North Carolina State University is looking for commercial partners to develope a mechanical metamaterial.
Metamaterials exhibit properties that are not found in nature. Optical and acoustic metamaterials have been widely studied for their interesting and almost fantasy-like properties. One semi-famous example is a negative refractive index invisibility cloak. Unlike conventional materials, which receive their properties due to the material composition, the structure of metamaterials are engineered in order to obtain the desired unique properties that were previously believed unachievable. Though the possibilities seem far-ranging, this class of materials is emerging.
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a mechanical metamaterial fiber that is tougher than its individual parts. These easy to manufacture fibers exhibit greater toughness than expected and can absorb a large amount of energy when in tension. When the fiber is stretched, it undergoes a deformation that can be reversed by heating the fiber. The process of stretching the fiber can then be repeated.
- Easy to manufacture
- Materials can be selected for desired properties
- High Toughness
- Wide range of potential applications.
About the Lead Inventor
Dr. Michael Dickey is an Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin where he also received a Master’s of Science in Chemical Engineering. He was a post-doctoral fellow in the chemistry department at Harvard University. Professor Dickey’s research focuses on developing alternative micro- and nano-fabrication techniques and studying the fundamental properties of the materials that are used or produced by these processes.