Floral foam is available in many shapes and sizes, including square, round and oval as well as small, medium and large. It can typically be found in either green or white colors when used for artificial flower arrangements but other colors can be made as well. Floral foam can be manufactured by a company or you can even make it yourself, with the right ingredients.
Dry, hard floral foam -- made from plastic -- is just one foam manufacturing process available to the flower and decorating industries and consumers. You can create your own foam using a liquid floral foam, as well. The benefits of the liquid product over dry and hard foam include less storage space requirements and the ability to create foam that fits any container size and shape, without having to cut the final product to fit.
A solid plastic, in the shape of a small resin granule known as polystyrene, is the key ingredient used to make dry, hard floral foam. Additives can be included in the manufacturing process and a blowing agent is added to make the melting material foamable. Polyurethane is the main ingredient in liquid foam, along with a hardening agent.
Dry Hard Foam Process
Polystyrene resin granules are input into an extrusion machine -- similar to the extruder used to manufacture polyester carpet -- in order to melt the hard, plastic pellets into a moldable product. Heat and pressure inside the machine, along with any additives used and the blowing agent, melts the granules of polystyrene and moves them in liquid form into a mold or die within the machine. The granules are then shaped into the desired form and trimmed as needed.
Liquid Foam Process
According to Master Pack, liquid floral foam is created when polyurethane is mixed with a hardening agent, producing a liquid. The liquid, once molded with the hardening agent is bottled and sold to consumers for use independently. The liquid expands into a foam shape once placed into another container, filling it with foam the exact size and shape of the object containing it. You can purchase this type of foam in 1-, 5- and 55-gallon containers. Store it in tightly sealed containers that are housed in areas that have a minimum temperature of 65 degrees but do not exceed 90 degrees F.
Holly Huntington's writing has been published online by eHow.