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Intelligent textiles muscle up

January 1st, 2013 / By: / Uncategorized

A new hybrid yarn 10 times smaller than a human hair can lift more than 100,000 times its own weight and generate 85 times higher mechanical output than natural skeletal muscles. This discovery by researchers at the University of Wollongong ARC Centre for Excellence in Electromaterials Science (ACES) in New South Wales, Australia, may lead to self-powered intelligent textiles that could react to environmental conditions as a muscle fiber would. “When heated, either electrically or with a flash of light, the wax in the yarn muscles expands, causing contraction of the nanotube yarn and generating a very large contraction,” says ACES researcher Geoff Spinks. The researchers envision fabrics that open and close pores to allow heat to escape or moisture to be released.

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