The process of melting plastic in an extruder, then adding a foaming chemical to create a cellular structure within the molten plastic. The foamed plastic is then formed by an extrusion or molding process. The cellular structure is formed through the use of two types of foaming processes; a physical foaming agent or gas injected directly into the molten plastic, or a chemical foaming agent that decomposes during the extrusion process releasing an expanding gas to create the foam. Products made using foaming processes are pipe insulation, protective packaging, swim noodles, footwear, exercise mats, and many others.
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