FormFormForm Ltd focuses on the development of novel silicone-based chemistries for the design of tough composites. These are intended as mouldable adhesive glues for mending objects. Its main product, Sugru, was first developed in 2010 based on formulation work that was carried out by QMUL researchers. Since 2013 Sugru is available in over 300 B&Q stores in the UK & Ireland and since 2015 in over 2000 Target stores in the USA.
New formulations recently developed with the QMUL team will allow broader applications (including industrial) and a wider and more diversified market (mainly focusing on consumer markets, expanding in 2017 to the family market with the introduction of their family safe formulation, but also including some niche industrial applications of putties in the automotive and adhesive industry).
The science: the development of Sugru
In 2008, because of its expertise in polymers and rubbers, QMUL was asked to assist in the development of Sugru. QMUL helped to create the silicone material that would be sticky but would also cure at room temperature. Since that initial collaboration, research and development focused on the optimisation of formulations to improve adhesion and curing as well as control the aspect and colour of the products. In more recent years, research at QMUL has focused on developing light- formulations that address important industrial criteria i.e ultra-fast curing in less than 1s.
Putting research into action: impact on business
FormFormForm is a young and vibrant SME based company in East London. Sugru®, the brain child of FormFormForm’s CEO Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, is the first commercial product based on this technology. It resembles modelling clay but sticks to almost anything and dries to a tough, rubbery finish. It allows single users to personalise, fix and modifying objects, devises or goods.