All sorts of everyday materials are viscoelastic to a greater or lesser extent. Poke a finger into your stomach, your thigh, or even the skinny cheek of your open mouth and you’ll see it takes time to return to its previous shape. Visco Elastic Foam, also known as Memory Foam, is a man-made substance that reacts to body temperature and weight, conforming to the shape of your body. This is the same foam originally developed by NASA to counteract the extreme forces faced by astronauts. There are three main types of foams being used in the mattress industry today: Latex, Polyurethane, and Visco-Elastic (memory foam)-Polyurethane foam: This is the most common type of foam used in mattresses and is derived from petroleum. They are considered non-toxic once the chemicals have reacted. The foam bubbles or ‘cells’ are open, effectively creating a matrix through which air can move. Once released to the industrial world, progress was imminent. Years of research and development by the Swedish company Tempurpedic did turn this early recipe into an unique material now commonly known as memory foam. Some people still like to call it NASA foam. So why did it take 30 years for this material to be used in our beds and mattresses? While space foam was highly promising in its original form, it proved to be highly difficult to manufacture.

That can be very useful for cushioning things, because energy is effectively absorbed and dissipated during the time lag (a phenomenon known as hysteresis)—a bit like the way energy is lost to “rolling resistance” as a bicycle or car tire squashes and flexes as it turns around. Now obviously we can’t make things like bed mattresses from people’s stomachs, so we have to use synthetic materials instead, namely plastics.

The idea of memory foam is incredibly simple. Instead of sleeping on springs, you sleep on very thick foam that gives way where you press on it. Technically, it’s called viscoelastic: visco (from viscous) means it moves, somewhat reluctantly, when you apply a force; elastic means it returns to its original shape when you remove the force. The foam is temperature sensitive, so it tends to sink more as your body temperature warms it up. Very quickly, it molds to your unique contours. If you sleep on your side, the foam sinks in much more at your shoulders and hips so—in theory—your entire body is always perfectly supported and your spine remains straight. Your weight is spread more evenly and the pressure is relieved on places like your shoulders and hips. That’s why many people find memory foam mattresses help to reduce the symptoms of problems such as backpain and arthritis. If you change position or turn over, the mattress gradually molds to your new shape.


Foam party: the party especially in a nightclub, at which guests dance and play in foam or soap suds

Foam plastic: the plastic chemically, mechanically, or thermally expanded, to form a lightweight closed-cell structure; used as thermal insulation.

Foam proportioner: the device for securing proportions in a mixture in pumping liquid foam through a proportioner and smothering the fire in the gasoline hatch

Foam pit: the mats are used for safety in gymnastics in training new skills in a range of sizes, from very small mats used on the beam, to very large mats, used in the foam pits

Foam rubber: the spongy material made of rubber or plastic in the form of foam, used for cushioning and in upholstery

Foam rollers: the exercise devices used for massage and fitness, for self-massage to help soothe tight, sore areas known as “trigger points”, and speed up muscle recovery-this process of rolling out tight muscles and relieving tension is also called myofascial release

Foam surfboard: the elongated platform used in surfing, made of polyurethane or polystyrene foam covered with layers of fiberglass cloth, and polyester or epoxy resin- a type of light and strong surfboard that is buoyant and maneuverable

Foam at the mouth: extremely angry

Foam at the beach: sea foam, ocean foam, beach foam, or spume is a type of foam created by the agitation of seawater, particularly when it contains higher concentrations of dissolved organic matter including proteins, lignins, and lipids derived from sources such as the offshore breakdown of algal blooms

Foam cells: the fat-laden M2 macrophages that serve as the hallmark of early stage atherosclerotic lesion formation, an indication of plaque build-up, or atherosclerosis, which is commonly associated with increased risk of heart attack and stroke as a result of arterial narrowing and hardening

Closed cell foam: in open cell foam the cells within the material are broken allowing air to fill the spaces within, having a low density with the foam having a soft, sponge like appearance

Compressed air foam: a compressed air foam system (CAFS) used in firefighting to deliver fire retardant foam for the purpose of extinguishing a fire or protecting unburned areas

Orthopedic mattress: an orthopedic mattress (or orthopaedic mattress) is a mattress designed to support the joints, back and overall, focused on disorders or deformities of the spine and joints

Mattress money: the money that is stuffed in a mattress, but more often than not it is money being held by the Borrower in cash some place other than a bank account, and cannot be documented where it came from or used towards down payment or closing costs, since Underwriting Guidelines clearly state all funds have to be documented

Mattress topper: a mattress pad, mattress topper, or underpad is designed to lie atop a mattress, made primarily from foam with its function of providing a layer of comfort and warmth between the user and the mattress. It is of particular benefit when the existing mattress is worn or uncomfortable.

Innerspring mattress: using a steel coil support system in several types of spring systems including those with springs connected into a single unit and units with individually wrapped pocketed coill and the spring shapes, designs, coil gauge and number of coils in a mattress to be varied.

Go to the mattress: going to war with a rival clan or family, sed in the mafia in case of when a mafia family sends someone out to get someone apartments and some mattresses for the soldiers of the family to sleep on while they are hiding out in saftey, waiting for a call to do something

Refurbished mattress: sold as just fancy terms meaning “used” or collected from sidewalks and garbage dumps by men with vans, carrying them off to factories

Split mattress: made up of two mattresses and two separate box-springs or one mattress with two foundations, available as queen and king optionsn with the length and width of the two mattresses combined determining the size

Pocket spring mattress: the most pocket spring units you can get into a king sized mattress on one layer is 2000, described as having more than this are utilising double layer construction techniques, utilising a suspension pocket sprung unit or using mini springs to increase the count

Air mattress: that is placed on top of a regular bed mattress; used to promote skin integrity and prevent skin breakdown, having air-filled channels that alternately fill and empty to keep bearing weight off bony prominences of immobilized or weak patients, who are unable to shift their weight frequently


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