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Memory foam, the incredible smart foam invented by NASA for use on its shuttles has revolutionised mattress technology and has given thousands of people around the world a superior night’s sleep. It was created by an aeronautical engineer called Charles Yost in 1966 to help provide relief from the stresses of the high G-forces experienced during takeoff. It has the incredible ability to adjust its form with a change of temperature and then return to its original form once the temperature has returned back. The precise recipe for memory foam is a closely guarded secret, but the general components and process are well known.
Memory foam is made from polyurethane, which is produced through a reaction between water and polyol - an alcohol made of hydroxyl groups- and diisocyanate- made from carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. When they are mixed together they form a foam that has bubbles in it, which form cells vital to memory foam’s ‘smartness’. This is then poured into moulds were it sets. Once it has set it can then be cut and shaped into virtually any configuration, allowing it to be used in a wide variety of uses.
Because of its incredible properties, memory foam has become the most popular material for mattresses. Yet another amazing benefit the space race has given the human race.
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