vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
EPIC HEXUS COMPETITIONS OVER £8,000 worth of gear to be won! [x]
facebook rss twitter

Stretchable electronics material inspired by nature

by Mark Tyson on 13 December 2012, 13:00

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabqe5

Add to My Vault: x

A new material developed by Swiss scientists could speed the progression of stretchy and wearable electronic devices. Electronic circuits and wiring can exist happily on rigid surfaces but may break easily upon stretchy and bendy surfaces. The new material is made from polyurethane with rigid islands which are impregnated with aluminium oxide and laponite. While the material is stretchy and deformable the islands protect the delicate circuitry by their minimal deformation properties.

Talking about the new material, Andre Studart, a researcher at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, told Reuters “You have two materials with very different mechanical properties. The challenge is to bridge these different properties.” Studart found the parallel structure in nature of bones, tendons and muscles to be particularly inspiring. “There are many biological materials that have these properties as well, like the way tendons link muscle to bone. But there are not so many examples in synthetic materials,” he said.

350 per cent stretch

The soft part of the new material can stretch by up to 350 per cent without failure, the scientists claim. Even when stretched so far the stiff oxide treated regions remain intact. The border region between the stretchy and stiff regions is graduated in stiffness and forms a gradually stiffer and less stretchy section as you get nearer the electronic islands.

Applications

The Swiss researchers say that possible uses for the new materials vary from smartphones and wearable electronics to solar cells to medical implants. As well as electronic use the material may be useful in medical implants where materials of variable stiffness could be better replacements than ones that are uniform in their stiffness. An example given by Reuters is that of vertebrae, where stiff polymer used to fix a problematic joint may later damage the surrounding healthy bones. In this and similar cases “The vision is that you will be able to make materials that are as heterogeneous as the biological ones” said Studart.



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Could have a jacket like the one Marty wears in Back To The Future 2 :P
i was thinking if its stretchy, imagine buying a t-shirt for £10, but if you want it to be a nike design, you pay nike £35, and download the 'nike template' which then makes the t-shirt change shape, and colour/style to their design...

6 months later, your bored of it, and you want a funky sci-fi design you've seen in a shop...a tardis, or an enterprise or summet like, you go in, pay them £10 for it ...download it, and then your same t-shirt changes colour and style and design to that one you just bought...

could save a fortune on fabric recycling...
ionicle
i was thinking if its stretchy, imagine buying a t-shirt for £10, but if you want it to be a nike design, you pay nike £35, and download the 'nike template' which then makes the t-shirt change shape, and colour/style to their design...

6 months later, your bored of it, and you want a funky sci-fi design you've seen in a shop...a tardis, or an enterprise or summet like, you go in, pay them £10 for it ...download it, and then your same t-shirt changes colour and style and design to that one you just bought...

could save a fortune on fabric recycling...

And then come the pirates :)
Worse, hackers and spammers - Someone with the right software and an NFC-enabled phone walks by you and suddenly you're advertising ... well, I'll let you use your imagination ;)
scaryjim
Worse, hackers and spammers - Someone with the right software and an NFC-enabled phone walks by you and suddenly you're advertising ... well, I'll let you use your imagination ;)

Advertising? With that kind of power my inner child would awaken and go on a rampage with dirty images and all sorts of pranks lol