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Open Innovation Competition on Shape Memory Synthetic Material

Jury member: Dr. Sascha Peters

Ordering party: Bayer MaterialScience AG

Synthetic materials may have a memory, too. This quality is characterized by a new thermoplastic polyurethane which had been developed by Bayer Material Science in co-operation with the Federal Institute of Material Research and Testing (BAM). Such material is characterized by the effect that after heating up to a certain temperature it returns to its initial shape. The new material of Bayer now makes it possible to produce technical components made from thermoplastic elastomere having a memory effect.

The components made of such material can be brought temporarily into another shape. The original geometry of  the component  will be adopted after heating it under a temperature of 40 degrees C. The material effectively remembers the original state. Although this memory effect is not a thermoplastic polyurethane characteristic it is obtained on the basis of a special molecular structure. Possible products made of shape memory thermoplastic polyurethane are artificial muscles, temperature probes, hinges, self-slackening screws or textiles having a self-decreasing property.  Forgery-proof  labels with a quick response code are also being developed.

From early October till the end of December 2012 Bayer Material Science had announced an open competition within the scope of the innovation platform called “Land of Ideas”. Product developers and industrial designers developed  new product ideas and application scenarios for shape memory materials. A total number of 310 ideas were presented to the platform.


On January 21, 2013 an evaluation jury met to which belonged Dr. Sascha Peters and had made a preselection of the best contributions which applied for the award of the prize money totalling 12.000 Euros. Among others the following contributions were preselected:

- Temperature-sensitive safety switches
- Playing cards and merchandising articles having a geometry that changes under temperature
- Shrinkdown handles for bicycle handle bars
- Critical fever indicators
- Deformable hoop-and-loop tapes
- Life raft

The prize winners will be elected on February 27, 2013 within the scope of a solemn award ceremony taking place in Dormagen.

As to details on the competition please visit: www.innovationskraftwerk.de



Figure: Forgery-proof  label with a quick response code (source: Federal Institute of Material Research and Testing (BAM), Bayer Material Science)
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