Smart And Modern Materials
Textiles Home Learning Project
Smart materials have properties that react to changes in their environment. This means that one of their properties can be changed by temperature, light, pressure or electricity. This change is reversible and can be repeated many times.
There are a range of different smart materials. Each offer different properties that can be changed.
Modern materials with new properties are excellent for designers because they can design products which weren’t previously possible. For example, very light weight tennis rackets compared to the older heavier ones.
Smart materials that are either in use or under development and how they are being incorporated into everyday products
These are the main types of smart and modern materials.
Treated paper: for ink-jet printers absorbs the ink and provides good quality prints.
Thermochromatic pigment: is mixed with acrylic paint. When it is heated above 27˚it changes to black. At room temperature it shows its usual colour.
Phosphorescent pigments: they absorb light then emit light. They are glow in the dark.
Thermocolour sheet: is a material printed with a thermochromic pigment which changes colour as the temperature changes.
Polymorph is a plastic that becomes mouldable at 62°C. It is used for product-modelling, curves (eg handles), and moulds for vacuum-forming.
High-density modelling foam is available in blocks and can be shaped.It is often used on CNC milling machines (Computer Numeric Controls).
Precious Metal Clay (PMC) is made from 99% gold or silver and 1% clay. It can be shaped at room temperature, then heated. It's very expensive and mainly used for jewellery.
Cornstarch polymer is used to replace oil-based thermoplastics in packaging. It is made from high starch vegetables including potatoes, corn and maize. It is biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
Paperfoam is made from starch-based fibres and paper