Sunday, 26 February 2017

Smart material, smart future

"Smart" materials respond to environmental stimuli with particular changes in some variables. For that reason they are often also called responsive materials. Depending on changes in some external conditions, "smart" materials change either their properties (mechanical, electrical, appearance), their structure or composition, or their functions.

Mostly, "smart" materials are embedded in systems whose inherent properties can be favorably changed to meet performance needs. Smart materials and structures have widespread applications in several areas.

Materials are basic to every manufacturing process; the smarter they get, the better will be the product. Smart materials market deals with typically designed materials, whose physical properties can be altered through controlling its operational environment. Physical parameters, namely stress, temperature, moisture, pH, electric, and magnetic fields, are imposed upon these special materials to facilitate their restructuring.

The topical developments in the smart material & technologies segment translates theoretical possibilities of material science to a different technical level, altogether. With these smart materials, theories that appeared as science-fiction a couple of decades back, is the materialized reality of modern world, writes Digvijay Deshmukh, Research Analyst at Allied Market Research.

Latest technological trends have surfaced from ongoing disquisition of existing materials. Shape-memory material & technology trend takes on the smart materials industry by wonder, given the amount of shape change that can be induced and recovered by simply changing the temperature.

Materials that can heal small structural defects in themselves, or the self-healing materials, also have gained popularity in market avenues.

Others, such as piezoelectric, magnetostrictive, thermoelectric, chromogenic, and elastomer materials, prevail in the sundry industrial applications.

It is estimated that the net value of the smart material market will be around $72.63 billion from 2015 to 2022. During this period, the industry is expected to register its growth at a CAGR of 14.9%.

Sustained progress will be maintained through strategic product development and business expansion. Smart materials & technologies, when implemented in complex technical systems, reduce their intricacies.

Aerospace & defense, automotive, engineering, industrial, healthcare, and consumer electronics are the end-consumption segments in the industry. Its offerings are available under a vast range of smart metals & alloys, smart textiles, smart polymers, and smart fluids. The final products include transducers, actuators & motors, and structural materials.

Recently, a group of researchers at the Washington State University have introduced a breakthrough that can, quite literally, change the shape of the smart materials market. They have developed a one-of-its-kind, multifunctional substance, which has the ability to restructure its physical arrangement when exposed to heat or light. Their findings indicate that their photoresponsive liquid crystalline epoxy networks have three building blocks incorporated into it azobenzene chromophores, liquid crystals, and dynamic ester bonds.

The group revels after the successful compilation of multiple intelligent functions, such as shape-memory behavior, photo-mechanical movement, and self-healing property, in one single material. Every time the material fold or unfolds, it remembers its original orientation and heals accordingly.

Intensive research in material sciences is bound to influence the scope for other segments. Innovative smart inorganic polymers, for instance, will altogether eliminate the need for polymer additives and plasticizers, notes Digvijay Deshmukh.

No comments:

Post a Comment