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I've seen some discussion around the various options for replacing mask foam in other threads, but given that it's on my mind now, as I'll be looking to replace the foam in my Hackva once my season is over, I thought it would be helpful to start this thread as a repository for what's out there right now and what everyone's experiences have been.  The engineer in me would ideally like to see data on energy absorbing abilities of different foams, but that's probably wishful thinking at this point.

To start, for the DIY route, I've seen

A&R rubatex kits

ECOproFOAM kits

Foam kits from Resilient

I've seen a few refurb places as well, but I'd like to see recommendations from people who have had positive experiences before losing any of those here.

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I've used SHOCKtec Air2Gel with good results. A hot knife is necessary to cut it. It is a fairly heavy material, so it needs to be installed in the same manner as Maltese or ECO using small pieces. I have it in two of my masks, and the other two goalies on my team also have 3 masks between them that are also using the Air2Gel. We all get domed regularly, no complaints from any of us as far as how well it performs.

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This is a very timely and good thread. I'm also looking into some new foam. Can you guys maybe also post links to where to buy from as well?

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45 minutes ago, estogoalie said:

This is a very timely and good thread. I'm also looking into some new foam. Can you guys maybe also post links to where to buy from as well?

SHOCKTEC Air2Gel: https://shocktec.com/Order/default.aspx#SHOCKtecAir2Gel

ECOproFOAM: https://goalieparts.com/ecoprofoam

Resilient Foam: https://www.facebook.com/ResilientGoalieFoamSpecialists/

A&R kits are probably the "least" protective but cheapest and more traditional and can be found at many hockey stores.

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On 2/10/2019 at 12:41 AM, aircanuck said:

Foam, I have some.

IMG_0369.JPG

What kind of foam is that, and where did you get it?

I'm looking for a sheet of a somewhat harder foam that I can cut my own pattern from. I have some new foam in my mask right now, but it's a little too soft for me and don't really like the feel or fit of it. Can anyone here advise anything? Who has the most popular foam right now? I remember the gel (Maltese?) was really popular for a while, but I'm not sure I want to go that route. What's the green foam in Jonas Hiller's mask?

Edited by estogoalie

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Ah, a subject near and dear to my heart.

Here is my input, as a former Maltese rep.  There is nothing scientific about this, it is simply my experience in working with these materials.

Rubatex: excellent material for padding masks when it is new or replaced regularly. IMO it will perform as well (and is more comfortable) as Maltese gel when it is new.  The problem is, unless maintained or replaced it can become very stiff and hard from sweat accumulation.

D30: excellent impact attenuation capabilities, but based on its properties (it hardens when it is struck). I would reserve this to use between the shell and padding of choice.  IMO this material is best used when it is the first line of defense in an impact zone (ie. heart guard, elbow guard, slash guard).  Not available to the general public.

Poron: tends to change properties based on temperature.  Gets very stiff in the cold, very soft when it's in a warm environment. Those who have used skates (I think Reactor 6000s had this) with Poron in the liner have complained about water retention, and being able to wring water out from the Poron after some usage.

SHOCKTec: the old Maltese gel supplier/manufacturer.  I was told Maltese switched to a new manufacturer after ShockTec started adding a flame retardant material which would cause some gel sheets to flake and crumble when exposed to sweat.  I personally never observed this with Maltese products that were made using this gel.

Maltese/ECO: Maltese is the original and has gone through several iterations.  For ease of discussion, I will be only referencing the most current gen before the company went under.  ECO is the successor.  Does not absorb water/sweat as much as Rubatex, and stays the same consistency in different temperatures.  ECO is in general 30% lighter and a bit softer than the original Maltese.  My (again, non-scientific) experience: the pieces of gel in my mask have maintained the same consistency in about a year's usage skating twice a week as a spare piece I keep in a drawer at my desk at home.

I personally use the Maltese in two of my masks, and the ECO in an OTNY CC. 

IMO what is most important with mask padding is maintenance and fit.  You want the padding to provide an even distribution of support throughout the entire shell.

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5 hours ago, estogoalie said:

What is the ShockTec Air2Gel about? Is it gel or foam? How does it compare to standard mask foam, like eg. Rubatex?

https://shocktec.com/Order/default.aspx#SHOCKtecAir2Gel

SHOKTEC makes both Air2Gel (which is what people have been talking about) and Gel like the original Maltese from many years ago. Air2Gel is like the last iteration of Maltese and current ECOproFOAM in that it is an air-frothed gel foam, so it's more like a dense foam than an actual gel. Hope that helps.

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Here's my dad's Hackva. It has a combination of Gen 2 (or 3, we don't know) Maltese and multi-density XPF Poron. Custom cut in our garage with some scissors and Velcroed in the helmet.

IMG_0469.JPG.61716e96daf6687ef6e8323d4129fb27.JPG

I've worn the helmet once or twice and it's really comfortable. Kinda hot though and there's no metal tape in it yet to dampen vibrations.

Edited by ThatCarGuy

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I've been using an Otny X1 Eco for the last few months and highly recommend the Eco pro foam.  It is like Maltese foam but softer.

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On 2/11/2019 at 6:26 PM, TitanG said:

SHOKTEC makes both Air2Gel (which is what people have been talking about) and Gel like the original Maltese from many years ago. Air2Gel is like the last iteration of Maltese and current ECOproFOAM in that it is an air-frothed gel foam, so it's more like a dense foam than an actual gel. Hope that helps.

Perfect, thanks, sounds like this might be what I am looking for :) Do you know is it flexible enough to bend in a " U " shape, or is it heat-moldable? Ah, I guess I'll maybe just buy a sheet and play around with it and find out.

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Just now, estogoalie said:

Perfect, thanks, sounds like this might be what I am looking for :) Do you know is it flexible enough to bend in a " U " shape, or is it heat-moldable? Ah, I guess I'll maybe just buy a sheet and play around with it and find out.

Not sure, I've always wanted to buy some myself but haven't. However, it was what Maltese used like ~5 years ago, and that was like the current iteration of Maltese in that it is basically like a foam. I've seen Air2Gel used for motorcycle seats, so that should give you an idea of its cushioning ability.

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1 minute ago, TitanG said:

 I've seen Air2Gel used for motorcycle seats, so that should give you an idea of its cushioning ability.

If it leaves an ass-print in the seat, then I guess that would answer the question if it's heat-moldable or not, LOL

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4 hours ago, estogoalie said:

Perfect, thanks, sounds like this might be what I am looking for :) Do you know is it flexible enough to bend in a " U " shape, or is it heat-moldable? Ah, I guess I'll maybe just buy a sheet and play around with it and find out.

Yes, it is soft enough to bend into a U shape.

As for heat moldable - no, it will not retain its shape after being heated.

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