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Orthotic Materials

This table lists the most common materials used for manufacturing custom orthotics in our lab.

Information on durometer measurement, open-cell foam and closed-cell foam can be found following the list.

Name Description Uses
Aliplast closed cell polyethylene foam, 23 durometer, thermoformable, white cushioning
Bilaminate P-Cell laminated to Poron: 1/16" Poron plus 1/8" P-Cell or 1/8" Poron plus 1/8" P-Cell cushioning, covering, diabetic top covers
Bio-Foam closed-cell low density foam foot impressions
Carboplast composite shell material; carbon and glass fibers in a unique polypropylene matrix orthotic shells
Cushion cork cork & rubber composition, stiff, not thermoformable heel lifts
EVA Ethylene Vinyl Acetate: can be either open-cell or closed-cell; wide range of durometers, thicknesses & colors top & bottom covers, cushioning, accommodations, wedges, filler, shell material for soft orthotics
Korex cork & rubber blend, flexible yet durable, not thermoformable accommodations, extensions, Morton's & reverse Morton's, wedges
Leather processed animal hide which is durable and flexible top and bottom covers
Neolon with bamboo closed cell neoprene with fabric cover containing nanoparticles of activated bamboo, 1/16" & 1/8" thickness cushioning and covering
Nickelplast-S closed cell polyethylene foam, does not bottom out, 48 durometer, thermoformable, tan cushioning, accommodations
P-Cell closed cell EVA foam, pink, 20-25 durometer, 1/8" thickness cushioning and covering
Plastazote lightweight, closed-cell, cross-linked polyethylene foam, medium, firm & rigid densities cushioning
Polypropylene thermoplastic polymer, softens when heated and hardens when cooled orthotic shells
Poron medical grade, open-cell polyurethane foam, 15 durometer, blue, 1/16", 1/8", 3/16", 1/4", 3/8" cushioning, met pads, heel pads, sweet spots
SBR styrene-butadiene rubber, synthetic rubber  a component of SolFlex
Silicone Gel low durometer polyurethane gel for shear reduction and pressure relief cushioning
Solflex EVA/SBR blend, 65 durometer, thermoformable orthotic posting
Spenco closed cell neoprene with fabric cover, 1/16" & 1/8" thickness cushioning and covering
ThermoCork Lite EVA/cork blend, 65 durometer, thermoformable orthotic posting, wedges
Thin Stiff EVA 65 durometer EVA, 1.5 mm thickness bottom covers; can be used as top covers when extra durable material is needed
TL 2100 composite material of carbon fibers (graphite) impregnated with a specific type of acrylic resin orthotic shells
TL Silver composite material with all woven glass fibers laminated unidirectional in an acrylic matrix orthotic shells
Ultrasuede durable synthetic microfiber fabric top and bottom covers
Vinyl polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic with knit fabric backing covering, tops and bottoms
X-Static 1/8" soft EVA with Silver impregnated fabric cover; anti-odor, anti-microbial & thermodynamic properties cushioning and covering

Durometer

Durometer is one of several measures of the hardness of a material. Hardness may be defined as a material's resistance to permanent indentation. The durometer scale was defined by Albert F. Shore, who developed a measurement device called a durometer in the 1920s. The term durometer is often used to refer to the measurement, as well as the instrument itself. Durometer is typically used as a measure of hardness in polymers, elastomers, and rubbers. There are several scales of durometer, used for materials with different properties. The two most common scales, using slightly different measurement systems, are type A and type D scales. The A scale is for softer plastics, while the D scale is for harder ones.

All of the durometer measures of the materials in the above list are of the type A scale.

Open-cell foam material

Open-cell-structured foams contain pores that are connected to each other and form an interconnected network that is relatively soft. Open-cell foams will fill with whatever they are surrounded with. If filled with air, a relatively good insulator is the result, but, if the open cells fill with water, insulation properties would be reduced. Foam rubber is a type of open-cell foam.

Closed-cell foam material

Closed-cell foams do not have interconnected pores. The closed-cell foams normally have higher compressive strength due to their structures. However, closed-cell foams are also in general denser, require more material, and as a consequence are more expensive to produce. The closed cells can be filled with a specialized gas to provide improved insulation. The closed-cell structure foams have higher dimensional stability, low moisture absorption coefficients, and higher strength compared to open-cell-structured foams.