The foam in my Zero Halliburton aluminum camera case has turned to "slurry"

In my teens I was thinking about becoming a professional photographer. With the overly generous help of my mom and dad I gathered up some nice semi-pro 35 mm gear. There was a store going out of business and I managed to buy the de rigueur aluminum Zero Halliburton travel case. Anyway, photography did not pan out – I was pretty good technically but I have learnt that I am artistic only in viewing…

Anyway, yesterday I opened my Zero Halliburton case to find that the foam has turned to a “slurry”. Or maybe, if you can imagine it, melted, sticky cotton candy that is black in colour. I am not impressed. As you can see below, I have emailed Zero Halliburton to see if something can be done. Hopefully the gear – while being film based – isn’t toast…

Hi Folks,

Many years ago as a teenager with thoughts of becoming a professional photographer I purchased a Zero Halliburton case for my camera equipment. That did not pan out and my in the last 10 years my gear was stored, safely and securely I thought, in my Zero case – batteries and film out of the cameras, end caps on all lenses, etc.

Yesterday, I opened the case and found that the foam had turned to, well, slush. Or, maybe black, sticky melted cotton candy would be a better discription. Not only that, but it is now stuck to my camera bodies, lenses and accessories.

Three questions:
a) what is the correct way to clean off this mess;
b) has this damaged my gears (e.g. seals); and
c) how do I get new foam?
Maybe four questions: Will the new foam turn to slush as well?




I rather quickly received a reply from Debbie Pawigon! Not exactly the best answer I wanted but an answer none-the-less. Anyway, I think that the need to replace the foam every five years is important!


It has been suggested to us that the best way to clean our lenses and accessories is as follows:

Isopropyl alcohol works—-but ONLY when used with a stiff brush, such as a bristle brush for fingernails.  Rubbing with a saturated cloth doesn’t do it.

I would try using the alcohol for the case as well-I contacted my repair facility and they didn’t have any other suggestions, I will also try and contact some foam companies that we deal with and if they have any additional recommendations, I will let you know.

Ordering foam can be done on our website-we do only carry a few sizes.

Please measure the case and if unable to find the size you can try a Company called Foam Plastics at

Please note that foam should be changed every 5 years –please see information from our website:

 Foam Inserts (Camera Cases, Gun Cases, Cue Cases)

ZERO Halliburton uses the highest quality latex and petroleum-chemical based foam available, however, like any other foam product, the foam in ZERO Halliburton camera cases, gun cases, and pool cue cases is subject to degradation over time. If you notice any appearance of fine powder, loss of resiliency, noticeable color change or a consistency change such as a rubbery soft feel, it is time to obtain a replacement set of foam. As a maintenance procedure, we recommend that you replace the foam interior every five years. It is important to note that it is the sole responsibility of the case owner to regularly check for foam degradation and to replace the foam as necessary. ZERO Halliburton is not responsible for any damage sustained to the contents of the case due to foam degradation.

If you have any other questions, please let me know.

 Debbie Pawigon
Zero Halliburton

About Mike Pelley

Let’s see… A little about me… I’ve been around information technology since 1983 with computers such as DEC Rainbows (weird machine – the standard DOS couldn’t format its own floppy disks – remember them? – and I had to format them on a friend’s IBM PC) to Radio Shack TRS-80 to Apple ][e and Apple //c in the beginning. I have programmed in 8-bit assembly language on 6502, FORTRAN and COBOL on IBM System/370 (and I still hate JCL), VAX BASIC and COBOL (and a weird and massive WordPerfect 4.0 macro) on DEC VMS (Alpha), C/C++ on Digital Unix (ALPHA), and C/C++, Perl (it may be powerful but I still hate it), PHP on Linux (Red Hat, Centos, Ubuntu, etc.). I have work with databases such as Digital RDB (later to become Oracle RDB), Oracle DBMS, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL on VAX, Alpha, Sun and Intel. Check out my professional profile and connect with me on LinkedIn. See I still think that Digital created some of the best ideas in the world: VAX clustering, DSSI disks (forerunner to SCSI) and the Alpha processor (first commercial 64-bit processor – Red Hat screamed on an Alpha!). DEC just could not seem to be able to give air conditioners away to someone lost in the Sahara Desert! VMware is one of the best ways to get the most out of an x64 server. And I have tried Oracle VM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Virtual Server. Outside of that I am a huge military history buff starting in the early 20th century. I love Ford Mustangs (my ’87 Mustang GT was awesome) and if I had the money I would have a Porsche 928S4. If I had a lot of money I would have a Porsche 911 Turbo. I also play too much AmrA 3 Exile mod. Over 5,000+ hours... I have a wonderful son, Cameron. I have a long suffering (Do you really need all that computer junk?) wife, Paula. I live in Paradise, Newfoundland and Labrador.
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