NEC has developed a shape-memory plastic that can be formed at room temperature . The plastic can be heated and cooled, remaining pliant for for several minutes during which it can be processed.
The usual problem with shape-memory plastics is differences in temperature. Shape-memory plastics that needs to be hardened at high temperatures may burn users, while those that need be kept at low temperatures lose their shape when exposed to heat.
NEC says their material is made by mixing polybutylene succinate (a bio-degradable, “eco-friendly” plastic) with other organic substances. Users need to heat it up to 90C and then let it cool off to up to 20C before being able to use their hands to form the plastic.
The company aims at commercializing the plastic to makers of wearable electronics and medical devices, among others. NEC’s Japanese website isn’t mentioning the invention, which is why I had to put the pic of the sex plastic man up there.
Via Nikkei [registration required, paid subscription]