Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists cook up superfoam that fights back

18.12.2002


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.


Dr Fabrizio Scarpa of the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering is leading the research project. He explained, “I decided to research this subject because I was interested in the mechanical and acoustic properties of negative Poisson’s ratio cellular materials. These solids expand in all directions when pulled in only one, unlike ‘normal’ materials.

“The breakthrough came when we started to use particular combinations of temperature and compression ratios on samples of normal open cell polyurethane packaging foam. The dynamic crush resilience of the new foam we created was remarkable – and its acoustic absorption properties were better than conventional foam too.

“We can produce small quantities of the superfoam in our labs here at the University, and we’re seeking a packaging industry partner to develop a full scale manufacturing process.”

Jon Pyle | alfa

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Electron tomography technique leads to 3-D reconstructions at the nanoscale
24.05.2018 | The Optical Society

nachricht These could revolutionize the world
24.05.2018 | Vanderbilt University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When corals eat plastics

24.05.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Surgery involving ultrasound energy found to treat high blood pressure

24.05.2018 | Medical Engineering

First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>