Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Smart materials for high-tech products: Hard, viscous or watery at the touch of a button

Date:
March 13, 2011
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
Flexible and independently operating "smart materials" can adapt to changing conditions with high speed.

Smart materials for high-tech products.
Credit: Image courtesy of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Flexible and independently operating "smart materials" can adapt to changing conditions with high speed. The Fraunhofer Adaptronics Alliance is presenting promising solutions at Hannover Messe.

Related Articles


The droning of a car driving along the highway can be nerve-racking. Often, a driver cannot understand the passengers in the rear seat, not to mention the pianissimo on the car stereo. Actually, though, there are ways to drive this disruptive vibration out of the car. This is possible thanks to "smart materials" -- intelligent materials that can tailor their own condition to changing situations with highest speed. The possible applications are diverse and promising -- not just for carmakers but also for mechanical engineering and the electronics industry. This is why 11 Fraunhofer Institutes have joined forces to create the "Adaptronics Alliance," making new, "smart" solutions marketable.

Piezoceramic bearings to counteract car noise

Vibrations inside a moving car are just one example among many. Researchers use piezoceramics, a material that transforms electrical energy to motion and conversely dampens vibrations by converting them to electrical energy. They are currently using an upmarket passenger car to test piezoceramic bearings attached to the vehicle between the chassis and a metal frame positioned atop the chassis. Normally, rubber components are used for this purpose, but they are not ideal absorbers of annoying vibroacoustics. As a result, vibrations are audible in the car in the form of noise. The piezo bearings, on the other hand, are electromechanical energy transducer devices, being electronically controlled to counteract and neutralize these bothersome vibrations. The result is a quiet ride. In another project, researchers are taking the opposite approach. There, they are developing piezo components that convert the oscillations in a structure -- such as within high-traffic bridges -- to electrical energy. This energy can be used to supply tiny -- energy-autarchic sensors that can monitor the condition of the bridge and notify a control center of any damage.

Hard, viscous or watery at the touch of a button

Piezoceramics are not the only materials that can be "smart." An alternative material of interest to Fraunhofer researchers are "magneto-rheological fluids." These fluids contain tiny particles that align themselves to form fixed chains in a magnetic field. The fluid solidifies. Depending on the strength of the field, the fluid is hard, viscous or watery.

The Alliance partners have used it to develop a safety clutch for machinery -- for use in motor vehicle drives or milling machines. During operation, the fluid is solid. In this state, it creates a solid linkage between drive shaft and cutter head. Activating the emergency shutoff button switches off the magnetic field. The substance returns to its fluid state. The drive shaft spins freely. The cutter head comes to a standstill.

Specialists from different disciplines work together in the Alliance: Material developers, structural mechanics, electronics specialists and system engineers assemble all of the findings to create a coherent whole. With the current economic upturn, industry experts expect to see additional products based on smart materials on the market in the next two years.

"The technology is ready. Work is moving forward on other exciting solutions -- from mechanical engineering to the consumer-goods market," notes head of the Alliance Tobias Melz of the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF in Darmstadt.

At the Hannover Messe, at a joint stand with other Adaptronics partners, the Alliance is presenting a variety of developments -- including a table with vibration-damping bearings, an aircraft component with piezoceramic monitoring sensors and an upmarket passenger car with a smart interior.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Smart materials for high-tech products: Hard, viscous or watery at the touch of a button." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311121836.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2011, March 13). Smart materials for high-tech products: Hard, viscous or watery at the touch of a button. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311121836.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Smart materials for high-tech products: Hard, viscous or watery at the touch of a button." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110311121836.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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