EVA Foam?

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CplSharko

New Member
Hello everyone. I am still quite new to costume and prop construction, and I have a few questions regarding EVA Foam, which is both really good for armor construction, and a little confusing.

1. What would be the best way to sand it? I took a dremel and some 400 grit sandpaper to it, and it seemed to get the job done, but not very well. Surely there is a better way?

2. Is there a way to glue EVA Foam together? Is there some sort of adhesive that I need, or will any glue work? (I'm partial to hot-glue, but I doubt I will see the result I'm looking for if I use it)

3. Is there a way to glue EVA Foam to cardboard? This question is rather important as I'm nearly done a vest and I wanted to have a cardboard backing to stick all my EVA Foam pieces to. Hopefully an efficient method exists.

4. Is resining and fiberglassing EVA Foam a good idea?


That's about it. Thanks for reading and responding if you choose to do so. Feedback is very much appreciated.
 

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Pannaus Props

Sr Member
I can answer to your 2 and 4 question.
2. There are usually 2 ways to glue the foam together. Either with super glue or hot glue (don't know if there are other means out there, but there are many guys here who will be able to tell what's best)
4. I Don't think it is. Foam is used for its flexibility and putting it under resin or fiberglassing doesn't make much sense to me. BUt I could be mistaking ;)

Hope this helps ;)
 

BAK55

Well-Known Member
For question No.2-

I've seen a lot of members use hot-glue for their projects, but I had used contact cement to keep the flexibility that I needed.
 

endo500

Active Member
I figured I might post a question in here as well, but where is a good place to purchase EVA foam from? Can you buy it online? I live in NYC and there are no Walmarts close by where I live.
 

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Cal

Well-Known Member
1. A combination of Dremel and electric sander is what I use, with different degree of grit from 200 to 600

2. Dap or hot-glue

3. Hot-Glue, just be aware that it depends on the cardboard, the hot-glue will make it bind but the cardboard can rip off if it has a weak top layer.

4. No, resin melts foam. The only option would be cold caste resin and its way to costly to put on foam. 5 or 6 coats of Plasti-dip makes it solid with a little bit of give but not much.
 

Fullmetalsam

Active Member
4. No, resin melts foam. The only option would be cold caste resin and its way to costly to put on foam. 5 or 6 coats of Plasti-dip makes it solid with a little bit of give but not much.

This is a misconception that most people have, but it's not true for all types of foam... and in this case, resin will not melt EVA foam. There's a youtube video floating around of someone actually trying this out on a 2mm sheet of foamies (if you live in Canada, this is the type of foam you can find in the craft section at Wal-Mart... Which is the same type of foam of the kid matting you bought at Zellers)...and the foamie sheet didn't melt.

However, IMO it's still a bad idea to resin and fiberglass foam, because it defeats the purpose of choosing this material in the first place. If you're using foam, you want the flexibility of the material... and if you're fiberglassing over that, you'll lose that flexibility completely. You'd be better off using pepakura and cardstock, if you want to resin and fiberglass your suit.
 

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Cal

Well-Known Member
This is a misconception that most people have, but it's not true for all types of foam... and in this case, resin will not melt EVA foam. There's a youtube video floating around of someone actually trying this out on a 2mm sheet of foamies (if you live in Canada, this is the type of foam you can find in the craft section at Wal-Mart... Which is the same type of foam of the kid matting you bought at Zellers)...and the foamie sheet didn't melt.

However, IMO it's still a bad idea to resin and fiberglass foam, because it defeats the purpose of choosing this material in the first place. If you're using foam, you want the flexibility of the material... and if you're fiberglassing over that, you'll lose that flexibility completely. You'd be better off using pepakura and cardstock, if you want to resin and fiberglass your suit.

What resin are you using? I used standard fiberglass boat resin and my piece got so hot it warped it, when it dried it was ruined.
 

MandaBear

New Member
This is a misconception that most people have, but it's not true for all types of foam... and in this case, resin will not melt EVA foam. There's a youtube video floating around of someone actually trying this out on a 2mm sheet of foamies (if you live in Canada, this is the type of foam you can find in the craft section at Wal-Mart... Which is the same type of foam of the kid matting you bought at Zellers)...and the foamie sheet didn't melt.

However, IMO it's still a bad idea to resin and fiberglass foam, because it defeats the purpose of choosing this material in the first place. If you're using foam, you want the flexibility of the material... and if you're fiberglassing over that, you'll lose that flexibility completely. You'd be better off using pepakura and cardstock, if you want to resin and fiberglass your suit.

I've personally put fiberglass resin on EVA and it did not melt.

For the most part I'll agree that many people pick EVA for it's flexibility. However, in instances where a rigid outer surface is needed as well as a good bit of depth, couldn't you use a foam base + resin to get that dimension, as well as the rigid outer, without adding a lot of extra weight?

Now, I'm not sure what the pros & cons of something like that VS. EVA+Plastidip, or even pep + resin + then EVA underlining would be.

Opinions?
 

DethBecomesYou

Active Member
I just wanted to throw in something. I use Elmer's glue or white glue like in schools to coat the foam. It is a cheap alternative to Plastidip. Just brush it on and as it settles the brush strokes disappear and you get a flat shiny surface that mimics plastidip. It is not tacky on the surface. Then just spray paint and you are good to go. The foam still remains flexible which is a plus for the bulkier builds. Give it a try I promise you will be surprised by the results. :)
 

Fullmetalsam

Active Member
What resin are you using? I used standard fiberglass boat resin and my piece got so hot it warped it, when it dried it was ruined.

Oh, I didn't say the foam will not get hot - I've only said the foam will not melt. The heat given off by the resin+hardener reaction can sure warp your foam piece if you're not careful... but with proper support, I'm guessing this can be avoided.

For the most part I'll agree that many people pick EVA for it's flexibility. However, in instances where a rigid outer surface is needed as well as a good bit of depth, couldn't you use a foam base + resin to get that dimension, as well as the rigid outer, without adding a lot of extra weight?

Now, I'm not sure what the pros & cons of something like that VS. EVA+Plastidip, or even pep + resin + then EVA underlining would be.

Opinions?

If I wanted to achieve something with a bit of depth with a hard surface... I think I'd still go the pep route first (so paper+resin+bondo) and then I'd add the foam on the inside.

I've never tried it or had to do something like this... but I figure it would be easier working with the cardstock only to get the correct surface I'm looking for... and then when I would add the foam in, I'd heatform it to the shell I have. So I wouldn't have to go through the trouble of "pepping foam".

Just my opinion - I don't know if someone who has actually done both (pep with foam and with cardstock) can jump in. I've never went the foam pep route, all my foam work is done with my own patterns.
 

simul8r

Member
There is something I just discovered while building my Alien suit. It's Shoe Goo Adhesive, it's texture is flexible yet holds a tough hardness shell and is paintable after it cures. Now, I'm not suggesting to go out and buy boxes of this stuff which might be costly but there is an equivalent adhesive that comes in a bigger tube and better affordability. It's E6000 which is more liquidy and manageable or it's cousin E6100 which is used for vertical surfaces.
 

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Indigogyre

Well-Known Member
There is something I just discovered while building my Alien suit. It's Shoe Goo Adhesive, it's texture is flexible yet holds a tough hardness shell and is paintable after it cures. Now, I'm not suggesting to go out and buy boxes of this stuff which might be costly but there is an equivalent adhesive that comes in a bigger tube and better affordability. It's E6000 which is more liquidy and manageable or it's cousin E6100 which is used for vertical surfaces.

Hey there,

Do you know the dry time and hold times for this? Currently I'm using super glue but it's going to start getting expensive.

Thanks,
Dean
 

simul8r

Member
Hey there,

Do you know the dry time and hold times for this? Currently I'm using super glue but it's going to start getting expensive.

Thanks,
Dean
Shoe Goo - 24 hours for dry time but depending on materials and temperature might be up to 2 to 3 days total cure. Probably same for E6000/6100. I recoated some parts that were hot glued since they were seperating but once cured it became permanent and provided a tough but flexible layer, like plastic leather.
 

Grave

Well-Known Member
cplsharko - Im in canada as well as STEALTH. im sure we can help you find what ever you need. dont use zellers. canadian tire has everything you need.
 

Fullmetalsam

Active Member
cplsharko - Im in canada as well as STEALTH. im sure we can help you find what ever you need. dont use zellers. canadian tire has everything you need.

Grave, I don't want this to sound like I'm trying to be an ass or anything... but why close an option when it's plenty good enough and they can have sales when Canadian Tire doesn't ???

I'm in Canada as well and my way of thinking is that wherever you can pick up the cheapest foam kid matting is the right place to buy it from... Zellers or otherwise. In Quebec, Zellers, Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and Rona actually carry exactly the same brand of foam mats... Since these are all "chain stores", it wouldn't surprise me that it's the same thing happenning across the country.
 

AxiomUltra

Active Member
Hey Fullmetalsam (or anyone else with the knowhow :p)

What about using fiberglass cloth with a liquid plastic like smooth cast 320 to reinforce EVA foam? I'm only asking because there are parts that I have that do not need to be flexible and could look better if I squeeze them a bit *letting the fiberglass/plastic hold it's shape*

I got some extra mats I need to use and I'd rather not deal with the toxic stuff in this cold :D
 

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