How to measure and analyse the texture of food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and adhesives.

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Viscoelasticity in the Materials Industry

Testing springiness of a mattress
Many industrial materials have viscoelastic properties depending on their constituents, processing conditions and the conditions during use.

They can be very obviously viscoelastic when held in the hands, or this behaviour may not be apparent until heated up to 1000°C and put under a large stress. The relaxation time also varies a large amount. Whether this viscoelasticity is beneficial or not depends on the material’s type and intended use.

Memory foam mattresses are becoming very popular due to their ability to mould to the shape of the sleeper’s body, relieving pressure on painful joints. They have a layer of temperature-dependent viscoelastic material - when a load is applied (a person), the material relaxes away to take on the load’s shape. They then show slow springback when the load is removed.