Materials Changing the Aerospace Industry

What makes material innovative?

 So, what makes a material innovative? In the aerospace, industry innovation is predicated upon a material’s ability to address three key concerns: weight, strength, and noise reduction. Lighter materials translate into improved aerodynamics and flight. Furthermore, the lighter the plane is, the less fuel is exhausted.

Unfortunately, lighter materials are often weak and less durable, something aerospace manufactures can’t afford to have. Stronger materials enable planes to last longer and endure the mechanical stress associated with flight. There is also noise cancellation; researchers are working effortlessly to find materials which minimize the boisterous sounds produced when flying, which ultimately improves the passenger experience.

New and innovative materials

Interestingly enough, some of the old metals are still being used–but in a new way–specifically through alloy and composite materials. Composites are made from multiple constituent materials that have different physical and chemical properties. Similarly, alloys are combinations of metals and other elements. These new materials have enabled aerospace companies to meet the needs of aircraft and push the industry forward.

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New Materials That Move In Response to Light

Scientists from Tufts University School of Engineering have designed new materials that move in unique ways when exposed to light. These magnetic elastomeric composites could one day lead to a wide variety of designs that perform all sorts of different movements. This technology could be used in everything from solar arrays to tiny engines and create a whole new field for solar power.

The research team was inspired by nature, where there are plenty of examples showing how light can compel movement and change. For this experiment, the light actuated materials were based on the principle of the Curie temperature. The Curie temperature is the temperature above which specific materials can change their magnetic properties. Scientists can turn the magnetism of a material on and off by heating or cooling it accordingly.

To mimic this behavior, scientists took biopolymers and elastomers and doped them with ferromagnetic CrO2, which heats up when exposed to sunlight or lasers. This causes the materials to temporarily lose their magnetic properties until they’ve once again cooled down.

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Global Nanoscale Smart Materials Market Analysis Report 2018

The research report “Nanoscale Smart Materials Market: Global Industry Analysis 2013 – 2015” covers the various market facets that have a direct influence on the growth of the nanoscale smart materials market and published the forecast for assessment period 2018 – 2023. The analysis offers information on market elements such as drivers, nanoscale smart materials business growth factors, market trends and developments, revenue, technologies, global nanoscale smart materials market challenges and restraints, top market players and regional analysis of the market. The nanoscale smart materials are one such crucial constituent that continues to gain demand from all corners of the globe.

Global Nanoscale Smart Materials Market: Segment Overview

To assess the opportunities in the global market the report highlights the regional and segment-based aspects of the nanoscale smart materials market. The study encompasses market analysis based on the type of product, nanoscale smart materials end-user applications and regions. The data is provided in the form of basis point share and year to year evolution of the global nanoscale smart materials market in terms of CAGR and revenue.

Regions Product Types End-User Applications
·         North America

·         Europe

·         China

·         Japan

·         Middle East & Africa

·         India

·         South America

·         Piezoelectric Materials

·         Thermoresponsive Materials

·         Shape Memory Alloys

·         Polychromic; Chromogenic or Halochromic Materials

·         Healthcare

·         Energy

·         Security and Defence

·         Smart Textiles

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Biological signalling processes in intelligent materials

Scientists from the University of Freiburg have developed materials systems that are composed of biological components and polymer materials and are capable of perceiving and processing information. These biohybrid systems were engineered to perform certain functions, such as the counting signal pulses in order to release bioactive molecules or drugs at the correct time or to detect enzymes and small molecules such as antibiotics in milk. The interdisciplinary team presented their results in some of the leading journals in the field, including Advanced Materials and Materials Today.

Living systems (such as cells and organisms) and electrical systems (such as computers) respond to different input information and have diverse output capabilities. However, the fundamental property of these complex systems shares is the ability to process information. Over the past two decades, scientists have applied the principles of electrical engineering to design and build living cells that perceive and process information and perform desired functions. This field is called synthetic biology, and it has many exciting applications in the medical, biotechnology, energy and environmental sectors.

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Your Form is in Your DNA: Shape-Memory Hydrogels Based on Nucleic Acid Bridging

Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA holds the “plan of life”, i.e. all the information required for a living organism to develop, prosper, and replicate. This wealth of information can be stored via complementary interactions between the intricate components of DNA, which are called bases. Materials scientists have successfully applied these complementary hydrogen bonds in DNA to build complex “DNA origami” scaffolds, showing the potential of DNA in this regard.

Soft materials like hydrogels are of increasing scientific interest due to their softness and biocompatibility. It is highly desired to develop hydrogels that can be stimulated to undergo reversible, memory-dictated transitions between stiff, defined structures, and shapeless, quasi-liquid states.

The molecular memory property of DNA is a promising way to provide this structural memory. In their paper in Advanced Functional Materials, Professor Itamar Willner and his co-workers describe a stimuli-responsive hydrogel able to switch between states of high and low stiffness based on bimodal, selective triggers.

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Belarusian, Russian scientists team up to create smart materials

Belarusian and Russian scientists are implementing a project designed to create materials with changing qualities.

The scientific research is expected to secure a breakthrough in a number of industries, in particular, in microelectronics and aviation industry. The project will help create unique microchips and aircraft parts. Durability and conductivity of materials directly depend on the success of the R&D effort. The scientists intend to develop special aluminium and silicon alloys mixed with iron, magnesium, and other elements to ensure homogeneous distribution of Nano- and ultra-dispersion phases. Work will be done to determine solidification mechanisms at various speeds of molten metal cooling. Complex researches into the structural-phase state, mechanical and thermal properties of alloys will be carried out. It is also important to determine conditions for synthetizing alloys with the best technical properties.

The Russian scientists have received a grant for implementing the project from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR)


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Global Piezoelectric Smart Materials Market Research Report 2018: By Product, Application, Manufacturer, Sales and Segmentation

This report studies the global Piezoelectric Smart Materials market status and forecast, categorizes the global Piezoelectric Smart Materials market size (value & volume) by manufacturers, type, application, and region. This report focuses on the top manufacturers in North America, Europe, Japan, China and other regions (India, Southeast Asia, Central & South America, and Middle East & Africa).

The global Piezoelectric Smart Materials market is valued at million US$ in 2017 and will reach million US$ by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of during 2018-2025.

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Liquid crystals: New smart material in use

Liquid crystal shells have a number of interesting applications and they are being heralded as a new smart material. Applications being discussed include autonomous driving to anti-counterfeiting technology.

The new research into the ‘smart material’ comes from the University of Luxembourg. Here the liquid crystal shells are being discussed as an enabling material, and trials are already underway for a new type of sensor.

Liquid crystals are not new technology (they are found in flat screen television sets, for example); what is new is what is being discovered in terms of how the crystals can be controlled and manipulated. The crystals possess special mechanical and optical properties at the microscopic level.

They can also be put into different patterns, to create codes that can be scanned, read and interpreted by machines.


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Giving life to 3D printed objects

To make a shrinking, color changing Arc de Triomphe, the Ke Group uses a Direct Ink Writing method of 3D printing. Like FDM/FFF based techniques, an object is built up through the extrusion of successive layers, the main difference is the feedstock, and resulting operating temperature.

In the proof of concept experiment, a benchmark model of the Arc was FDM/FFF 3D printed in ABS and a second Arc, matching the scale of the ABS benchmark, was 3D printed in the lab’s specially developed G1 hydrogel ink.

As visible from the picture below, Direct Ink Writing produces a rough, yet discernible, structure of the Arc, at 300-micron resolution.

After air drying, and calcination (At a temperature of 700°C) the G1 Arc shrinks to 1 percent of its original size, with 10 times the resolution.

While rudimentary, the technique represents a step-changing possibility that could bring down the cost of industrial 3D printers. “This process can use a $1,000 printer to print what used to require a $100,000 printer,” explains Ke, adding that the “technique is scalable, widely adaptable and can dramatically reduce costs.”

The future of smart materials

In addition to shrinkage, models made using the G1 hydrogel ink can be tuned to change color by adding fluorescent markers to the ink. The chameleon-like change is activated by shining a light on the surface.

“This is something we’ve never seen before,” adds Ke, “Not only can we 3D print objects, we can tell the molecules in those objects to rearrange themselves at a level that is viewable by the naked eye after printing,”

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