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Deflatable Styrofoam

what it says in the idea name
  [vote for,

The air is connected through tiny tubelets and can be sucked out or pumped back in, a little bit like a lung.
pashute, Aug 23 2022

Patented by Goodyear https://patents.goo...om/patent/US3675377
I think this is the basis for the kind the mattress pad I mentioned. [a1, Aug 23 2022]

Liquids and Gases - Boiling Points https://www.enginee...ds-gases-d_155.html
[xaviergisz, Aug 25 2022]


       Foamed structures that can have air squeezed or sucked out of them, then expanded again by reintroducing air, are WKTE. One common use is “self inflating” sleeping pads for campers.   

       For product shipping/padding, inflated plastic bags are also WKTE. Some are intended for single use, but reusable ones that can be deflated and re-inflated also exist. These have replaced foam blocks in many uses.
a1, Aug 23 2022

       I disagree that it has been made, the foam in the (massively overbroad) Goodyear patent isn't inflatable, just compressible. There are no air pockets comprising the foam.   

       But I can't bun this because a mechanism for manufacture isn't addressed, and that's the only real reason this hasn't been made.
Voice, Aug 23 2022

       Point taken. All of the examples I can find are open cell foam that is compressible and stays compressed as soon as you close a valve in its outer skin. Re "inflation" is just elastic rebound when you allow air back in. Serves the same purpose but is not identical to [pashute]'s idea.   

       The next closest thing (but still not identical) would be re-inflatable bubble wrap and air cushions - which exist though they are orders of magnitudes larger than [pashute]'s idea. Maybe he just needs a teeny-weeny version of the machines that make those?
a1, Aug 23 2022

       //mechanism for manufacture// You'd use a 3-d printer with a miniature blow-molder set in the tip. The molder forms a miniature spherule with a vent; the printer then places it in the base matrix. I think it's likely they would be printed as flat beds, then the beds rolled to form tubes with all the cell vents on the inside of the tube. The tubes in turn attach to the bronchi of your structure.   

       Since I haven't been able to imagine a way for these things to create mucus, there will need to be some filtration to keep the alveoli clean.
lurch, Aug 24 2022

       //keep the alveoli clean//
Rather than a "one ended" balloon, each cell could be a tube ("double ended"), & the system as a whole is also "doubled ended". Then you can clean by blowing through the whole thing (blow one end, other open), while still able to inflate (blow both ends) & deflate (suck both ends). Slightly more complex valving, but not much.
neutrinos_shadow, Aug 25 2022

       Each cell of the foam could be filled with a substance that has a solid-gas or liquid-gas phase change at a convenient temperature.   

       Below that temperature each cell would collapse, and above that temperature each cell would expand.
xaviergisz, Aug 25 2022


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