NASA has named the multi-use "Polyimide Foam" as the 2007 NASA Commercial Invention of the Year by NASA. The foam insulates for sound, heat and cold with aerospace and down to Earth applications. "Polyimide Foam" can be flexible or rigid, structural or non-structural and is highly durable. The foam's density can be varied for a variety of uses including fire protection since it generates no harmful combustion products and has been tested at temperatures above 400 degrees Fahrenheit. NASA's general counsel selects the Invention of the Year Award with technical assistance from NASA's Inventions and Contributions Board.
The NASA statement said the foam could be used in its exploration vehicles where reduced weight and increased durability are necessary for missions to the moon or Mars. Polyumac is the licensee and manufacturer of NASA's polyimide foam technology while its inventors are Roberto Cano, Brian Jensen and Erik Weiser from NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and Miguel Vazquez of Polyumac Techno Core, Inc. in Hialeah, Fla.