Researchers at the Sandia National
Laboratories in Livermore, Calif., say they have developed a
low-density, energy-absorbing foam.

Scientists at the National Nuclear
Security Administration facility says the improved foam might, among
other potential applications, help avoid a complete wipeout for the
nation’s $200 million surfboard manufacturing market.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.The
new product, called TufFoam, originally was conceived by Sandia
materials scientists for NNSA as an encapsulant material to protect
sensitive electronic and mechanical structures from harsh weapons

The new water-blown, closed-cell, rigid polyurethane foam features formulation densities as low as two pounds per cubic foot.

can be used for thermal and electrical insulation, and as a core
material for the automobile and aerospace industries, said Scott
Vaupen, a Sandia business associate who is pursuing licensing and
commercialization partners.

surfboard industry, suffering from tightening environmental
regulations, is especially interested in the foam as a high
strength-to-weight ratio material needed to make the boards.

historian Matt Warshaw, in an article in the Santa Barbara (Calif.)
NewsPress, said the development of the new foam is the equivalent of
removing lumber from the housing industry.