Scientists created new fabrics that are highly flexible, tougher than metals, and have a wide range of potential applications.
Hokkaido University researchers, led by Professor Jian Ping Gong, have focused on creating a reinforced material using hydrogels.
The newly developed hydrogels are 5 times tougher compared to carbon steel.
The team theorizes that toughness is increased by dynamic ionic bonds between the fiber and hydrogels, and within the hydrogels.
Though such a substance has potential as a structural biomaterial, up until now no material reliable and strong enough for long-term use has been produced. This study was conducted as a part of the Cabinet Office’s Impulsing Paradigm Change through Disruptive Technologies Program (ImPACT).
Dr. Jian Ping Gong, said:
“The fiber-reinforced hydrogels, with a 40 percent water level, are environmentally friendly. The material has multiple potential applications because of its reliability, durability and flexibility. For example, in addition to fashion and manufacturing uses, it could be used as artificial ligaments and tendons, which are subject to strong load-bearing tensions.” The principles to create the toughness of the present study can also be applied to other soft components, such as rubber.
source Hokkaido University