A new very easy solution for pothole repair developed by students from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, could make our streets much smoother in the future. Image Alan Stanton via Flickr
The idea has won an engineering contest, is a non-Newtonian fluid: when there’s no force being applied to it, it flows like a liquid, but when it gets run over, it acts like a solid!
“So we were putzing around with different ideas and things we wanted to work with—and we were like, what’s a common, everyday problem all around the world that everybody hates?” explains 21-year-old team member Curtis Obert. “And we landed on potholes.” He and four other students decided on a non-Newtonian fluid as a solution because of its unusual physical properties. “When there’s no force being applied to it, it flows like a liquid does and fills in the holes,” says Obert, “but when it gets run over, it acts like a solid.”