Most of us believe we have a fairly solid understanding of the basics of physics, and one of the assumptions we formulate is that any material becomes thinner when stretched. It makes sense that the same amount of material spread over a larger area means that there is less in one place, right?
Not so fast. Researchers around Dr. Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds invented a new synthetic material that thickened with stretching. The material, which is described in detail in a recent article in Nature Communications, is one of the few that has "auxetic" properties; H. They expand instead of shrinking when attracted from different directions Researchers describe that a "non-porous liquid crystal elastomer" thickens at the molecular level when stretched. This makes it extremely good to absorb energy because, unlike traditional materials such as rubber or steel, it does not weaken when stretched.
an explanation. "There are many potential applications for materials with these properties, including armor, architecture and medical equipment. We have already filed a patent and are talking to the industry about the next steps. "
The new material does not even have a name, but its potential to be used in a number of applications is already quite exciting. So far, artificial auxetic materials have been quite difficult and expensive. The team says its new synthetic creation is easier to manufacture and more reliable than engineering materials.
Dr. Mistry claims the material is "a really exciting discovery," but acknowledged that it's still far from being used in applications. More is being done to test the limits of synthetic auxetics, but the team seems very optimistic that it will have many uses.