Sugru is malleable when removed from its airtight, moisture-proof packaging, retains its plasticity for thirty minutes, and is self-curing at room temperature in 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. While early versions of the product had a short shelf-life, as of 2014 it is advertised as staying fresh for 13 months from the date it was made. According to the product packaging, if kept in a refrigerator, the shelf-life is tripled.
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 while 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."
In May 2015, the company launched a campaign to raise £1 million on the crowdfunding site CrowdCube. The company reached its £1 million funding target in just four days and continued on to raise well over £3 million.
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.
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