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The Right Glue for the Job: Best Adhesives for Foam

Whether you’re rebuilding an engine or helping your child with a school project, things always go better when you have the right tool for the job. This is true in the world of foam as well, from at-home DIY projects, to businesses making custom couch cushions, foam mattresses, or foam rubber gaskets.
Foam Factory, Inc. offers a wide range of foam products, and with them, spray adhesives designed to work best with each foam type they offer. This particular post will help you better understand why something so seemly simple is surprisingly complex, and how to select the right product with our detailed breakdown that helps make sure you always have the right adhesive for the job.

First, a little background on why bonding foam is such a unique situation:

(Left to Right) 3M Super 77, Claire Mist, and Camie 373 Spray Adhesives
(Left to Right) 3M Super 77, Claire Mist, and Camie 373 Spray Adhesives

The need for different types of adhesive can be attributed to foam’s diversity. In terms of feel, appearance, and performance, open-cell foam and closed-cell foam differ to a substantial degree. However, the dissimilarities aren’t just cosmetic, as the differences between foam types are due to individually unique chemical and molecular structures. So while open and closed-cell foams are still part of the same family, being made of very different compounds creates a range of variables when they need to be manipulated. In this instance, it impacts how a foam will react to adhesive. Depending on foam type, some adhesives may not create a bond strong enough to last, while others can have a physical reaction and damage or destroy the foam.
Fortunately, manufacturers have recognized the unique issues in bonding foam, and special adhesive formulations exist for properly bonding all different types of the material. Of course, having multiple adhesive options without knowing which works best for your application presents its own issues. To make things easier, we’ve created an itemized breakdown of our three spray adhesive varieties.
Under each type of spray adhesive we carry, we’ve listed and linked to the foam types it works best with, as well as what it should not be used with. Whether bonding two pieces of the same material or gluing to most substrates, simply find the foam you plan to work with, and you’ll know the correct type of spray adhesive to use with your project!
Spray Adhesive: Claire Mist
Do NOT Use With: Closed-Cell Foam
Use With: Open-Cell Foam
This includes all densities, colors, and firmness values of:

5LB ViscoMAX

Spray Adhesive: 3M Super 77
Do NOT Use With: Expanded Polystyrene Closed-Cell Foam (EPS)*
Use With: Most Closed-Cell Foams AND All Open-Cell Foams**
This includes all densities, colors, and firmness values of:

*3M Super 77’s formulation will physically melt EPS foam varieties, damaging and/or destroying the material.
**3M Super 77 bonds more strongly with open-cell foam than Claire Mist but is costlier. Claire Mist is the economical choice for all but the most demanding open-cell foam projects.

Spray Adhesive: Camie 373
Do NOT Use With: Open-Cell Foam OR Most Closed-Cell Foams***
Use With: Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS)

***Camie 373 is specially designed for use with Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPS) to prevent damage that other adhesives may cause.
If you have additional questions on how to bond foam once you’ve identified the right adhesive, see our PDF How To Use Spray Adhesive With General Foam Products or Contact Us for more information!
IMPORTANT: Spray adhesive is ineffective at bonding acoustic foam to painted or bare concrete or cinderblock walls. View the PDF linked above for more information.

22 thoughts on “The Right Glue for the Job: Best Adhesives for Foam”

  1. can you please tell me what spray adhesive to use on visco elastic foam which of course is memory foam. Its a cushion that split when i tried to wash it

  2. Would 3m Super 77 be suitable for glueing Polyethylene Closed-Cell Foam to wood?

  3. We have a Tempur pedic mattress topper that separated right after we got it! What kind of adhesive should we use?

  4. I’m needing to glue pool noodles to a Rubbermaid 300 gallon tub, what glue is the right clue for this project?

  5. Typically, the 3M Super 77spray adhesive would work for this foam, however, we do not know if it will affect the tub material. For further information, you contact the 3M helpline at 1-800-3M-HELPS.

  6. I do not know what type of foam i have, but is the hard black foam for tools and instruments shipped up and down on pelican boxes, is not the one pre-cut in squares thing, this one is hard, for heavy instruments and yet hold position, It comes in 2” layers/ sheets and i need to custom create new equipment boxes, whats is the foam named and what is the best glue for it

  7. What is the best waterproof glue to use on Polystyrene. I want to glue 3” c 1” styrofoam (Polystyrene) discs to a painted board so that they will float in the pool.

    I need the glue to last in the pool water about 6 hours.

  8. Hello,

    Thank you for reaching out to Foam By Mail via our blog.

    Based on your question, we suggest using the 3M Super 77 for gluing the XLPE foam.

    What do you plan to glue the foam to, foam to foam?

    For all future questions, please contact us.

  9. Hello,

    Thank you for reaching out to Foam By Mail via our blog.

    Based on your question, our Polystyrene foam has not been long term tested in salt water. The foam will float, but it will begin to disintegrate over time.

    When gluing these foam pieces together, make sure to use a EPS water proof adhesive, so the foam seams do not begin to separate. Also, make sure the glue is made for EPS foam, as some glues can disintegrate the foam.

    For all future questions, please contact us.

  10. I am attempting to bond closed cell foam to rubber/vinyl (chair leg end caps. The end product will need to be water resistant and be hand gripped. Thoughts on an effective glue/adhesive?

  11. Thank you for reaching out via our blog on Foam By Mail.

    Per your question, unfortunately we are not glue experts, but below is the 3M hotline and they will have more information on what glue to use!

    1-800-3M-HELPS (1-800-364-3577)

    For all future questions please contact us.

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