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The Right Glue For The Job: Know How To Select Adhesive For Foam Projects

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.

12 thoughts on “The Right Glue For The Job: Know How To Select Adhesive For Foam Projects”

  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?

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