Martyn’s prize new invention

Martyn Billings with his hammer
Martyn Billings with his hammer

A student has reinvented the hammer, re-creating it out of high tech polymers to clinch third place in a national design competition.

Martyn Billings is a final year product design student at Coventry University.

Martyn, from Milton Keynes, produced the WHAM Polymer Hammer, which has has been designed to replace the steel hammer.

The shock-absorbing hammer is made from a combination of polymers, including polycarbonate, Kevlar, TPU and nylon.

Being non-conductive and non-sparking, it can be used around electricity and other sources of ignition, such as high-pressure gas lines, making it much safer.

Martyn wins £250 and a placement with PDD London, a worldwide provider of integrated design and innovation skills.

As a finalist, he will also receive mentoring support aimed at helping him take his design idea closer to commercial realisation, along with a year’s free membership of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3).

Robin Kent, managing director of Tangram Technology, which specialises in materials technology and energy management in plastics processing, was a on the judging panel.

Mr Kent said: “This is the ultimate in metal replacement, using polymers in high-impact areas. It revisits the most basic of mankind’s tools, using plastics.

“This has been one of the mainstays of metal and now advanced plastics show potential for replacing even this.”

Mike Stuart, technical service engineer at headline sponsor Bayer Material Science said: “Overall, the standard of entries this year was very good. However we were not just looking for great ideas – we wanted to see if they had given careful thought to manufacturing method and costs.

“Our six finalists did this, and these were among the factors which helped to ensure they made the final shortlist.”