Researchers at the University of Sheffield have transformed ordinary polyurethane packaging foam into a superfoam that not only refuses to be crushed but also actually increases in thickness when stretched. Under the same stresses conventional foam loses its resilience and its protective qualities, so the superfoam’s benefits for the packaging industry are obvious.
The secret lies in a new “cooking” technique and in the cooking oil, which has to be organic; olive oil, for example, will do nicely.
Similar foams have been developed before, but no-one has yet found a cost-effective way to manufacture them. This one is different because almost any conventional packaging foam will do as the main ingredient. The current manufacturing process, which is still being refined, consists simply of subjecting that ordinary foam to an industrial cooking process using inexpensive and easily obtainable ingredients.
Jon Pyle | alfa
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