Polysis, a specialist developer of polyurethane resins and resin products, markets haplafreely, a plastic that turns to clay when heated to temperatures above 60°C. When immersed in hot water or heated with a heat gun, the plastic becomes easy to shape, and hardens again as it cools, starting from around 40°C and returning to its original hardness by the time it reaches room temperature.
"We said that the plastic turns to clay. haplafreely remains in this clay state 5-10 times longer than other products. That means it stays malleable for longer, which makes it easier to use. It also has a tensile strength three times greater than ordinary rubber, making it hard to break."
haplafreely does not stick easily to other materials and is easy to peel off. It is softer than other plastics, and when used as a cover material, will not damage the product to which it is applied. It can be formed into a variety of different shapes, without the need for thermal design or processing. When heated, it will return to clay time and time again, making it ideal as a way of reducing costs in production line jigs.
"For instance, engine components need to be placed on a base for stability. haplafreely can be used to form bases on which to place unstable objects. Motorcycle handlebars sometimes need working on with a screwdriver, and haplafreely can also be used in large quantities as a protective covering material."
Polysis is currently selling haplafreely in sheets measuring 40cm x 40cm and 4mm in thickness, and is aiming for monthly sales of 1,000 sheets. haplafreely is also available in roll form, in thicknesses ranging from 0.6mm to 1.0mm. Polysis has received many requests from users for products that become soft at 70, 80 or 100°C, and will begin developing these this year.