Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bending Polymers Provides Spontaneous Way To Duplicate Beauty Of Nature

Date:
July 24, 2007
Source:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Summary:
There are many objects in nature, such as flowers, that are "pre-programmed" to develop into delicate, beautiful and intrically shaped forms. But can this pre-determined process be duplicated by man starting with plain, flat surfaces?

A 'sombrero" shape created by Hebrew University scientists though heating a programmed sheet of polymer gel.
Credit: Hebrew University photo

There are many objects in nature, such as flowers, that are “pre-programmed” to develop into delicate, beautiful and intrically shaped forms. But can this pre-determined process be duplicated by man starting with plain, flat surfaces?

Yes, say Dr. Eran Sharon and his co-workers, Yael Klein and Efi Efrati, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Racah Institute of Physics, who have succeded for the first time anywhere in programming polymer sheets to bend and wrinkle by themselves into prescribed structures. Their work was described in the journal Science.

They made flat discs of a soft gel that, when warmed gently, curved into domes, saddles and even sombrero shapes. Such switchable shape control in a soft material could have applications ranging from optics to biomedicine.

The sheets change shape because the gel — a web of cross-linked polymers — shrinks at temperatures above 33 degrees celcius by an amount determined by the local polymer density.

When the density varies across the disc, the sheet buckles to relieve the pressure of uneven shrinkage. The researchers worked out what shrinkage patterns would produce the structures they wanted, then used an automated mixing system to produce “cocktails” of gels with the right properties.

The principle that is the basis for accomplishing this is based on differential geometry, the same principle used by Albert Einstein in his development of the general theory of relativity. This principle, by the way, is the one that gives us the curves in potato chips, for example.

The ability to create pre-planned, spontaneously formed objects, say the researchers, can have far-reaching effects for various manufacturing processes or for creating structures that have to meet specific climatic conditions.

Dr. Sharon sees this research as having far-reaching consequences. “Our work enables the creation of highly complex structures, which sometimes would be difficult to manufacture through regular industrial means,” he said. Additionally, such research provides greater understanding of the ways in which complex structures, such as flowers, develop in nature, he added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Bending Polymers Provides Spontaneous Way To Duplicate Beauty Of Nature." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722193817.htm>.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (2007, July 24). Bending Polymers Provides Spontaneous Way To Duplicate Beauty Of Nature. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722193817.htm
Hebrew University of Jerusalem. "Bending Polymers Provides Spontaneous Way To Duplicate Beauty Of Nature." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722193817.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

Raw: SpaceX Rocket Carries 3-D Printer to Space

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A SpaceX Rocket launched from Cape Canaveral, carrying a custom-built 3-D printer into space. NASA envisions astronauts one day using the printer to make their own spare parts. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins