Stade, Germany - This year the German association of plastic foam makers, the FSK, decided several contenders for its polyurethane innovation prize were worthy of an award, both among the student applicants and those from industry.
Opening the awards session 8 Sept at Dow Chemicals' Stade, Germany site, west of Hamburg, Dr Alexander Streitholt of DOw, who is chairman of the FSK's polyurethane group, welcomed the meeting's 100 or so delegates, before introducing a rapid run-through by each of the award winners, explaining their unusual ways of exploiting PU to good purpose.
Student products which won included a highly textured skin to apply to surfboards to eliminate the need for repeated waxing, while a team from Munich offered a impact resistant PU cores for carbon fibre structures.
Physical therapy for handicapped children with poor muscle development was the need which prompted Kersten Sachs to develop her idea for support devices for this purpose. This Junic viscoelastic foam tubing offers a bright playful support for children being encouraged to use and stimulate muscle groups that need development,
Therapy was also the basis for the Terrasensa contoured mats developed by Jens Freitag of Teo Design and now being produced and commercialised by the Hubner company. Stroke patients specifically benefit from the balance training these mats offer, but many other uses in sports training have been found valuable.
"Dreams of foams" was the theme from Angelika Arendt, who stunned the audience with her artworks based on many weird and wonderful shapes -- all produced from cans of DIY spray PU foam - all with strong colour themes. Arendt suggested that polyurethane companies might choose one of her large sculptures to improve the image of one of their corporate sites.
Other designs which one included two novel footwear constructions, a prefabricated housing system using structural insulated panels, a rotationally mouided display bust for jewellery.
See more on these novel applications for polyurethane in the next issue of Urethanes Technology International, due out in mid-October.
PIC: One of Angelika Arendt's polyurethane sculptures