Xuanhe Zhao, an engineer at University of Duke, in the United States, has just created a product that most resembles a science fiction film. It is a plastic that, depending on the need, can quickly change its texture.
The team explains that, in just a few milliseconds, the material can change from something smooth to rough. The change is made using electrical inductions. According to the Mashable, depending on the applied tension, a different texture assumed by the material.
For the consumer, the uses can be quite varied. For example, a glove made with the material could change its texture as needed by the user. If he is going to do a climb, the glove looks good. If he is going to handle a sensitive material, it is another. Or even a floor that is smooth, facilitating the loading of cargo, for example, and then rough, preventing them from leaving the place.
According to Quiming Wang, Zhao’s assistant, the change is “very fast, in the range of milliseconds, and the pattern sizes can be configured, from millimeter to submicron.” He also comments that, in the future and with several improvements, the plastic can even be used in materials for camouflages.
It is worth watching the video below, which explains a little more about the processes (in English):
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