Wouldn’t it be cool to have something as hard as steel and still malleable? Researchers from Hokkaido University in Japan have gotten a one up on this thought, they’ve built a new hydrogel material that has been reinforced with fibres and according to them it is five times harder to break than carbon steel. Along with this use the material is also very easy to bend and stretch.
The researchers made a material that’s super tough and flexible at the same time
The researchers developed the fabric which is called fibre-reinforced soft composite (or FRSC). They did this by combining hydrogels- containing very high levels of water- with glass fibre fabric. The process of combining two materials together to get the best mix of both their properties is something that has been going on for a long time. This is a useful technique and can be used to create some really wonderful things. The idea is that you end up with a better product than the two standalone source materials.
Creating a substance that could easily bear heavy loads and was also very resistant to fractures was something that the scientists set out to create. These traits were easily found in hydrogels while the extra rigidity and durability was provided through the glass fibre fabric.
Just imagine the uses that this material could have. One good use would be building artificial ligaments or tendons for people who have ruptured their original ones. It could also be alternatively used in the fashion industry for manufacturing a very elastic but tough material.
| Originally published wccftech | March 07, 2017 ||