New material technology could lead to airplanes that optimize their shape in flight

Four panels showing a circular blob in transformation from a single piece to two circular blobs. Clockwise from top left, a blob of paraffin in four stages of becoming two. The images were taken in a demonstration of the technique that could enable autonomous transformation of objects and materials.

Januar 16, 2024 – Materials and objects could take on different shapes by themselves through a method developed at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Breakthrough tests showed how microscale melting and cooling of a wide range of materials – such as plastics and metals – can be manipulated to reorganize their mass and form new shapes. With the new technology the researchers envision limitless possibilities, from cars and airplanes that constantly adjust their form to optimize drag, to meeting rooms where the required seating is generated on demand.

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