Commercial production of the joint NASA-PolyuMAC foam began in summer 2007, with the company marketing the foam under the trade name Polyshield. The commercialized version offers the same qualities as the NASA next-generation, high performance, flexible polyimide foam, and shows promise for use on watercraft, aircraft, spacecraft, electronics and electrical products, automobiles and automotive products, recreation equipment, and building and construction materials.
Consumers appreciate its flame retardant qualities, thermal insulation and acoustic insulation factors, and the weight reduction it provides, but the chief advantage Polyshield has over the TEEK foam is that it is roughly one-fifth the cost to manufacture. The durable polyimide foam is formed at room temperature and then cured using large microwaves, which reduces costs and increases the company’s production rates. The finished product can be flexible or rigid, structural or non-structural, and is always highly durable. This affordable insulating foam can also be applied to gaskets and seals, vibration damping pads, spacers in adhesives and sealants, extenders, and flow-leveling aids.
The products provide excellent insulation for sound, cryogenics, and heat, and can be used for fire protection. In fact, one of the chief advantages of this material is that, while it holds at very high temperatures, if it does burn, it will not produce smoke or harmful byproducts, a critical concern on boats, submarines, airplanes, and other contained environments.
While the company has the capacity to thermal-form the material into any shape required by clients, it typically provides sheets of the foam to customers, who then cut and shape it as needed for their specific applications. The user can then cover it with various cloths. PolyuMAC will, on demand, make specially fitted shapes, and densities can be tailored according to the intended use.