Incorporating new materials into composites

October 1st, 2018

In material science, strength alone is often found to have its limitations; a combination of hard and soft, rigid and flexible is an area of increasing interest for a wide range of applications from construction, to sports equipment, to protective apparel. Composites bring together two or more materials to provide one that has novel features, […]

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Biomimetics: Fabrics borrow from nature to solve problems

October 31st, 2017

For most people, arriving home from a hike covered in burrs would likely cause aggravation. But for George de Mestral, the burrs became an inspiration. Curious about how they clung so stubbornly to his clothes, the Swiss electrical engineer put them under a microscope, which revealed hundreds of “hooks” that attached to anything with a […]

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Biomimicry inspires medical textiles

September 27th, 2017

With much of the discussion of smart textiles focusing on e-textiles at present, it is good to be reminded that there are innovative developments emerging in non-digital yarns also. MedTextra is a filtration and health-giving yarn that uses a unique moisturizing process to deliver active ingredients to the body based on biomimicry principles. The brainchild […]

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Biomimetics and biotextiles

December 1st, 2016

Imitating nature offers sustainable choices in new textiles. Nature provides the inspiration for many innovations in business, including in the field of textiles. Some efforts, however, are quite specific in imitating nature. In fact, an entire field of science has blossomed under the name “biomimetics,” a term first coined in 1969 by Dr. Otto Schmitt, […]

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Robotics, biomimicry and museums

October 1st, 2016

Inspiration for design can easily be found in nature. Take the wing of a beetle: It has an outer shell called an elytra that is both protective and lightweight. Those construction principles are the basis of a striking new exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, celebrating the institution’s annual Engineering Season. The […]

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