menu

Plastic That Can Instantly Change Its Surface Texture

Plastic That Can Instantly Change Its Surface Texture
Design

Engineers create a polymer material that can change patterns in a split a second.

Yi Chen
  • 19 march 2012


Xuanhe Zhao, an assistant professor at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, has come up with a new plastic material that can morph its surface texture in less than a second. The texture pattern can be transformed from dots and circles, to segments and lines. What this essentially means is that if you have a smartphone cover made from this material, you can alter the surface to become more coarse for a better grip, or more smooth so it can sit evenly on a glass table.

Qiming Wang, a student on Zhao’s research team, explains that the polymer surface can be switched within milliseconds, and the “pattern sizes can be tuned from millimeter to sub-micrometer.”

Zhao further adds that the innovative technology can also produce useful gloves that can be tuned on-demand for various applications, such as climbing and gripping. Improvements in the future might be able to dramatically change the surface patterns to produce microfludics and camouflage materials.

Watch the video below for an explanation of the texture-changing polymer material:

Duke University

Design
Trending

Lancôme's Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Advertising
Op-Ed Today

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

Work Today

Editorial Roundtable: How Will Companies Staff The Workplace Of The Future?

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX examine the ways that a people-first workplace might disrupt the job hiring process

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Arts & Culture Today

Mischievous Drone Will Drop Paint-Filled Balloons On Targets Of Your Choosing

A German photography team developed the flying device to accurately deliver a payload wherever needed

Fashion Today

100 Backpacks Made For The World’s Top Influencers

Heineken and TUMI have collaborated on a unique custom NYC-inspired bag

Financial Services Today

This Peer-To-Peer Insurance Company Is Powered By Bots

Lemonade is a new product designed to lighten the paperwork and provide instant, helpful service when needed

Design Today

Concept Artists And Scientists Form Partnership To Visualize The Future

The collaboration hopes to liberate ideas and innovations trapped in notebooks

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 26, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs Today

New Mentorship Ecosystems Benefit All Levels Of An Organization

PSFK’s Future of Work report explores how technology is being leveraged to support cross-team communication

Automotive Today

Uber Could Be Bringing Vertical Takeoff Transport To Your City

The ridesharing app is looking into the development of nimble aircraft for urban environments

Arts & Culture Yesterday

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

Travel Yesterday

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap

Social Media Yesterday

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Yesterday

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

Experiential Marketing Yesterday

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

No search results found.