Materials maker Rogers Corp. is working with foam maker XOnano Smartfoam to make smart foam products based on Roger's Poron-brand polyurethane foam.
Foams made by XOnano of Orem, Utah, can to sense the magnitude, type, and location of impacts, officials said in a Feb. 27 news release. As a result, the materials can offer better impact protection.
XOnano President Jake Merrell said in the release that the long-term consistency and compression set resistance of Poron PU foam is “a great match for” his firm's impact sensing technology.
Sports impact has been the main focus of development efforts so far, officials said, with the first commercialized Smartfoam product using Rogers' XRD Extreme Impact Protection PU foam. Future efforts will target the footwear, automotive, and other industries in which an ability to sense and absorb impact is critical, they added.
“We have been amazed at the accuracy and range of XOnano's impact measurements,” XRD Impact/Poron Comfort segment manager Nicole Perry said in the release. “The combination of a performance foam with sensing capability has the potential to be a game changer in many applications.”
Chandler, Ariz.-based Rogers on Feb. 27 also announced full-year financial results for 2017. For the year, the firm saw sales grow 25 percent to just over $821 million, as profit grew 67 percent to almost $80.5 million.
Elastomeric Material Solutions, including urethane foams, fluoropolymer laminates and thermoplastic circuit materials, posted fourth-quarter sales of $76 million, up 34 percent vs. the same quarter in 2016. EMS generated 36 percent of Rogers' total sales for the quarter.
Wall Street reaction to Rogers' earnings was negative, however, sending the firm's per-share price down from $161 on Feb. 26 to around $135 in late trading Feb. 28 for a two-day decline of 16 percent. The price had more than doubled during 2017, starting the year at $77 and ending at $166.