Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Now, this one's a stretch

It's a Bird…It's a Plane … It’s Metal Rubber (ScienCentralNews Video)

Imagine something that bends and stretches like rubber, but conducts electricity the way metal does. As this ScienCentral News video reports, you don't have to imagine this—Metal Rubber is here. And it could make some amazing things a reality.

    metalrubber6In flight, birds can alter the shape of their wings and bodies in order to fly better in varying conditions. What if a plane could do that, too? Such a plane would need to be made from a material that could bend and stretch like rubber, and direct changes in shape by conducting electrical signals, the way metal can.

    Enter Metal Rubber—a new patented material created by a team of researchers headed by Richard Claus, professor of materials sciences and engineering, and electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech. Claus’ team took six years to perfect Metal Rubber, collaborating with chemist Jennifer Lalli at NanoSonic, Inc., a Blacksburg, Virginia nanotechnology company of which Claus is president. More here
NanoBot Backgrounder
Wear your metal rubber
Shape-shifting wings closer to flight?

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