Is there anything you’ve forgotten about memory foam?

Posted on Mar 26 2014 - 2:03pm by Charlie

Or perhaps, there may be some key information or developments that you haven’t yet had the chance to appreciate? The famous Frenchman Marcel Proust once wrote that “Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.” As he died in 1922, he can now be excused for not knowing that the very point of memory foam is that it does remember how things were, and then has the ability to return to that former shape!

It is probably of no great surprise that the genesis of visco-elastic foam (to give it its Sunday-best name) is credited to NASA and the American space programme. This work began in the 1960s with the aim of improving the safety of aircraft (and then space) seat cushions. It was fully another twenty years before this development became commercially-viable (it was then reckoned to be a difficult and unreliable manufacturing process). In terms of public perception, it’s quite likely that when you first read the words “memory foam”, you thought of pillows and mattresses. Such uses, however, are just part of an ever-expanding story.

The development of a world of uses for memory foam

A question: which of the products on this list have made use of such a product in their manufacture – stress relief toys, linings for helmets, supports for keyboards, slippers, orthopaedic seating, riding saddles, and body armour? You’re right to have guessed all of them (and many more). How about ski or safety goggle seals and ear plugs? Yes to these as well; and such uses by memory foam manufacturers highlight the main benefits of consistency, comfort and protection.

How memory foam has developed

So, as we’ve seen, as this product has developed, an increasing number of possibilities for its use have appeared. With its capability of absorbing both shocks and vibrations, allied to an ability to recover slowly, many more uses then become practicable.

You can expect that nowadays the top foam suppliers should have around two dozen different densities available in stock. Surfaces have also developed and range from virtually rigid to extremely soft and supple; and there are even flame retardant options. 3D memory foam shapes can be precision-cut to size, and the foam is quite capable of being laminated to many other materials.

It’s over to you

With the many developments highlighted here, and the key properties already appreciated, the option now exists to use the product in a wide range of bespoke applications. No matter how you are involved in the development of new and improved products or facilities, it’s worthwhile considering – and consulting about – how memory foam could enhance and improve your finished article or completed project.

As you take time to consider the possibilities, let’s end with a single line from the Romantic poet John Keats. What he wrote around two centuries ago is true of the present day in a way that he could never have imagined: “Touch has a memory.”

This blog was written by Gordon Veniard, who is an experienced contributor to a wide range of business and industry blogs, websites, management newsletters, and other publications. The information regarding memory foam tile properties was supplied by Technical Foam Services Ltd.



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