In our four-part blog post series, “Behind the Grips,” we pull back the curtain and explore each section of the innovative, triple-layered KontrolFreek Grips. Each post will not only cover the unique benefits and properties of that layer, but also the needs and issues that layer is addressing.
For our third entry, we will examine the middle layer of the KontrolFreek Grips: the patented, high-density microcellular foam. Our middle foam layer provides personalized, contoured comfort while affording additional advantages with its breathable, shock-absorbing, and antimicrobial properties.
In order to better understand the foam middle layer, we must first learn about its physical properties. The foam is a microcellular foam, meaning that the foam polymer is specially fabricated to create micro-pores, or cells, in the polymer matrix. The foam was made with a high-density construction, to make it cushiony and pliable (low-density foams are stiff, like Styrofoam), but also extremely durable and stable so it always returns to its original structure/orientation after compression
Furthermore, the particular foam we use is an open-cell foam, meaning the majority of the microcells share walls with each other. This makes the cells easy to collapse on one another (no air trapped in the cells like with closed-cell), resulting in soft and ventilated. These physical properties help create several benefits to the gamer.
First and foremost, our KontrolFreek Grips were designed with comfort in mind. Besides being moisture-wicking and grip-enhancing, they had to just feel good, naturally and immediately when grabbing your controller. The foam itself is very similar to memory foam (which is also open-cell, high-density foam), so it cradles your fingers and conforms to your palm to create an ergonomic grip that is tailored to each individual who uses it. Set your controller down, and the Grips return to their original flat structure so your buddy can pick up and play without worrying about a permanent ergonomic mold that might not fit their hand or how they hold the controller.
While the top layer has fantastic moisture-wicking properties, we wanted the foam layer to address the underlying cause of hand sweat – too much heat generated on your palm and fingers. The open-cell structure allows air molecules to easily pass through the open sides of the Grips and circulate throughout the material, keeping your hands cool as your gaming session heats up. By allowing circulation to disperse the heat accumulating between the controller and your hands, KontrolFreek Grips reduce your hands’ surface temperature, minimizing palm perspiration in the process and keeping controllers from getting clammy.
A microcellular foam with open-cell construction yields several other benefits as it applies to use as a gaming controller. When the outer shell is water and oil resistant like our top layer, often times it is the foam layer underneath that will absorb these kinds of things, leading to mildew, rot, and other nefarious odor-causing microbes. Luckily, our patented foam’s microcellular construction destroys cellular beings, meaning it is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-odor. Moreover, the open-cell structure allows any moisture or other liquid that happens to penetrate the top layer to be quickly dispersed and evaporated.
Although not an original goal or desired benefit, our foam middle layer provided us with one more secondary, side-benefit. High-density foams are widely used for shock absorption across all industries, from cushions to shin guards to noise-dampening tiles. Our foam layer will absorb up to 90% of the Force from a single-drop, flat-surface impact. That means, if you drop your controller, slam it on the table, or throw it across the room, our Grips will help potentially lessen any damage done.
Stay tuned for the rest of the Behind the Grips series:
The Honeycomb Top Layer – PART ONE: Enhanced Grip
The Honeycomb Top Layer – PART TWO: Liquid Management
The Two-Sided Specialty Adhesive Layer (coming soon)