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A simple gradient makes biomimetic surfaces extremely durable

A new and highly controllable technique to manufacture functional gradient nanocomposites has been reported in a recent article, published in Materials Horizons. The technique enables smooth and programmable stiff-to-compliant (or compliant-to-stiff) transitions within micro-scale regions.

This technique, developed by Dr. Zhengzhi Wang and colleagues at Wuhan University, is based on a typical two-step process:

  1. Use a magnetic field to generate a desired concentration gradient of magnetic-responsive nano-reinforcements inside a polymer matrix in liquid state.
  2. Polymerize and solidify the redistributed polymer nanocomposites.

Using this technique, Wang et al. fabricated various biomimetic interfaces and surfaces and found that the functional gradient designs, with reduced stress concentrations, simultaneously improved the mechanical strength and durability over an order of magnitude compared with the traditional homogeneous counterparts.

The magnetically-actuated functional gradient nanocomposites can be further integrated into advanced additive manufacturing techniques to create a wide range of functional heterogeneous materials with unprecedented combinations of mechanical properties.

TEM image of functional gradient nanocomposites for compliant-stiff-compliant transitions

Read the full article here:
Zhengzhi Wang,* Xiaoming Shi, Houbing Huang,* Chenmin Yao, Wen Xie, Cui Huang, Ping Gu, Xingqiao Ma, Zuoqi Zhang and LongQing Chen
DOI: 10.1039/c7mh00223h

 

Mengye Wang is a member of the Community Board for Materials Horizons. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Physics at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She has a keen interest in advanced materials for environmental and energy applications, including photocatalysis and electrocatalysis.

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Materials Horizons First Immediacy Index

Materials Horizons, the new home for rapid reports of exceptional significance on innovative materials, has received its first immediacy index from Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Reports® (JCR).

Immediacy Index – 3.324

This puts Materials Horizons straight into the top 5 immediacy-indexed journals publishing primary research in the Materials Science, Multidisciplinary JCR category.

We are delighted that our authors’ work is being received and cited so well by the community and would like to thank all of our authors, referees and Board members for their support of this new journal.

Submit your next high impact paper to Materials Horizons and enjoy all of the benefits of being a Royal Society of Chemistry author!

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