A new material developed by CU Boulder engineers can transform into complex, pre-programmed shapes via light and temperature stimuli, allowing a literal square peg to morph and fit into a round hole before fully reverting to its original form.
The controllable shape-shifting material, described today in the journal Science Advances, could have broad applications for manufacturing, robotics, biomedical devices and artificial muscles.
“The ability to form materials that can repeatedly oscillate back and forth between two independent shapes by exposing them to light will open up a wide range of new applications and approaches to areas such as additive manufacturing, robotics and biomaterials”, said Christopher Bowman, senior author of the new study and a Distinguished Professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE).
Previous efforts have used a variety of physical mechanisms to alter an object’s size, shape or texture with programmable stimuli. However, such materials have historically been limited in size or extent and the object state changes have proven difficult to fully reverse.
The new CU Boulder material achieves readily programmable two-way transformations on a macroscopic level by using liquid crystal elastomers (LCEs), the same technology underlying modern television displays. The unique molecular arrangement of LCEs make them susceptible to dynamic change via heat and light.
To solve this, the researchers installed a light-activated trigger to LCE networks that can set a desired molecular alignment in advance by exposing the object to particular wavelengths of light. The trigger then remains inactive until exposed to the corresponding heat stimuli. For example, a hand-folded origami swan programmed in this fashion will remain folded at room temperature. When heated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, however, the swan relaxes into a flat sheet. Later, as it cools back to room temperature, it will gradually regain its pre-programmed swan shape.
The ability to change and then change back gives this new material a wide range of possible applications, especially for future biomedical devices that could become more flexible and adaptable than ever before.
“We view this as an elegant foundational system for transforming an object’s properties,” said Matthew McBride, lead author of the new study and a post-doctoral researcher in CHBE. “We plan to continue optimizing and exploring the possibilities of this technology.”
The Latest on: Shape-shifting material
via Google News
The Latest on: Shape-shifting material
- Experimental refrigeration system uses magnetic fields and shape-shifting alloys on September 18, 2018 at 1:55 am
Magnetic cooling systems work by exploiting the magnetocaloric effect – which basically means that certain materials will change temperature when exposed to a magnetic field. The technology has ... […]
- New smart materials could cut flying’s cost and noise on September 7, 2018 at 5:06 pm
Shape shifting metal The discovery is based on bringing together two relatively new areas of materials science involving metal alloys, or metals composed of two or more elements. The first area ... […]
- First Look At The MCU’s Skrulls In ‘Captain Marvel’ Revealed on September 5, 2018 at 1:28 pm
Amidst all the rest of the huge amount of promotional material that’s hit the internet today in ... which presumably makes shape-shifting just that little bit more practical. […]
- Material shifts shape using heat and light on September 3, 2018 at 2:39 am
Christopher Bowman, Distinguished Professor in CU Boulder’s Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CHBE), said: “The ability to form materials that can repeatedly oscillate back and forth ... […]
- Pentagram models US Library of Congress logo on bookends on August 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm
Various iterations will be implemented across the library's wide range of communication materials, such a books, the bimonthly LCM magazine, institutional brochures, newsletters, signage and exhibitio... […]
- Shape-shifting material switches between forms in response to heat and light on August 27, 2018 at 8:08 pm
If you ever wanted to stick a square peg in a round hole, it may soon be easier than you think. Researchers at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder are working on a new material that responds to li... […]
- Shape-shifting material can morph using heat, light on August 26, 2018 at 8:25 am
Scientists have developed a material that can transform into complex, pre-programmed shapes when exposed to light or heat, and may have a broad range applications for robotics, medical devices and art... […]
- Shape-shifting material can morph, reverse itself using heat, light on August 24, 2018 at 1:19 pm
A new material developed by University of Colorado Boulder engineers can transform into complex, pre-programmed shapes via light and temperature stimuli, allowing a literal square peg to morph and fit ... […]
via Bing News