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Where Did Memory Foam Come From?

Where Did Memory Foam Come From?
Category: News
Posted: 15-03-2013 23:58:36
Views: 1190
Synopsis: If you have ever wondered where Memory foam came from, please read this article

The Memory foam Mattress, From The Beginning

If you've been looking to buy a new bed recently it won't have escaped your attention that there's a relatively new type of mattress material available - memory foam. And if you've never experienced memory foam before you're probably asking what it is and where it came from.

You may be surprised to learn that despite its fairly recent appearance in the consumer market memory foam has been around for at least forty years. As with many modern inventions, it began its life in the laboratories of NASA during the height of the Space Race between the United States and the USSR to be the first to put a man on the Moon.

Since the Russian Yuri Gagarin first blasted off into space in 1961, one thing has become clear: the g-forces that astronauts are subjected to as they leave the Earth are not only uncomfortable but also potentially damaging to the human body. To solve this problem, NASA began to work on a new type of high-density polyurethane foam that would help to cushion and prevent injury to their astronauts. Described as a visco-elastic memory foam and made out of similar materials to those in today's mattresses, the original material NASA designed was a much thicker, denser version that could offer more protection from the impact of the extreme g-forces experienced during lift-off.

After the Moon landing in 1969 the excitement surrounding space travel diminished, leaving NASA to count the financial cost. This led to the decision to sell on some of their technologies to fund future research. Unfortunately, however, the potential of memory foam for the average consumer wasn't immediately clear. As it was originally designed to withstand the extreme forces of space travel it was thought that there was little use for it here on Earth. With little likelihood of finding a buyer, the invention was shelved until the 1980s. It was then that a Swedish company was inspired to redesign it into the material used today.

So what does today's memory foam actually do? In layman's terms, it 'remembers' the imprint of your body and doesn't give way to pressure as readily as ordinary upholstery foam. Designed to adapt to the amount of force we exert when horizontal, it gradually conforms to the individual shape of your body, providing a feeling of being 'cradled' by your bed not unlike the sensation of weightlessness. This benefit led to its first use in the medical field to provide comfortable support for immobile hospital patients while reducing friction on pressure points. It was used to give patients a better night's sleep by alleviating pain and preventing pressure sores developing.

Today its popularity has grown enormously as more people experience its advantages. Due to improvements in manufacturing which have driven down the cost to buyers, it has moved from the niche medical market into the mainstream consumer market and is now readily available to everyone.

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