapsulating an electronic component or device within a protective material. Potting materials are usually made of epoxy and provide protection from environmental factors such as moisture, dust, and temperature. This technique is commonly used in electronics, especially in harsh environments such as aerospace and military applications. Potting can also improve the mechanical strength of device, reducing the risk of damage from vibrations or impacts.

Sealing, on the other hand, refers to the process of creating a barrier to prevent the ingress of liquids, gases, or environmental factors. The sealing material can be an adhesive, gasket, and coating. Sealing is commonly used is the automotive industry to prevent leaks in engines and protect sensitive electronics from moisture and dust.

The main differences between bonding, potting, and sealing lie in there intended use, materials, and outcomes. Bonding is used to join two or more materials, while potting is used to protect components and devices from environmental factors. Sealing is used to prevent the ingress of liquids, gases, and other environmental factors.

In conclusion, bonding, potting, and sealing are three important techniques used in manufacturing to join and protect components and devices. Each technique has its own specific application, materials, and outcomes. Manufacturers must choose the appropriate methos based on the intended use and environmental of the component or device.

Whether you need a strong, permanent bond between different materials, a protective coating for your electronic components, or a barrier to prevent leaks and environmental damage, Robafoam has got you covered. We work closely with our customers to understand their requirements and develop customised solutions that meet your unique needs.

So, if you are looking for a reliable partner to help you with your bonding, potting, and sealing needs, Robafoam is definitely worth considering. With our expertise and commitment to quality, you can be confident that you’ll get the best possible solution for your application.

Promotion Announcement

I’m thrilled to announce that Robafoam has experience a period of significant growth and expansion over the past few years. We’ve taken on numerous exciting new projects that have challenged our team to push the limits and strive for excellence in everything we do.

As a result of this growth, we’re excited to announce the promotion of two key team members: Leo and Chris. Leo Mather has been promoted to Sales Director, and Chris Mason to Operations Director. Their hard work and dedication to the company has been a key factor in our continued growth and success.

Leo’s experience in sales strategy and team management will be instrumental in expanding our client base and increasing our revenue, while Chris’s expertise in project management and operational efficiency will help ensure that we continue to meet production targets and deliver projects on time and budget.

As we continue to grow and take on new challenges, I’m confident that our team, led by Leo and Chris, will rise to the occasion, and help us achieve even greater success. It’s an exciting time to be part of Robafoam, and I’m grateful to be a part of such a talented and dedicated team.

Please join me in congratulating Leo and Chris on their well-deserved promotions, and in wishing them continued success their new roles. Here’s to a bright filled with continued growth and prosperity for Robafoam!

Construction Industry

The construction industry is made up of a wide range of different areas, a large proportion of which require seals in some form. Although a relatively new area for Robafoam, we have provided high-quality sealing solutions for a range of companies within this industry over the past few years. Our seals can be found on a variety of different products, ranging from composite doors to office floor tiles, electrical appliances, and gas boiler covers.

The composite door industry, in particular, requires a high IP-rated seal to ensure the Great British weather doesn’t make its way into the customer’s home. Providing a robotically applied seal on the door cassettes eliminates human error in applying cut and cord gaskets, reducing time and therefore costs. Our seals can now be found extensively on new build properties and the flexibility we have in our foam seal application means we are able to provide IP-rated seals for a range of different door styles and sizes.

This year we’re looking forward to be exhibiting again at the FIT Show, showcasing our sealing expertise to the door and window industry. Come along and visit us on Stand T22 on 23rd – 25th May 2023!

Noise, Vibration, Harshness (NVH) within the Automotive Industry

When purchasing a car, alongside many other aspects, an important consideration for the customer is how it feels to drive inside the cabin. The design of the cabin plus the additional features such as audio, seating comfort, and control layout all add to the feel of the car and the experience the customer has in it. Therefore, if NVH is impacting this experience, it’s crucial that the OEM considers how best to reduce this.

NVH stands for Noise, Vibration, Harshness, and is used to classify the noise and vibrations created usually by automotive vehicles. This can be the sound of the vibrations but also the feel of it.
Robafoam’s foam has been used within the automotive industry for many years, with over 30% of our customer base being within the industry. Often our seals are chosen when customers are looking to provide a barrier for water ingress. However, it also performs well as a way of reducing noise and vibration within vehicles. As always our foam can be adapted to the desired part however, NVH applications tend to require softer foam (with more air entrained in the raw material) and a smaller bead. The softer foam allows for more dynamic movement of the parts without damaging them, acting almost as a lubricant. A lower compressive force is also needed, only requiring around 10-20% compression.

Related Article: How can Robafoam’s foam seals benefit the Automotive Industry?

The seals can also be directly bonded to the parts to make sure that the pad will not move out of place which creates a perfect gasket or cushion application. Our foam is applied wet to the part, secured in place, and then cured to bond the substrates together.

NVH can also cover light bleeds, such as on a car dashboard or door panel, ensuring all small gaps or cracks aren’t visible to the customer and therefore providing a higher quality finish.

For more information about how Robafoam can provide foam seals for your parts to reduce NVH, get in touch.

How Robafoam Uses Plasma

At Robafoam, plasma treatment is an important part of our processing, although it’s not required for all parts. When a customer first approaches us with a prototype or part, one of their first questions is ‘will the foam stick to our part?’. The short answer is yes, but it may take some other processes before achieving a suitable adhesion.

Some substrates have a natural adhesion to our polyurethane foam and therefore don’t require additional interference. If there isn’t a natural adhesion then there’s usually something we can do to achieve it, which often is incorporating the use of plasma.

The adhesion of the Robafoam seals to a component’s surface is dependent on the surface energy of the material or the surface treatment in question, as well as any possible contamination of the surface. Different material surfaces exhibit a different level of natural adhesion depending on their surface energy. Surface energy is measured in Dyne/cm2 and the optimal value for adhesion with our foam products is 50 Dyne/cm2.

One way to change the surface energy, to ensure the adhesion of the foam, is through the application of ‘atmospheric plasma’. All our 6-axis robots are equipped with a plasma system to use with our Contract Gasketing customers. The application of plasma is part of the same process, carried out just before the foam bead is applied. Below is a table that shows how the use of plasma changes the adhesion to substrates that our foam doesn’t normally have a natural adhesion.

To find out more about plasma or to speak to someone about your sealing needs, get in touch today.

Development Tender

Robafoam Ltd, Units 1 & 9 Berrington Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1NB

Start date: 4th November 2022

Robafoam are looking for specialist machine builders / engineering companies to undertake a d stage development process of their prototype mechanical foam creation machine. Our prototype single-cylinder system can validate the process-concept but needs to evolve so that it can continually generate foam material. This will be a necessity for this equipment to be “productionized” and therefore become a system with market value. 

Working with the existing prototype system based in Leamington Spa, the appointed contractor will be expected to complete the following:

  1. Design and construct the necessary electronic software and hardware controls to allow a duplication of foam cylinder usage.
  2. Design, manufacture and integrate the dosing cylinder, making modifications to the existing doser system to allow this increase in equipment capability.   
  3. Design and construct a suitable enclosure of the entire system, will all necessary CE & UKCA markings to meet international standards.  

We expect this work on this project to commence as soon as possible and must be completed by 31st March 2023. Payment will be made in instalments as each phase of the project is completed above.  We will assess each bid for the tender in the following way:

  • Experience and demonstrable expertise in the necessary Design / Electronic and hydraulic based engineering 40% 
  • Meeting required timescale 30%
  • Price 20%

If you are interested in tendering for this opportunity or like to know more, please contact the team at or give us a call on 01926 336 231.

This tender will be advertised for 14 days and the closing date for tenders will be 18/11/2022 @ 11:59pm. 

This tender award is subject to ERDF Grant Offer from CW Innovation Programme which will be part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. 


Design Guide Breakdown

In this blog post, we will be taking a closer look at our Design Guide brochure and the information it includes which has been created to assist designers in the early stages of a product’s development.

Although an effective and high-performance seal is generally considered to be an important part of our customer’s part, it is often one of the last elements a designer considers when developing a new part. Leaving this focus until the end of the design process, or even when the part has gone into production, can cause problems; especially if the part needs to have an Ingress Protection (IP) rating. Despite the flexibility of our foam, parts will often need to be adapted or changed to incorporate the seal, which adds additional time and costs. Therefore, the earlier a designer can consider the way they will seal their part, the easier it is to develop a high-quality seal.

This is where our Design Guide comes into play. It was created for designers to give an overview of Robafoam’s foam, its properties, and how it can be adapted for their companies’ sealing needs. The brochure contains a range of information on how we are able to adapt our foam as well as the impact that can have on the sealing of the parts it is being applied to.

Foam Technology

Our polyurethane foam has a predominantly closed-cell structure. This means that it isn’t reliant on surface skin integrity for it to work and it performs well with water-tight seal requirements.

It is a unique single-part, low-temperature heat-curing foam and so isn’t reliant on any additional chemicals to be added to apply or cure it. The process takes the raw material from a drum, mechanically mixes it with an adjustable amount of air, and then robotically applies it to the part. The amount of air used in this process impacts the foam’s hardness; the more air added the harder the foam will be. Generally, the harder the foam the higher the sealing performance. Other factors which improve the effectiveness of the seal include higher compression levels and wider bead widths.

Obviously, the part itself also plays a role in its sealing performance. Its flexibility, span, wall thickness, and the size of the fixing points all have an impact on the seal. Although most problems can be overcome by adapting the compression, foam hardness, or bead size, it is still crucial for designers to be taking the sealing of a part into consideration early in the designing process.


Joint Design

When looking to include a seal within a joint on a part, the joint design can be an important factor to consider in giving the best possible seal. Robafoam’s foam seals can be used in a range of joint types, working with various levels of compression to provide different sealing abilities. The higher the percentage compression of the foam within the joint, the better the sealing capabilities are. However, some joint designs limit the capability for said compression. The design of the joint can also impact how wide/narrow the foam bead will be which also impacts the seal performance. One way of overcoming difficulties with joint design and compression is by using a tongue and groove joint. Many customers choose this design as there is less surface area needed to provide a higher seal performance.


The adhesion of our foam to a component’s surface is dependent on the surface energy of the material or the surface treatment in question. Different material surfaces exhibit a different level of natural adhesion, as well as potential contamination having an impact.

One way to change the surface energy to ensure the adhesion of the foam is through the application of ‘atmospheric plasma’. All Robafoam’s 6-axis robots are equipped with a plasma system to use with our Contract Gasketing customers. The application of plasma is part of the same process, carried out just before the foam bead is applied.
Another way of increasing adhesion is using liquid surface primers. By increasing the ‘wetting’ of the foam to the surface part, adhesion can be improved, however, this may compromise the height of the bead.
When good surface adhesion already occurs, our foam is also able to be used as an adhesive/bonding agent, both in its liquid foam or unfoamed state. Many customers require us to apply Robafoam’s foam to secure parts together, alongside providing a high-performance seal. This quality means that it can be used in multiple ways, all in the same process, meaning it saves time, space, and investment for our customers.

Heat Curing

Whether requiring Robafoam’s foam for bonding or foam sealing, the material cures rapidly at the temperature on or above 80ᵒC. On its own subjected to these temperatures, it will cure in a matter of seconds. The part itself and its heat sink properties determine the length of time it needs to cure. In most cases, this is 2 to 7 minutes. During the initial enquiry and sample phase of working with a customer, the requirements of the part curing can be adjusted to find the appropriate curing time needed for each part.

Generally, conventional oven systems are used to cure the foam, however, the raw foam will also cure in microwave ovens. The temperature of the part at the time of application can also have an impact on the cure time of the foam. For example, if our foam is applied to a plastic part that has been taken directly from an injection moulding machine (which could be around 60ᵒC), it will require significantly less time in the oven compared to a part being processed at an ambient temperature of 20ᵒC.

The flexibility of Robafoam’s oven systems means that they can be customised to work for any requirement or production environment. Ambient to 220ᵒC, our industrial ovens and thermal systems are suitable for material curing, drying, tempering, preheating, and cooling. Our vertical industrial ovens can help you save space, whilst our wide but flat industrial ovens can fit your current parts exactly.

Industrial ovens

For any further information about our foam and its properties, feel free to download the full Design Guide from the website. If you have any further questions on how we may be able to help with your company’s sealing needs, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

The logic behind IP ratings with Robafoam’s FIPFG seal

How we achieve it and the benefits

Robafoam’s foam seals have a predominantly closed cell structure. This means that they aren’t reliant on surface skin integrity for it to work and they perform well with watertight Ingress Protection (IP) rated seal requirements. In this blog post we will look at how an IP rating is achieved and the different components which can adapt it to the customer’s requirements.

Our foam characteristics

The 1K foam we create is a unique single part, low temperature heat curing foam and so isn’t reliant on any additional chemicals to be added to apply or cure it. The process takes the raw material from a drum, mechanically mixes it with an adjustable amount of air and then robotically applies to the part. The amount of air used in this process impacts the foam hardness, the more air added the harder the foam will be. Generally, the harder the foam the higher the sealing performance.

The part itself also plays a role in its sealing performance. Its flexibility, span, wall thickness and the size of the fixing points all have an impact on the seal. Although most problems can be overcome by adapting the compression, foam hardness or bead size, it is still crucial for designers to be taking the sealing of a part into consideration early in the designing process.

Achieving an IP rating – The relationship between bead size, hardness and compression

There are three main components to consider when looking to achieve an IP rating:


That being said, all elements can be adapted to fit with different requirements or differences in the part. As each individual part has certain seal requirements, the three factors much be varied to work with that part. For example, a part that has a butt joint may need to have the foam bead size increased to achieve a better IP rating, something that is not possible if using a tongue and groove joint. In this case, the bead may need to made higher or harder to improve the IP rating. Below are some more details on how we adapt these three key elements.

Change in bead size

By adjusting the flow rate, we can increase or decrease the volume of foam being applied. We are also able to produce different foam bead thickness within the same application by programming the robot to change speeds. This means that parts can have varied seal thicknesses without the need to stop and start the process.

Foam hardness:

By changing the frequency of the pulse valve, in relation to the movement of the piston pump movement (constant flow rate) it is possible to increase or reduce the levels of entrained air. Therefore, change the final hardness of the foamed material applied to the part. So, from the one base material a wide range of hardness’s can be created. We refer to this as a change in Foam Ratio. This foam ratio is the change in weight of a known volume of material. For example ratio 3.0 is 1/3 the weight of the unfoamed raw material.

Foam Graph


As shown in the diagram below, the same bead size can be compressed within a range of different joint types to different percentages, in order to create different IP ratings. By looking at each individual part and its joint design, we can offer advice and recommendations for the best bead size, and joint design adjustments, to work with the compression that is needed. The compression is calculated dimensionally by the change in height. If the part uses a tongue and groove joint design, this is measured from the end of the tongue and therefore is generally the most reliable way of creating a higher IP rating.

Compression effect

Sealing Requirements for the Automotive Lighting Industry

Following on from our recent visit to the Emergency Services Show at the NEC in Birmingham, we thought we would look in more detail at automotive lighting and the sealing requirements they have.

Despite the extensive design process of creating a car, there can still be problems encountered once the car has gone to full production and is being sold on the market. One of these problems is water ingress into the lighting enclosures, resulting in water pooling in the light and eventually a reduction of the effectiveness of the lamp. Sorting this can be costly, which is why effective sealing which is incorporated into the design at an early stage is so important.

Most commonly, automotive companies were using manually fitted cord seals to prevent water ingress. Although generally effective, these are time consuming to apply and are also subject to human error. Therefore, the conversion to Formed in Place Gaskets, improves productivity and reduced the quality issues regularly seen with manually fitted seals. It also increases IP rating performance, improving service requirements due to the adhesion of foam to the part surface.

Robafoam has been working within the automotive industry since it was established in the UK in 2013 and today around a third of our customers are part of the automotive industry. We have a wealth of experience in applying seals to a wide range of parts, for both interior and exterior components, including lighting.

Robafoam’s foam has been subjected to vigorous testing during its development and continues to be tested to ensure its compliance with a variety of standards. One of these is the ASTM D1003 standard test method for haze and clarity which means that it can be used effectively within the lighting sector of the automotive industry.

We understand that no two application designs are the same. We use our expertise in working with the automotive industry to support designers, adapt designs as necessary and seal accordingly, all to achieve the standards required for the specific application. Each part can have the seal customised in size, hardness and design to ensure that specifications from the customer are met.