New material created that absorbs and releases huge amounts of energy

Scientists from the University of Massachusetts Amherst have made a new elasto-magnetic metamaterial to absorb and release energy.

@AdamHuntTT
Published Thu, Feb 3 2022 4:43 AM CST   |   Updated Wed, Mar 2 2022 3:46 PM CST

A study on the new material has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New material created that absorbs and releases huge amounts of energy 01 | TweakTown.com
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A research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst engineered a new metamaterial, a material that has a property not found in naturally occurring materials. The "elasto-magnetic" metamaterial comprises an elastic, rubber-like substance with tiny magnets embedded throughout it.

"Imagine a rubber band. You pull it back, and when you let it go, it flies across the room. Now imagine a super rubber band. When you stretch it past a certain point, you activate extra energy stored in the material. When you let this rubber band go, it flies for a mile," said Alfred Crosby, professor of polymer science and engineering at UMass Amherst and the paper's senior author.

The amount of energy released and absorbed by the material is amplified by utilizing phase changes. Changes from solid to liquid, and liquid to gaseous states, involve absorption of energy into a material, and changes back release an equivalent amount of energy.

"To amplify energy release or absorption, you have to engineer a new structure at the molecular or even atomic level. We have overcome these challenges, and have not only made new materials, but also developed the design algorithms that allow these materials to be programmed with specific responses, making them predictable," said Crosby.

"By embedding tiny magnets into the elastic material, we can control the phase transitions of this metamaterial. And because the phase shift is predictable and repeatable, we can engineer the metamaterial to do exactly what we want it to do: either absorbing the energy from a large impact, or releasing great quantities of energy for explosive movement," said Xudong Liang, the paper's lead author.

You can read more from the study here.

New material created that absorbs and releases huge amounts of energy 02 | TweakTown.com
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NEWS SOURCES:phys.org, doi.org

Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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