Ah new e-book We describe the development of liquid crystal elastomer (LCE) technology, which was accomplished with the support of . APRA projectAuthored by Eugene M. Terentjev, professor of polymer physics at the University of Cambridge, host of the APRA project, this e-book sheds light on how these smart plastics, especially LCEs, bring automation to materials.
What exactly is LCE?
LCEs are rubber-like networks of polymers that exhibit reversible shape changes under various stimuli. The e-book describes them as “a new class of materials with physical intelligence.” “These are plastics that sense and react to their environment, make decisions, analyze and diagnose problems without human intervention. Liquid crystalline elastomers are truly the materials of the future.”
Multifunctional polymer materials developed in the APRA project are recyclable and reworkable. One unique LCE property, described in the e-book, “combines the dissipative properties of liquids with the mechanical strength of thermosets to generate levels of vibration that far exceed market-leading technologies based on polyurethanes and silicones.” It is a soft elasticity that produces damping.
LCE also has a strong pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) that makes it tacky and adheres to most surfaces. Through his APRA, the University of Cambridge is working with technology spin-off Cambridge Smart Plastics to develop a new concept using his reversibly adhesive LCE. [sic] They created a naturally sticky rubber that changes its properties when heated and can be easily removed. When cooled, the rubber becomes sticky again, giving this “true reusable glue” a second life.
Another surprising property is the ability of LCEs to contract and expand reversibly on heating and cooling. “If the material is programmed into a particular shape when aligned, this will be the natural shape. However, when the material is heated, it can shrink up to 100-200% and is fully reversible (LCE With this mechanical actuation, we can design LCE engines that operate on actuators, artificial muscles, or temperature differences between two containers.”
Recent breakthroughs by researchers have allowed us to overcome long-standing obstacles to using LCE actuation in practical devices. This breakthrough was the development of LCE Vitrimer. “Vitrimer is much more stable than other temporary elastomeric networks, but can be thermally reshaped, making the material completely renewable. complex shape According to the e-book, it uses complex local alignments (not possible with conventional permanent elastomers).
These properties pave the way for a whole host of LCE applications.Sound insulation pads, devices that dampen road vibrations to improve light detection and ranging accuracy and passenger comfort, “fully reversible adhesive tapes that eliminate the ‘disposable’ nature of today’s adhesives”, ”Helio Tracking solar panel and engine conversion waste heat for useful work. The 5-year APRA (Active Polymers for Renewable Functional Actuators) project will end in September 2023.
Quote: How Liquid Crystal Elastomer Research Paves the Way for New Applications and Practical Devices (1 Feb 2023) .html
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