What is meant by a Smart Material? A smart material is a name which describes any material that can change its properties as the environment around it changes. Polymorph is a smart material because it changes form (from pellets to a mouldable plastic) when it’s heated to about 65 degrees centigrade.
Carbon Fibre • What is carbon fibre? • Carbon fibre is a material that is made of fibres (strands) of carbon that are woven into a mat. Layers of carbon fibre and glued together into a mould to make it thicker. The carbon fibre is then heated in an oven (autoclave) to strengthen it. • What properties does it have? i.e. strength, weight, cost etc • Carbon fibre is very light weight and extremely strong but is very expensive. • Why is it used to make F1 Racing Cars? • The bodies of the racing cars are made of carbon fibre so they are very light (so are able to go faster) and being extremely strong they are much more able to survive high speed crashes.
Kevlar • What is Kevlar? • Kevlar is a synthetic fibre (that means it’s man made). It is a very strong material that has an additional • property that it is bullet proof. However as you can imagine it is very expensive. It also has a good • resistance to heat which makes it popular for fire flighter clothing. • Common uses include bullet proof vests, face protection and clothing. Think of the speed at which an ice hockey puck hits the goaltenders face mask.
Thermochromic Ink • What is a meant by the term thermochromic? • Thermochromic is made up up two words; • - Thermo meaning heat • - Chromic meaning colour • So thermochromic means a material that changes colour as it gets hotter or colder. • Why are they used to make kettles/children’s thermomoeters? • Because they change colour they are great for childrens thermometers that are put on the child’s head • and change colour showing their temperature. The cups and kettles show other uses.