Slow Springback Foam Cushioning, 1988

Partnership with Dynamic Systems, Inc.

One innovation developed by a contractor at Ames Research Center was an open cell polymeric foam material with unusual properties. Intended as padding for aircraft seats the material offered better impact protection against accidents, and also enhanced passenger comfort because it distributed body weight evenly over the entire contact area. Called a slow springback foam, the product flows to match the contour of the body pressing against it, and returns to its original shape once the pressure is removed. It has many applications including aircraft cushions and padding, dental stools, and athletic equipment. Now it is used by Dynamic Systems, Inc. for medical applications such as wheel chairs for severely disabled people which allow them to sit for 3-8 hours where they used to be uncomfortable in 15-30 minutes. Temper Foam material is one of the most widely used spinoffs from NASA Technology. It is used for the applications originally intended at the time of its development, but is also has a number of different applications, like cushioning for wheelchairs. 

Page Last Updated: June 12th, 2014
Page Editor: Lois Rosson