Expanding shipping material protects PC components

I hate the prospect of selling an old gaming computer on eBay, not because of scammers, but because it'll get mistreated in delivery. This is clearly a Problem in general, because iBuyPower's using a fancy packing tech to ensure internal components in its systems don't get knocked about. From the blurb:
iBUYPOWER Advanced Packaging System utilizes chemical reaction to create an easily removable custom padding solution that molds perfectly to the system. This internal cushion prevents components from shifting or coming loose while in transit, significantly reducing the chance of damage occurring during shipping. The iBUYPOWER Advanced Packaging System is highly recommended for orders with one or more large graphics cards or large CPU cooling solutions.
Better, one presumes, than filling a midi-tower with styrofoam.

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6 Responses to Expanding shipping material protects PC components

  1. Takuan says:

    hilti-foam from a hilti gun and baggies

  2. Zan says:

    I don’t get what’s so advanced about this. Almost every bit of hardware I’ve purchased that didn’t come in a retail box has used expanding foam packs. I even purchased a refurb camera from Canon that came packed in these.

  3. technogeek says:

    As others have said: Has been around a while. It usually doesn’t expand strongly enough to burst the bag on sharp edges, but it may mold itself tightly enough into irregular corners to be a pain to remove.

    BUT: Having once been in a crisis situation because a machine we shipped to a trade show had one of its cards jarred loose in transit, with the result of shorting out the whole machine when it was turned on without a pre-inspection, I’ve got to admit that this application may make sense.

    BUT: The same folks I wouldn’t trust to open the machine and make sure everything’s seated properly before powering on are the ones I wouldn’t trust to realize shipping material has to be removed. I strongly recommend covering the power connection with a bit red “REMOVE ALL SHIPPING MATERIAL FROM INTERIOR AND RESEAT CONNECTORS BEFORE APPLYING POWER” label. In which case the label alone is doing most of the work…

    Good stuff, but I’m not convinced about this application. However, it will probably impress and please the eBay buyer… though you’ll have to charge them for that as part of your shipping-and-handling costs.

    #4: Bruce, given how much the expanding foam expands, a single can sprayed into a bag would more than fill a PC case. On the other hand, even the gently-expanding version of that foam is a relatively rigid variety, and might be harder to pry free (see above concerns) than a product made for the purpose. Again, perfectly reasonable solution but maybe not for this application.

    Advisory if you do go the spraycan-and-bag route: the sealant foam is a close chemical cousin of polyurethane adhesives. (In fact, it’s not uncommon to use it as a combined adhesive and sealant, eg when replacing windows.) It isn’t quite a superglue, but it cures on exposure to moisture and bonds aggressively to just about any reasonably clean surface. The only reasonable way to remove it from skin is to wait for the outer layer of skin under it to flake off. (Or abrade it off, ouch.) Also, the stuff is so good a sealant that it will seal its own spraycan; plan all the projects that may want to use this foam for the same day and preferably within a few hours of each other, or you may wind up wasting most of a can. (And a half-unusable can is definitely a hazmat.)

  4. Trent Hawkins says:

    wouldn’t it get caught on some of the sharper components? I know i’ve had more then one laceration from an IBM before.

  5. rak0ribz says:

    If Great Stuff wasn’t so darned expensive, it’d be a great way to do this at home, as long as you could be sure that it wouldn’t bust your bag and glom all over whatever you were packing.

    Jeez, that’s probably the dirtiest-sounding thing I’ve written today.

  6. Bruce says:

    Nothing new about the technology for sure, but I’ve never seen it being put inside the case before. That’s kinda cool!

    Is it possible to buy this stuff for home use? I know you can buy small cans of it at home depot for sealing cracks around the house, but it would take a lot of cans to get the job done.

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