Whether in the construction industry, aerospace industry or the electronics industry, choosing materials is a difficult task. The existing materials have some limitations, resulting in compromises for design and manufacturing. However, the situation is changing. A study is being conducted at the Masdar Institute in the United Arab Emirates. Scientists hope that by redesigning the inherent geometry of existing materials, 3D will print high-performance materials suitable for specific applications.
Professor Rashid Abu Al-Rub and his team have a clear goal. They do not want to re-create materials. Instead, they choose to focus on changing the internal geometrical structures of plastic, metal, cement and other materials that we are familiar with. This fundamental change in material has allowed Abu Al-Rub's team to control the mechanical, thermal and electrical properties of the material. They can even break through the original characteristics of some materials.
In general, density and intensity are closely related. High-strength metals have high density and high quality, while sponges with low strength have low density and low mass. However, after changing the internal structure of aluminum, the "new" material can have both lightweight and high strength properties. The principle is the same as that of the Eiffel Tower. It is a unique structure instead of high-strength special materials that make this tower tower into the clouds.
The Abu Al-Rub team developed a computer model in the study that can generate the geometry of thousands of existing materials for different industries to choose from. The dimensions of these complex structures are sometimes nanometers, thanks to advances in 3D printing technology that have allowed them to get out of the computer.
The team stated that their research may change the material design of the future. At present, they are looking for industry partners to initially try to commercialize the research results.
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