Foam was first invented in the 1950’s. However it took a surprisingly long time for its amazing benefits to catch on, and it hasn’t always been as popular as it is today where it is used in almost everybody’s day to day lives. The first methods of making it produced a material not like the foam we are used to today.
Instead, it was brittle and not flexible enough to be seen as useful.However, with a few modifications there was soon an outcry for the material we now use everyday without a thought, with foam cut to size for various uses, such as sofas, chairs and even as floatation aids.
The next major development that saw a need for foam cut to size was the creation of memory foam. In the 1970s NASA created the first generation. Again it was too brittle and tended to break down after a couple of years, so they simply gave up on it. However, a few years later a firm who had worked closely with NASA developed it and finally created what we now use today.
It remained expensive and not used broadly until the 1990s, when more and more firms began creating it and more and more of us had very comfy beds as a result.The creation of such a material has been beneficial to many, with hospitals using it on their beds to reduce bed sores and pressure on the limbs, and even astronauts using it to limit the g-force impact upon them. The fact the material remembers a shape and then gradually returns to normal means there are endless opportunities.
So the humble material has come a long way since its first brittle beginning in the 1950’s. Today we use it at home, for packaging, in business and in leisure. Often cites as one of the most important developments in the materials world, it’s easy to see why.