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Vest Foam


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#1 Janice Arthur

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Posted 06 December 2015 - 04:59 PM

Hi all;

I've always used the 1" "soft" foam when working on vests.

The thicker "soft" foam makes for a vest fit that is both too far from the body and the operator is unable to tighten the vest enough for a very tight fit which is essential for the higher end operation (heavier rigs).

The denser foam seemed to both not conform to the operator and also held a lot of heat and sweat. Over time the denser foam seems to harden a lot with the heat and sweat. Is that accurate?

Does anyone have input on what works for them.

Janice
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#2 Ned McIntosh

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 12:36 AM

Would a laminate of 1 piece 1/2" soft foam (fast recovery) and 1 piece 1/2" harder foam (slow recovery) be worth a try?

 

I've seen a triple-laminate of three different recovery-rate foams used for custom seat-cushions for a home-built aircraft, and I also note Chris Fawcett is using a three-layer foam approach for the Exo-Vest. Chris's foam are three separate pieces and designed to be reversed, whereas the seat-cushion foam was cemented together, frozen in liquid Notrogen and cut precisely, clean as CNC or laser-cutting.

 

If nothing else this would allow the user to choose which side of the foam felt better or worked better for him or her.

 

It might be worth talking to some of the custom auto upholsterers, too; those guys know about all kinds of foam and I've always found them to be helpful. Just a few thoughts.


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#3 Janice Arthur

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Posted 26 August 2016 - 10:47 AM

Ned;

I don't know about exovest foam triple laminate, so no idea if that's good or not.

Here is what I know about harder foams, very uncomfortable and they hold the heat and sweat.

I'm not a fan of it.

The cost to make and use some "sandwich" of foam is, probably just not worth the cost. The cost to freeze this stuff in nitrogen to cut it professionally seems like a waste of money and resources (environmental and other).

Just how much foam you would "freeze" is just not worth it.

Memory foam is very dense and it may work but it will also hold heat and sweat is my guess and it may not be durable for our uses.
For the cost of simple foam, many choices out there and a hot glue gun and even a crude scissors to cut it (looks bad but works fine and inside a vest no one sees it). Yes you can buy a cheap electric knife and stick your foam in your home freezer and do a lot better even.

So yes all your ideas may work great but $40 vs much more $ I'm not sure I'd go there.
Try them on the cheap first.

Janice
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#4 Ned McIntosh

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Posted 01 September 2016 - 01:46 PM

A further thought.

 

As a retired skydiver, I know the manufacturers of sports parachuting harness-and-container systems produce products which are somewhat analogous to a vest. They are worn several times a day, for periods of possibly as long as half an hour at a time, have to be durable and rugged to survive years of use yet remain functional and low-maintenance and (most importantly) comfortable for the user.

 

There are several such manufacturers in the USA and a phone call to them might uncover some useful ideas for types of foam which work well for these requirements. If this idea has merit, I can look in the latest "Para-Gear" catalogue for the names of the companies. I don't have the catalogue with me at the moment but I can lay my hands on a  copy.


Edited by Ned McIntosh, 01 September 2016 - 01:46 PM.

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