2021-08-24

Scientists develop experimental composite materials by changing colors to warn them of stress

By yqqlm yqqlm

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Scientists develop experimental composite materials by changing colors to warn them of stress

One of the materials is a previously developed version of synthetic mother-of-pearl. The natural version of mother-of-pearl is composed of stacked brick-like calcium carbonate plates, which give the shells of certain types of mollusks hardness and rigidity. The synthetic version of ETH is equally hard, but it is composed of neatly arranged aluminum oxide plates, connected by a mixture of epoxy resin and titanium oxide particles.

Another material is a plastic polymer that contains molecules called “mechanophores”. Although these molecules are usually light pink when viewed under ultraviolet light, they will fluoresce purple when they are stretched.

Scientists develop experimental composite materials by changing colors to warn them of stress(1)

Therefore, if the translucent composite material is Bending, the polymer will reveal this fact by emitting purple fluorescence under ultraviolet light – it will do so even before the composite has cracked. More importantly, by measuring the intensity of fluorescence, the magnitude of the mechanical stress it bears can be objectively determined. Basically, the more mechanical micelles are stretched, the brighter they become. After subsequent exposure to green light, they will revert to the default pink color.

It should be noted that so far, this composite material has only been produced on a laboratory scale. Scientists need further research to understand whether manufacturing methods can be extended to commercial production.

A paper on this research was recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society-Applied Materials and Interface.