Why Smart Materials
Smart Materials, in collaboration with the University of Malta, has developed a revolutionary method for the production of auxetic polyurethane foam. We have brought together a team of experts in the fields of auxetics/metamaterials, industry veterans in the field of Polyurethane foams, leading scientists and a team of successful serial entrepreneurs.
We have managed to combine decades of research in the respective fields to be able to come up with a long sought after, scalable, method for the production of auxetic polyurethane foam. As opposed to the past, costly and time consuming methods, we completely avoid post processing and produce auxetic foam using a one-pot foaming method in line with the rest of the conventional PU market.
Apart from the new production of Auxetic polyurethane foam , through a decade of research and thousands of foam formulations, we have gained a strong insight into the method of controlling the properties and can tailor to any specific application.
Auxetic materials are a class of mechanical metamaterials which get fatter when stretched and narrower when compressed. Apart from being just an mind boggling feature it brings about a whole world of new possibilities and applications.
Auxetic PU foam Properties:
•Concentrates itself under the compressive load to better resist the load, which improves protective properties;
•Becomes stiffer and stronger when the amplitude of the load increases, which provides better cushioning and impact reduction;
•Improves shear resistance, indentation resistance and fracture toughness, which improves product performance and lifetime;
•Provides very good sound and vibration absorption;
•Curves around complex objects naturally / forms dome shaped structures, which reduces need for post processing, reduces product cost and increases product performance;
•When the material is stretched, the porosity of it changes, which is useful in filters for cleaning.
Our revolutionary production method.
Auxetic foam was discovered decades ago and there have been numerous great studies showing the amazing properties that auxetic polyurethane foams can provide. Till now, due to financial and technological constraints, imposed by the original production methods, this material was limited to the academic world and some very niche applications.
The past method to produce such foam was very costly because it involved producing a conventional PU foam and then subjecting it to a series of heat/chemical and stress cycles. This, coupled with the fact that this method is also limited to small sizes from a technical point of view, meant this foam could never become commercially available.
At Smart materials we have completely changed this process. We produce auxetic polyurethane foam in a one-pot reaction in the same way one would produce any other type of Polyurethane foam. This means there is no post processing and it can be produced at large, industrial scales.
Our Team Members
Dr Keith M Azzopardi
Chief Executive Officer and Head of Research
Chief Technology Officer
Andrei Andy Linnas
Chief of Business Development
Professor Ruben Gatt
World leading scientist in Metamaterials and Auxetics. Professor at University of Malta Materials Department