Bayer MaterialScience and BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing have developed shape memory plastics. Zap the plastic with heat and it goes back to its original shape. How cool is that? And I must admit that while I was reading the release, I started daydreaming about technology that would enable me to go back to my original shape. But back to the tangible technology: thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).
According to the Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer, parts made of this plastic can be temporarily reshaped. When heated to a certain temperature, known as the switching temperature, the plastic "remembers" its original shape. Possible applications include the repair of damaged bodywork parts using a hair dryer. This would have come in handy when I was 17 and ran into my parent's garage with my Dodge Charger 2.2. I was grounded for a month and had to do odd jobs to pay for repairs. Whoops – I'm daydreaming again.
Because the TPU materials is free from plasticizers and antihydrolysis agents, it is also suitable fro food contact applications. It also boasts all the typical advantages of TPU, such as high abrasion resistance, flexibility and good chemical resistance.
You can learn more at www.materialscience.bayer.com
Senior Digital Editor and chronic daydreamer