Today's Hard|Forum Post
Today's Hard|Forum Post

Saturday February 13, 2016

Shape-Shifting Polymer Straightens Out From Body Heat

One potential use could be fabrics, which means it’d be useful for those of you who can’t seem to find clothes that fit. The material can also reportedly pull something many times its weight and remain intact, so I guess it’s time to make Spider-Man web fluid.

The University of Rochester has created a polymer that returns to its original shape when subjected to body heat -- touch a curled mess of the stuff and it straightens out. The solution was to attach polymer strands using molecular links that inhibit crystallization, which prevents the polymer from returning back to its original shape. When you tweak the number and substances of the links, you can customize the temperature where that reversion happens (in this case, just below normal body temperature).