Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Department of Energy highlights recent work from Guan lab on polymeric materials having large, continuous mechanical gradients. Mechanical gradients are important to prevent damage from large forces by creating a smooth transition from strong to weak materials. It is a challenge to design materials with large continuous mechanical gradients. Inspired by the polychaete worm jaw, James Neal and Nate Oldenhuis from Guan lab designed polymers to have a large continuous mechanical gradient that spans 200-fold difference in stiffness, the largest mechanical gradient reported so far for man made materials.