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morphable smart skin: new wearble computer material.

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posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 01:05 PM
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Smart skin” holds promise for morphing wings and wearable computers.


Terrible, horrible things can be done to this millimeters-thick patch of shimmering material crafted by chemists at NanoSonic in Blacksburg, Virginia. Twist it, stretch it double, fry it to 200°C, douse it with jet fuel—the stuff survives. After the torment, it snaps like rubber back to its original shape, all the while conducting electricity like solid metal. “Any other material would lose its conductivity,” says Jennifer Hoyt Lalli, NanoSonic’s director of nanocomposites.

The abused substance is called Metal Rubber, and, according to NanoSonic, its particular properties make it unique in the world of material chemistry. As a result, the company’s small office has been flooded with calls from Fortune 500 companies and government agencies eager to test Metal Rubber’s use in everything from artificial muscles to smart clothes to shape-shifting airplane wings.

At this stage, however, NanoSonic is busy meeting the demand for its 12-inch-by-12-inch samples, which take custom-built robots up to three days to create. That’s speedy, if you consider that Metal Rubber, a product of nanotechnology, must be fabricated molecule by molecule.

The manufacturing process, called electrostatic self-assembly, starts with two buckets of water-based solutions—one filled with positively charged metallic ions, the other with oppositely charged elastic polymers. The robot dips a charged substrate (glass, for example) alternately from one bucket to the next. The dipping slowly builds up tight, organized layers of molecules, bonded firmly by opposing charges. Afterward the substrate is removed, leaving a freestanding sheet of Metal Rubber.

With investor interest booming, Metal Rubber could make its commercial debut within a year or so. Although shape-shifting aircraft wings and sensory robotic gloves are on the horizon, Metal Rubber will probably appear first in more humble, practical roles. Abuse-resistant flexible circuits and wires, for instance, could allow you to do terrible, horrible things to your portable electronics—consequence-free.




Despite the name, Metal Rubber, top, “contains just parts per million of metal yet conducts electricity nearly as well as a solid metal,” says polymer chemist Jennifer Hoyt Lalli (below). Its secret? chemical bonds that stretch apart but don’t break.

MAKING METAL RUBBER FROM SCRATCH
Dip charged substrate into container of positively charged water-based solution (1). Rinse substrate in water to remove unbound particles (2). Dip substrate into negatively charged solution (3). Rinse and repeat (4, 5).

www.popsci.com...




posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 01:19 PM
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Wow is it just me or does that picture of the Metal rubber look almost exactly like what the people at roswell described?
They talked about this type of stuff long before anyone thought it was even a possibility to make anything like this.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Wow is it just me or does that picture of the Metal rubber look almost exactly like what the people at roswell described?
They talked about this type of stuff long before anyone thought it was even a possibility to make anything like this.
yup after reading the first paragraph i was like sounds like roswell stuff to me. maybe ot is and our goverment has finally found a way to make it based on alien technology.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 01:24 PM
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I want some of that. That could be fun.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 01:27 PM
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just think a wearble computer, think of all the possibilities and new technology that come from this.laptops would become outdated because of it



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 01:33 PM
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Originally posted by machinegunjordan
just think a wearble computer, think of all the possibilities and new technology that come from this.laptops would become outdated because of it


Technically, laptops are already outdated. There are Pocket PCs out, and while they are not as capable as laptops, they are still really good.

But a wearable computer would outdate laptops and pocket pcs



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 01:38 PM
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Reminded me of Roswell too. Though, they were able to cut it and it would 'heal'... we'll wait a few years for that... Sort of reminds me of Nitinol too. How far can you stretch it before it breaks? Is it cut-resistant? Will they really be able to get it to mass production within a year? It looks like a great thing, hopefully it's not more Vaporware.



posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by SmileyMan34
, hopefully it's not more Vaporware.
if you dont mind me asking, what is vaporware?



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