Sugru is malleable when removed from its airtight, moisture-proof packaging, retains its plasticity for thirty minutes, and is self-curing at room temperature after approximately 24 hours. The material adheres to aluminium, steel, copper, ceramics, glass, fabric, brass, leather, plywood and other materials including ABS plastics. When cured, it has a 'soft touch' or slightly flexible, grippable texture similar to features commonly found in soft overmolds. It is waterproof and dishwasher-safe, and the material is thermally insulating, with a service temperature range between −50 and 180 °C. Sugru is not resistant to isopropyl alcohol. The product has a shelf life of six months. According to the product packaging, this can be extended to around 18 months if kept in the refrigerator.
The idea for Sugru was developed by Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh from Kilkenny, Ireland. Ní Dhulchaointigh studied product design as a post-graduate research student at the Royal College of Art where she conceived the idea for the substance in 2003 whilst using mixtures of standard silicone sealants and sawdust in her work.
After receiving business grants, Ní Dhulchaointigh worked with retired scientists from Dow Corning and a silicone expert over a seven-year period at the materials department at Queen Mary, University of London to develop a silicone elastomer that was moldable, self-adhesive and self-curing. Her goal was to enable people "to easily and affordably repair, improve or customize things they already own."
The formulation of sugru contains 30% silicone caulk (polysiloxane) 20-50% talc, and the remaining additives including: methyltris (methylethylketoxime) silane, γ-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, and dioctyltin dilaurate. The company claims its formulation can be varied to offer different levels of consistency, plasticity, softness, resiliency, surface adhesion, modulus and abrasion resistance, setting time, density, and ability to float.
The company claims that Sugru is classified under EU Health & Safety regulations[clarification needed] as "not dangerous", but that it may cause an allergic skin reaction in uncured form. It is manufactured by London-based Formformform Ltd.
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