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Here are a few answers to frequently asked questions, if you've still got a question that's not answered below, give us a call on +44 (0) 870 350 5008, or go to our contact page and one of our experts will be happy to assist.

A Quick Guide to Polyurethane Foam Moulding

Polyurethane (PU) foam is made by mixing two liquid components under shear and pouring or injecting them into a mould cavity.  The chemical reaction kicks off within seconds and carbon dioxide gas is given off as bubbles.  As the polymer is formed the bubbles are trapped in the matrix forming a foam.  The constituents can be modified to form foam with many different densities and properties.

Pigments or dyes can be added to one of the components, or injected at the mixing stage so you can have any colour you want - even fluorescents. Note: When considering colour, bare in mind that PU eventually goes yellow on exposure to UV light - so very light colours are unwise in products needing a long lifetime in daylight.  Typically a foam moulding can be demoulded within about 5 minutes.  Because of this long cycle time it is usual to produce multiple mould cavities to get a continuous production flow. Normally this would be between 20 and 50 cavities.

The good news is that PU tooling is a lot less expensive than plastic injection moulding because the pressures involved are much less. So even with multiple cavities a full set of PU moulds can cost a fraction of the price of a normal injection mould. Resin tooling is cheapest and quickest for relatively small mouldings - say anything less than 300x300mm in size. Above this it’s often cheaper to go down the machining route.  There are many variants of this basic process, for example an in-mould coating can be applied to the inside surface of the mould before material is injected so that the moulding has a silky smooth surface, material such as fabric or leather can be laminated to the foam in the moulding process, inserts can be encapsulated into the foam – the possibilities are huge.

How do I get my product developed into a stress ball?

It depends on where you are starting from. The normal flow is as follows:-  Produce your concept or design with sketches or CAD drawings and supply to us.  We can pick up on design challenges that can make manufacturing difficult, and where possible we can adjust the shape to suit the manufacturing process.  We would give estimates of cost for the project at this stage depending on the level of complexity, incorporating pantone colour matching, spray masks, and printing.  A full 3D resin model will be sculpted for final physical approval.   We would produce a test mould using that model to prove the moulding process and deliver some samples for final approval.  We would then produce production tooling and make the bulk order.

What are stress balls made from?

Our stress balls are made using an injection foaming system.  Two part outer metal moulds are clamped together, then a non-toxic bespoke liquid mixture is injected into the moulds which creates a chemical chain reaction.  This chain reaction creates the bubbles within the foam, and also makes the liquid turn into foam - in a very similar way to expanding foam used for construction and DIY purposes.  Once the foam has cured, the moulds are removed and the stress ball is finished, some with the addition of sprayed and painted colours and customer logo's or messages.  A graphical view of the processes involved can be found on our how stress balls are made page.  You can also see how to make your own stress ball following our make your own stress ball guide.

Can you make Stress Balls with Gel Inside?

No - we are unable to create stress balls with gel centres.

What colours do the stress balls come in?

Our most popular 70mm stress balls are usually availble from stock in 23 colours!  Many other shapes are available in multiple colours, with the remainder only available from stock in their standard colour as shown on the website.  On each product page on our website you will see the range of colours that shape is usually available in.  We can also make any shape in any colour of your choice, including pantone matching; however, custom product colours would need to made to order in the factory (minimum order 500pcs) so one would need to allow around 6-8 weeks for delivery from time of order.   

Do you have a minimum order quantity?

The minimum order quantity is displayed on the website for all products, which can be as low as 50pcs.  For custom coloured items and bespoke stress balls the minimum production run is 500pcs.  

Can you provide a free visual?

Yes!  We provide free pre-order visuals for all of our shapes, so you can see exactly how your printing will look on your stress balls before you commit.  If you would like a pre order visual, we would request that you provide artwork in a vector format (either .ai, .EPS, .pdf or .svg) with fonts converted to outlines - this is really helpful for our studio to create the visual.  However if you don't have artwork in that format, please supply what you have available and our studio will do the best job we can.  More information can be found here about artwork guidelines for printing.

My logo has lots of colours - will this print?

There are four different print methods for printing onto stress balls.  The print method which is used is selected based on the shape and or print area of the stress ball and also depending on the artwork requirement.  More information can be found on our how are stress balls printed page.  If you are unsure please share your artwork by emailing us or uploading your artwork on our contact form and one of our experts will be on hand to advise the best print process for your requirements.

Can I recieve a free sample?

Yes of course!  We offer overstock samples free of charge to genuine potential customers, please contact us with the shape you require along with your full address and contact details along with the company / organisation name and we will send a sample out to you.

How quickly can you deliver?

We aim to ensure every customer is 100% satisfied, and where lead times are urgent please contact us - we will do all we can to help. The majority of our stress balls are usually held in stock meaning unprinted stress balls can be delivered within 48 hours and a selection of printed stress balls can sometimes be delivered as fast as 4-5 working days.  See our full range of stress balls and use the filters to see which shapes are usually available from stock.  View more information about our delivery timescales.

I can't find the shape I want - can you make bespoke shapes?

If you cannot find the shape you are looking for through the category browser, try our search bar as this delivers very quick results, or please contact us as our range is always increasing. Otherwise we can make a bespoke shape based on your design. Please see our bespoke page for further details.

Are stress balls safe?

All stress products comply with British Safety Standards EN71 Parts 1,2 & 3. All stress balls are also latex free.

Can stress balls be used as childrens toys?

Stress balls are sold as promotional gifts and as such are not suitable for children under 3 years of age.