Science & Technology
Strange new material thickens when stretched
By T.K. Randall
December 4, 2018 · 3 comments
Auxetic materials have numerous benefits. Image Credit: Devesh Mistry / University of Leeds
Scientists have developed a new type of synthetic material with some rather unique stretching properties.
The new material represents something of a scientific breakthrough because this is the first time that a synthetic 'auxetic' material has been created without the need for complex engineering processes.
Auxetic materials, which become thicker when stretched, can be found in several places in nature such as in the skin of a cat, the protective layer of mussel shells and in human tendons.
Scientists have spent decades actively researching auxetic materials because of their potential benefits in the fields of engineering, medicine and architecture.
They can even be used to create ultra-durable body armor.
"This is a really exciting discovery, which will have significant benefits in the future for the development of products with a wide range of applications," said lead author Dr Devesh Mistry.
"This new synthetic material is inherently auxetic on the molecular level and is therefore much simpler to fabricate and avoids the problems usually found with engineered products."
"But more research is needed to understand exactly how they can be used."
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