Inspired by a tropical fruit, a team of materials scientists have created a new kind of fiber that changes color as it stretches. The multilayer fiber turns from reddish to blue as you put increasing strain on it.
Researchers from Harvard University and the University of Exeter in the U.K. released their findings earlier this week in the journal Advanced Materials. This could pave the way for smart fabric that could change appearance in response to heat or pressure.
By studying the fruit of Margaritaria nobilis, a South American tropical plant commonly known as the "bastard hogberry," scientists identified the structural origins of the seed's color, a bright blue.
The vivid color of the bastard hogberry is designed to fool birds into eating (and spreading the seed) of the non-nutritious fruit, thinking it's a more delicious competitor. The plant doesn't change color, but by combining its properties with an elastic material, scientists made a fiber that could be stretched into various different colors.
Due to the way its surface structure manipulates light, "the fruit of this bastard hogberry plant was scientifically delightful to pick," said principal investigator Peter Vukusic, an Associate Professor in Natural Photonics at the University of Exeter.
Cells on the skin of the seed have a curved, repeating pattern that interferes with light waves and creates colors, much like the bright colors you can see in soap bubbles. The team of researchers copied the vital structural elements of this system using thin fibers rolled up in a polymer bilayer like a high-tech Hostess Ho Ho.
In the future, it could be used to create a shirt that changes color under muscle tension or alerts you to heat strain.
Please don't implement this to skinny jeans.
LoL, actually adding this to skinny jeans might be a good defense for the rest of us to shield our eyes, lol.
It would also tell on those who (Skinny people included) that bought those pants too thin in the first place!
Think of all the urban art projects that will use this.
Also a great way to tell if some one has morning wood.
Pretty interesting. Say no to skinny jeans. I wonder if they could use this with rope or bungie chord. Kind of like an indicator to let people know it needs to be replaced.
Woven into the line of a nylon ship rope, perhaps this might give prior warning to a ship nylon breaking, allowing people to deal with the situation safely, via the color change.
Woven into the outer layer of drive belts, it could identify proper belt tension. Over tightened belts apply side-forces to the motor shaft and can cause premature motor bearings to fail and shorten the belt life.
Used for planned maintenance, the belt tension can monitored without having to remove beltguards. It could also take some of the guesswork out of predicting belt life. As belts wear, they lose tension.
Applied to or integrated into a tires sidewall, it could identify over and under inflated tires with a quick glance.
So....... Shaunacy Ferro,
It seems when you do not approve of the way the comments are going on one of your articles, you BAN all comments. A little closed minded,hmmmm.
reverse the spectrum change; blue to red. Bastard hogberry hair dye, pulling hair under stress...