HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
News
Materials & Assembly
Slippery Material System Can Start, Stop Liquids
4/17/2013

Top, a schematic shows the design of the liquid-infused dynamic material. The bottom two photographs show the dry and lubricated elastic substrates.   (Source: Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering)
Top, a schematic shows the design of the liquid-infused dynamic material. The bottom two photographs show the dry and lubricated elastic substrates.
(Source: Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering)

Return to Article

View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
far911
User Rank
Silver
Stop-Go
far911   4/17/2013 4:53:24 AM
NO RATINGS
This is fascinating stuff and is sure to bring countless number of uses. Having an open-air event and being able to control the air flow is quite handy. A good air flow when its sunny and a resistive material when its raining, and being able to do this any time at will is just magical. 

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Elizabeth M   4/17/2013 11:09:21 AM
NO RATINGS
Fascinating stuff, Ann. Some of the science of this goes a bit over my head, but it's always interesting to read about the latest advancements in materials and how they are composed.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Ann R. Thryft   4/17/2013 12:56:47 PM
NO RATINGS
Elizabeth, I didn't really get the immediate wow factor of continuous tunability until I saw the start-stop action on the video of a drop rolling down--and then stopping on--a vertical surface.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Elizabeth M   4/18/2013 8:52:37 AM
NO RATINGS
Yes, this is definitely something that it's probably better to watch it in action to understand its impact. My Internet was wobbly yesterday when I tried to view the video. I'll give it a go again today and I'm sure I also will be impressed!

Scott Orlosky
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Stop-Go
Scott Orlosky   4/27/2013 6:48:12 PM
NO RATINGS
This stuff seems quite strange to me.  It almost looks like an organic material like a "skin" of some sort.  I expect the real challenge will be to mechanically manipulate large, industrial-size bits of the material to get the desired effect.  I found myself wondering if there are any systems in nature that emulate this effect?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Ann R. Thryft   4/30/2013 12:06:49 PM
NO RATINGS
Scott, that's an interesting question. The biological inspiration for this material system was human tears on the surface of the eye. As the press release says, "The new material was inspired by dynamic, self-restoring systems in Nature, such as the liquid film that coats your eyes. Individual tears join up to form a dynamic liquid film with an obviously significant optical function that maintains clarity, while keeping the eye moist, protecting it against dust and bacteria, and helping to transport away any wastes..." http://wyss.harvard.edu/viewpressrelease/109/

Scott Orlosky
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Stop-Go
Scott Orlosky   4/30/2013 10:50:25 PM
NO RATINGS
Hmm.  Seems like a bit of a stretch to me.  The eyelid is a mechanical liquid dispersal system, it's not changing the physical surface of the eyeball in order to change the flow of liquid. Still, it's a unique bit of research and sometimes these find valuable uses down the line.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Ann R. Thryft   5/1/2013 12:28:52 PM
NO RATINGS
I thought it was a stretch, too, and for the same reasons--not really an analogy--which is why I didn't include that info in the article.

Cabe Atwell
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Cabe Atwell   6/27/2013 11:16:09 PM
NO RATINGS
It would seem the material could be adapted for use in shoes as a better means of traction when traversing on inclines. More pressure on the down step could potentially stretch the material giving it better grip.

C

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Ann R. Thryft   6/28/2013 11:46:40 AM
NO RATINGS
Cabe, that's another clever observation: sounds like an intriguing application for this material, assuming it has enough adhesion to take all that weight (instead of just the weight of the liquid). If it does, hiking boots would be a good app. I've scrambled down too many scree-filled hillsides, managing to not fall over by walking like a crab and using a stick. Better gripping shoes would have helped.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Ann R. Thryft   4/17/2013 12:54:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Thanks, far911. What's even more amazing to me is that the system is adaptable to different materials for different purposes and to different stimuli for creating those changes.

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Stop-Go
far911   4/17/2013 3:56:18 PM
NO RATINGS
@Ann - Precisely. It's as if the system evolves through self-learning. Adaptability is the key word here, and this new material system masters it.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Stop-Go
Ann R. Thryft   4/18/2013 11:45:18 AM
NO RATINGS
Well not exactly, far911. There's no self-learning here. The adaptability is not inherent in the system itself, once designed and created, but in the material's design. Engineers can use different materials that respond to different stimuli for different effects, as the article states.

far911
User Rank
Silver
Re: Stop-Go
far911   4/22/2013 1:40:40 AM
NO RATINGS
@Ann - In that case, it'd be something evolutionary to have. Still, the limitation can hardly be blamed, if at all. 

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Adam Berger hacked a computer keyboard into a mini key-tar to play with his band.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
If you're planning to develop a product that uses a microcontroller, you'll want to take note of next week's Design News Continuing Education course, "MCU Software Development A Step-by-Step Guide."
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
9/10/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 22 - 26, MCU Software Development A Step-by-Step Guide (Using a Real Eval Board)
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service