How Can We Start a Foam Rubber Business In Russia ? By Netlinehost

 Foam rubber business in Russia 

Starting capital - from 7 million rubles.

Foam rubber is one of the “oldest” materials: polyurethane foam compounds were discovered back in the 30s of the last century. In this article, we will be talking about how can we start a foam rubber business in Russia   They were first obtained in the mid-40s of the 20th century. 

How Can We Start a Foam Rubber Business In Russia
How Can We Start a Foam Rubber Business In Russia

It is a time-tested material designed to provide cushioning and secure support. Basically, it is used in places where it is necessary to give products more elasticity (for example, upholstered furniture or fragile interior elements) and heat/noise insulation.

However, only a small part of it is produced in our country - the main supplies are exported from the countries of Europe and the Far East. Therefore, the production of foam rubber products can become a very stable and profitable business project. Another advantage is the fact that foreign manufacturing companies simply cannot compete with domestic ones, because the transportation of this material (especially over long distances) is very expensive - more expensive than the foam rubber itself. This is because foam rubber has large volumes with a small mass, even if it is transported in specialized compression packaging.

In addition, the production of foam rubber products (with relatively small production capacities) does not require a high start-up capital (even taking into account the purchase of equipment and the lease of a working area), so it is ideal for novice entrepreneurs.

Of the shortcomings, it can only be noted that such a factory will be very narrowly focused, and the sales market is relatively small and specific. Potential customers are manufacturing companies that produce thin and fragile products, for example, any electronic goods (phones, tablets, e-books, GPS-navigators, radio, etc). Such fragile products require appropriate protection - a soft foam pad, which will protect them from breakage during transportation. Such companies will gladly purchase from you many batches of foam rubber for packaging finished products, or rather, for their protection. Another possible distribution channel is upholstered furniture companies that use foam rubber as padding (mainly, such products belong to the low and middle price segments). Also, construction companies that use foam inserts as sound, vibration, and heat insulation are willingly using such services.

In approximately the same (relatively small) volumes, this material is purchased by shoe manufacturing companies, which are one of the constituent materials of the insole, and by manufacturers of audio equipment - microphones, headphones, and other headsets.

One of the possible distribution channels for foam rubber is manufacturing companies of a number of medical products, for example, fixation splints, some models of prostheses, and so on. It is also worth remembering about the sale of manufactured products to private individuals: for example, super- / hypermarkets and specialized stores of building materials.

When organizing your own production of foam rubber products, perform a market analysis in your region (or order this service from specialists), correlate the estimated production capacity with the distribution channels found. Assess the general situation in the selected region, for example:

  1. The number of competitive manufacturing companies;
  2. The assortment produced by them;
  3. Price;
  4. Advertising sources.


  • Technological process
  • Necessary equipment
  • Requirements for the premises
  • Working staff
  • Prospects for further development

The process of making foam rubber is classified as environmentally hazardous, and in some cases, especially harmful to the health of workers. This is because the production process uses materials such as polyol compounds (polyhydric alcohols) and aromatic isocyanates, some catalysts, and foam stabilizers. Most of the components listed above become toxic after evaporation, while they decompose into safe components when exposed to sufficient amounts of water and air - for this reason, production facilities are necessarily supplied with running water and provided with good ventilation. Respirators must be worn by every worker.

The technological process itself, like the production of any polyurethane foam products, can be classified into several categories:

Production capacity;

The manufacturing technology used is continuous / batch.

The above categories are closely related to each other: for example, continuous technology is used for enterprises with large production capacities (with volumes of more than 2 thousand tons/year), although some medium-sized (from 0.5 to 2 thousand tons/year) manufacturing companies are successful apply it. Periodic technology is more often used by some medium-sized (from 0.5 to 2 thousand tons/year), as well as by all small (up to 0.5 thousand tons/year) firms.

The technological process of foam rubber production can be divided into several stages:

First, liquid chemical components - the basis of the future product - are added in certain proportions to a special mixer, after which they are quickly mixed in a specialized installation before foaming (the operating mode is selected depending on the indicators that must be given to the final product - density, tensile / compression stress, deformation coefficient products, breaking stress of the material and other characteristics) and poured into a movable mold with reclining walls.

After mixing the chemical components in the mold, a certain chemical reaction occurs, leading to the formation of a foamy substance and its rise. The foam block made in this way is kept for some time (in accordance with the recipe, the average holding time is 15 minutes). Then the mold is disassembled, and the block is moved to the workshop for final molding (the foam rubber is also cooled there, as well as the end of the chemical reaction).

After a few hours, the finished product is cut into sheets of a certain thickness (generally from 0.05 to 1.5 centimeters) on a horizontally positioned band saw.

The method of manufacturing foam blocks differs in only one aspect: with continuous technology, the casting equipment feeds a certain amount of reagents into the mixer. From there, the reaction mixture is poured not into a mold, but into a specialized mobile conveyor, in which whipping processes take place. Continuously arriving seams are cut into components. After aging, the blocks are divided into sheets of a certain thickness.

Necessary equipment

The equipment required for the manufacture of foam rubber products (regardless of the production technology used) consists of the following units:

Foaming unit;

Forms (for batch production technology),

Moving conveyors (for continuous production technology),

Horizontal/vertical band saw (the second option is preferable);

Completion of additional tools for dosing chemicals, maintenance of equipment, pumps, and so on.

The cost of a finished production line intended for small production capacities (from 0.10-0.15 to 0.5 thousand tons / year), with the possibility of further expansion - in 18 thousand dollars (which is equivalent to 14.6 thousand euros or 1.04 million rubles). Considering the cost of installation and training of maintenance personnel - 25 thousand dollars (which is equivalent to 20.4 thousand euros or 1.44 million rubles).

To expand the production line, it will be necessary to purchase:

Thermal installations for tempering foam rubber. Allows to significantly speed up the block forming processes. Cost - 6 thousand dollars (which is equivalent to 4.9 thousand euros or 350 thousand rubles);

An optional set of automated dispensing tools and reservoirs. Cost - 6.2 thousand dollars (which is equivalent to 5 thousand euros or 360 thousand rubles);

The second band saw. The cost is 5 thousand dollars (which is equivalent to 4.1 thousand euros or 290 thousand rubles).

After the addition of the line, the production capacity will increase several times. At the same time, the technology remains unchanged - periodic.

A fully automated production line for the production of foam rubber, operating on a continuous technology, has a slightly higher cost - about 6.5 million rubles. However, in addition to the main one, it can be supplemented with auxiliary equipment. If at first, you will not be able to buy everything at once, try to get it as soon as possible.

This includes the following equipment:

Installation for twisting foam rubber into rolls, as well as for packing foam sheets. Cost - 7 thousand dollars (which is equivalent to 5.7 thousand euros or 405 thousand rubles);

Crusher for crushing foam crusts. Subsequently, it can be used for stuffing upholstered furniture. Also used for the manufacture of "secondary foam products". Cost - 2 thousand dollars (equivalent to 1.6 thousand euros or 115 thousand rubles);

Completion of equipment for processing industrial waste and obtaining secondary raw materials. The cost is 9 thousand dollars (which is equivalent to 7.3 thousand euros or 520 thousand rubles).

Almost the same equipment will be needed for the manufacture of mattresses. You can read about this business plan on our website in the article “ Opening a Mattress Manufacturing Enterprise ”.

Requirements for the premises

There are a few requirements for the work space:

The minimum ceiling height is 3 meters;

It is necessary to maintain a certain temperature regime throughout the enterprise - 18 ° C and above. If the temperature in one of the foam blocks pouring workshops drops below this mark, then further production is highly discouraged.

A strict temperature regime must be implemented only in the workshops for pouring foam blocks (from 30 to 50 square meters) - it can be fenced off from the rest of the premises to make it easier to maintain the required temperature. Further aging of the foam blocks is carried out in a room with a lower temperature regime. Cutting and storage of finished products are carried out at any temperature regime.

In total, the total area of ​​the enterprise for the production of foam rubber is at least 200 square meters, taking into account household, warehouse, and office premises. A three-phase voltage of 380 volts must be supplied. A powerful ventilation system is also required. In addition, the band saws require a small foundation. It is desirable to provide convenient transport access to the workshops. The area in front of the entrances should be sufficient to unload raw materials.

Working staff

To start the technological process, it is necessary to hire a qualified employee who has a chemical engineering education or relevant training courses. Technological skills are much more important since a technologist is necessary for organizing and debugging the process. Chemical education is desirable, but not required.

In addition, maintenance of the equipment will require several people (from 3 to 5 - it all depends on the line configuration and the number of installations) in the pouring workshop and a couple of employees for the cutting installation. To load/unload finished products and raw materials, as well as for other work - several handymen.

Prospects for further development

The priority vector of development of such an enterprise is the manufacture of molded products. Today it is widely used, for example, for upholstery in car seats, as well as in the upholstered furniture segment.

In addition, an alternative income without additional investments is the manufacture of household foam products:


  • Dishwashing sponges;
  • Insulation material for window openings;
  • Some children's toys;
  • Hangers, etc.

Also, do not forget to integrate new materials: for example, in America and some European countries, there has been a massive transition from foam rubber to non-combustible polyurethane foam materials produced using the same technology, but with the addition of special chemical compounds.

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