New 3D Tensegrity Metamaterial is Ultra Lightweight and Crush-Resistant

Catastrophic collapse of materials usually involves a chain reaction of small, localized damages or deformities - think of a crack in the windshield of a car that started with a small chip in the glass.

But what if you could avoid local deformity?

Engineers at University of California, Irvine and the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a new metamaterial using tensegrity to avoid localized deformities to prevent failure.

They start with direct laser writing technique to generate elementary cells sized about 10 to 20 micron. These were built into 8-unit supercells that are assembled with others to make a continuous structure. Upon testing, the new metamaterial feature 25-fold improvement in deformability and orders-of-magnitude increase in energy absorption.

Image: Jens Bauer and Cameron Crook/UCI

#materialscience #metamaterial #tensegrity #collapse #deformity

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