What is Memory Foam
Memory foam is a soft pressure and heat sensitive material which contains millions of open, spherical cells which mainly consist of polyurethane foam and other added chemicals to increase its viscosity and density. Memory foam is used within mattresses and other bedding related products due to its unique properties that make is perfect for support and comfort.
Polyurethane foam (memory form) is built up by a few main ingredients:
- Polyols– which is the binding ingredient. Mostly coming from petroleum oil, but may also include plant based products like soy or castor beans.
- Blowing Agents– introduces carbon to create the foam. Used to use CFCs, though today manufacturers may use water, HFC or other agents.
- Diisocyanates – the reactive ingredient. When combined with polyols and blowing agents they react creating a soft flexible polyurethane foam. The most commonly used Diisocyanatesare MDI and TDI, MDI is regarded as the safer and less toxic option, and is known to be the least hazardous organic isocyanate.
What makes memory foam so comfortable?
memory foam reacts to body heat and compression which makes it mold to your warm body giving support in high impact areas within a matter of minutes, so when you lay on a memory foam mattress topper there is the initial sinking then once your body relaxes you might notice you sunk in a little bit more, this is due to your body heat helping mold the foam around you.
The History of Memory Foam
In 1966 a group of NASA engineers wanted to design a custom seat that would relieve pressure from the massive gravitational forces that the astronauts go through during takeoff and landing. but they soon came to the realization that they won't be able to make a customer seat for each astronaut because there bodies change over the course of the ongoing training each astronaut goes through. That means they would of had to change seats with every mission for every astronaut which is rather impractical. So instead the NASA engineers invented a material that could adapt to your body and help protect the astronauts from the G Forces they experience. This material became what we know as today as memory foam.