The Advantages of RF Welded Seams on Detention Mattresses

Designing and building a quality detention mattress is a challenging process. There are several needs that must be met and coming up short in even one key area will cause problems for the detention facility.  Among the many factors that are considered in the design process include –

  • Frequently replacing mattresses will drive detention facility expenses through the roof, so a good mattress needs to stand the test of time.
  • This is always an important point in a detention setting. The mattress should be safe to sleep on and it should not provide an opportunity for self-harm.
  • A properly designed detention mattress will be easy to keep clean and won’t hold onto fluids or anything else that can lead to disease.

 On the surface, it sounds simple enough to create a detention mattress that checks all of the right boxes. The devil is in the details, however, and it’s harder than it might seem to create a product that properly serves detention centers.

A Common Problem

One of the typical problems presented by standard detention mattresses comes from something that is easy to take for granted – the seams. Standard seams are sewn closed with stitching that is punched through the material used for the cover of the mattress. This kind of sewing is used universally, of course, for everything from the shirt you are wearing to the blankets you sleep under at night. Unfortunately, for the purposes of detention mattresses, traditional sewn seams create a major problem.

 When sewing a seam closed, the stitching is punched through the material on either side of the seam, over and over again. That allows the two pieces to be pulled together and closed up, but it also creates a series of holes in what used to be a waterproof material. So, using waterproof material for the cover of the mattress is no longer beneficial since the sewing process has perforated the material. What used to be waterproof is now opened up for bodily fluids or other liquids to make their way inside. 

So, to create a detention mattress that is truly waterproof, traditional sewn seams are not going to work. Fortunately, there is another option that can bond the seam tightly together without the drawbacks created with stitching.

 The Radio Frequency Advantage

The solution to this problem is known as radio-frequency welding or RF welding. With RF welding, we are able to bring together a durable, strong, waterproof seam without the issue of creating holes in the material. The end result of RF welding is a beautiful seam that is clean and professional and made to last.

Without getting too deep into the details of how this technology works, let’s take a quick look at the RF welding process.

  • Two flexible materials are needed that will be joined together in the weld. In the case of a detention mattress, the two materials are pieces of the same mattress cover that need to be connected and closed up.
  • A combination of electromagnetic energy and pressure is applied to the two pieces of material. This powerful combination will cause those two pieces to become one, as their molecules are realigned to form a bond. Instead of just holding the pieces of material together, as is done with stitching, RF welding actually takes the two pieces and makes them one.
  • To finish the process, the weld simply needs to cool. Once it has cooled down, the new seam will be strong and ready for reliable performance.

In the end, the advantages of opting for RF welding over stitching are obvious for detention mattresses. The result of welding the seam is a waterproof connection that can be expected to last for the life of the product. Mattresses that are traditionally stitched simply can’t match the performance of one that uses RF welding to create secure seams.

A Problem to Solve

So far, it seems like RF welding the seams of a detention mattress is a perfect solution. And, to be sure, there is a lot to like about this answer to the problem of sealing up a waterproof mattress. However, with such a great seam in place, there is an issue that will need to be resolved – airflow.

If the mattress is sealed up completely with no holes in the material, it will hold in the air just as well as it holds out moisture. By holding in air, the mattress will not be comfortable to lay on. Basically, it will fill up like a balloon and become rather stiff once an individual lays down. That’s not going to work, so something needs to be added to allow air to move in and out of the mattress as necessary.

The solution comes in the form of a specialized vent. A standard air vent isn’t going to be suitable because it would allow liquids to enter the mattress, creating the same problem as the holes from stitching. With a specialized air vent, it will be possible for the mattress to ‘breathe’ while still keeping fluids out. The vent is designed in such a way that liquids can’t enter but air can come and go freely. It’s this technology that allows the mattress to remain completely waterproof while still managing airflow and creating a comfortable surface.

 A Must-Have Feature

Knowing how important it is to have durable, waterproof seams on your detention mattresses, make RF welding a requirement for your next purchase. As you shop, keep an eye out for this feature, along with the other key points that will make a mattress right for your facility. Remember, buying a detention mattress should come down to much more than just finding the lowest price. If you opt for a low-cost solution that features traditional stitching, there is a good chance you’ll need to replace those mattresses sooner rather than later. Invest in quality upfront and watch that decision pay off for years to come.