Sugru means “play” in Gaelic and it is invented by an Irish lady, Jane Mary Delehanty. At first sight, it looks like a play dough, so you can give the shape you wish and it cures just by exposing it to air in 24 hour. You end up with a very durable rubber-like thingy ( i.e. it is flexible even after it is cured). It is waterproof (dishwasher safe), temperature proof (Sugru is resistant from -50°C to +180°C ), electrically insulating and it is removable (it is really hard to remove from a porous material but in principle is possible by the help of a sharp knife).
If it is not the most amazing material that you will ever see, it will be in top three for sure. Because it doesn’t only let you fix things but hack them, redesign them for better use.
Maker movement rulez!
In the Sugru’s website, the most adorable thing is the way she tells her story. It is worth to have a look guys. First time in my life, I enjoyed to read “our story” page. It was like reading an Ayn Rand book. You will find how the Sugru developed from “hmm” to “yay” via “eureka” and “wow”. Here it is.
7 years after the idea of Sugru appeared in Jane’s mind, Time magazine selected it as one of the 50 best inventions of 2010 in miscellaneous category.
Ok we now know what is Sugru (I mean what it means and what it can be used for). But WHAT is Sugru???
It is very easy to find patents on the net (here they are), so there is no secret ingredient. There is no secret ingredient because it is very well protected with the patents (you can watch the video about how it is patented)
As you can see from the patent, the major reagent is PDMS which is known as silicone. And also the other components are not high tech end of the chemistry and known to every polymer chemist, I believe. So let see how much do you spend if you want to make your own Sugru! (The prices are very roughly calculated because prices goes down in bulk orders and the prices may be higher for higher grade reagents.)
10g PDMS = 5 euro (500 g PDMS 255 euro)
1.5g of Treated fumed silica = 0.44 euro ( 100g fumed silica 30 euro )
11.0 g Talc (350 mesh) = 0.33 euro (2.5 kg talc 75 euro)
0.75g Methyltris(methylethylketoxime)silane = 0.054 euro (1kg Methyltris(methylethylketoxime)silane 72 euro)
0.03g Dibutylin dilaurate = 0.0072 euro (500g Dibutylin dilaurate 120 euro)
Considering the amount of pigments and silanes used, it will be around 6 euros for approximately 20 g of Sugru.
In their website 8-pack (5g Sugru in each pack) is sold for 16 euros (i.e. 2 euro per pack). So they making profit of around 0.5-0.8 euros per pack. When you consider packaging and other costs, I think it is a very fair price.
So, how I meet with Sugru?
I wasn’t aware of its existence since last February. Dear friend Vittorio posted “Sugru in a chemistry lab“. Title was interesting but what the f*ck was Sugru? I started to google it and baam!!
Immediately after I saw Sugru, I ordered a 3-pack as a starter. But at that time, I already knew it will become one of my favorite things in my life, so I ordered storage tin too. By the way, they deliver at delivery cost internationally.
As I already mentioned before, Sugru has a shelf life of 13 months (starting from the day of its production) at room temperature. I am keeping my sugrus in the fridge, so they should last longer. I will check that!
It sticks very strongly to most of the stuff like ceramics, glass, metal, wood, and most plastics and fabrics. That makes Sugru a very versatile material. I had a laser and I have been looking for something to fix it in place. And finally Sugru come up! On one side it is attached to plywood and on the other side to the metal and plastic. It sticks very strongly and practically is impossible to detach it by hand force.
I bought a Arduino Esplora and the LCD screen but just after two days, I managed to brake the joystick. Also the double sided sticker that holds the screen on its place but it was very loose. So I fixed the joystick and screen, and made a holder for the linear potentiometer.
As a last thing (in every fix I used one pack of Sugru), I made a extremely personalized key holder. I looks, to me, amazing!
But Sugru should be banned immediately my friends, it is addictive! New Sugrus arrived last week.
Let’s wait and see what we will hack & fix.