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Visco elastic memory foam is a type of foam found in the memory foam mattress and was invented in the late 1960s by Charles Yost, on behalf of NASA. The aim of Yost’s project was to create a material that was adaptable to body weight, and durable enough to withstand vast amounts of pressure to ensure that astronauts would be safe when they travelled. Although the original formula wasn’t as popular as NASA had hoped, memory foam is still around today.

Known for its high density, memory foam nowadays is used as padding in sportswear and can also be found in seating in aircraft and motorised vehicles. But what is visco elastic memory foam?

Visco – Refers to “viscosity” which basically means thickness or how resistant an object is. The higher the viscous in an object, the harder the movement is.

Elastic – Refers to buoyancy and how retractable a material is. Elastic is known for returning to its original shape even after it has been stretched.

Memory – Refers to being able to adapt to your body. It also means that it can go back to its original form once the weight of your body has left its surface.

Foam – A material that can come in different densities and can be used as cushioning.

What is Visco Elastic Memory Foam Made of?

Chemicals, water and air are the main ingredients of memory foam. A mixture of polyisocynates and polyol are mixed with water to form a dense fluid – this process is known as “polymerisation” and it is a type of chemical reaction. This is then poured out, at which point it reacts with air, rises and sets. The result is a high density foam.

What is Visco Elastic Memory Foam Used For?

When it was first invented, memory foam was intended to be used as safety support and strong cushioning to absorb g-force for those who were travelling into space. The high density of the foam offers a great deal of absorption, but the original formula wasn’t durable enough to send into space.

The foam’s healing effects were then discovered and the formula for the foam was then sold onto medical companies who used it as padding in prosthetic legs and as support for those who were confined to their bed. Soon after, a Swedish mattress company took the formula and created the “tempur-pedic” mattress.

Memory foam mattresses are now more popular than ever, and by far outweigh the benefits of a standard spring mattress. Memory foam has the ability to mould to your body, and as you lay down, the foam reacts to your body’s heat and weight to create a soft yet firm support. This support relieves strain from your pressure points and also aligns the spine so that your back is well supported as your sleep.

Rather than trying to find a comfortable position to sleep in, a memory foam mattress changes itself to suit you, ensuring a peaceful and calm night’s sleep.

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