A new synthetic auxetic material that thickens at it is stretched could have applications ranging from sportswear to automotive.
For the past three decades, researchers have been working to replicate the auxetic properties of materials such as human tendons and cat skin in the lab, but have been stymied by complex engineering and their undesirable porous nature. To offer a different option, the team from Leeds University created a synthetic molecular version by linking liquid crystals with polymer chains to create a rubbery, elastic network.
Although more study needs to be done to determine a full understanding of the auxetic behavior, the team is optimistic the new material could have a variety of applications.
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