Researchers at the University of Surrey, England have found a new material that they believe could revolutionise the car manufacturing industry.
The benefit of the material is that it is as stiff as metal but it can still withstand strong vibrations due to its flexibility. Researchers believe that the new material will revolutionise car manufacturing as well as trains and aircrafts. They believe the technology will allow customers to experiment little to no vibration during their travel.
The paper has recently been published in the journal Nature, under the title “Damping of selectively bonded 3D woven lattice materials”.
The new material
The team achieved the difficult balance between flexibility and stiffness by using 3D woven technical textile composite sheets with selected unbonded fibres. The selected unbonded fibres allow inside of the material the flexibility to absorb vibrations, while keeping the rest of the material rigid.
The paper described the new materials as ‘3D woven lattice materials [created] by brazing only select lattice joints, resulting in a load-bearing lattice frame intertwined with free, ‘floating’ lattice members to generate damping. The produced material samples are comparable to polymers in terms of damping coefficient, but are porous and have much higher maximum use temperature.’
How will this revolutionise car manufacturing?
According to the paper. the results ‘suggest multi-functional capabilities for future studies.’
Dr Stefan Szyniszewski is the Assistant Professor of Materials and Structures at the University of Surrey and is leading the study. Szyniszewski said: “The idea of a composite the resolves the paradox of stiffness and damping was thought to be impossible – yet here we are. This is an exciting development that could send shock waves through the car, train and aerospace manufacturing industries. This is a material that could make the vehicles of the near future more comfortable than ever before.”