Memory foam is a type of mattress that has the ability to support an additional pressure whilst capable of ‘remembering’ its original shape after the pressure has been removed. These properties have made memory foam mattresses in the UK and over the world extremely popular. For people who have trouble sleeping or health related complaints, memory foam mattresses often provide a simple solution or alleviation to these problems. The initial invention of memory foam mattresses was in 1966 by Charles Yost, an aeronautical engineer. He created a new polymeric memory foam with unseen viscoelastic features of both softness and energy absorption.
Memory foam was initially used by NASA as they used it in rocket launches and landings where it provided comfort for the astronauts from the intense pressure caused by G force. After this success, technology advanced further allowing memory foam to be made affordable and put onto the market to be available to consumers from numerous memory foam suppliers. Due to this product being extremely lucrative, the specific formula to the best memory foam mattress is a highly sought after secret. However, we do know that memory foam mattresses are made out of polyurethane. This is made through a complicated chemical process involving water and two other materials. A polyol (which is an alcohol incorporated with hydroxyl groups) and a diiocyanate (which is a chemical compound made up from carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen) are combined with the water causing a reaction to create bubble-like cells that is allowed to expand into a malleable foam. This foam is then transferred into a mould, or sometimes on very large production lines, onto a conveyor with raised sides, and left to solidify. The setting process takes only mere minutes after which it is cut and shaped into the appropriate mattress size then sent to memory foam suppliers.
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