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A Meta-Fluid With Programmable Properties Has Been Created In The USA

The meta-fluid, a substance that exhibits qualities that do not exist in nature, was created by Harvard scientists using tiny spherical elastomers with a diameter of 50 to 500 microns. Under pressure they expand, causing programmable changes in the properties of the liquid: elasticity, viscosity, optical characteristics. Until now, scientists have not been able to create a metafluid capable of changing its state from Newtonian to non-Newtonian.

The meta-fluid proposed by scientists is a suspension of air-filled elastomer balls with a diameter of 50 to 500 microns. Tiny beads are placed in a silicone oil solution. If pressure is applied to a container of balls, they will shrink and return to a round shape when the pressure is released. Each of these two states gives the metafluid its own unique properties.

For example, when there is no pressure, the balls remain round and scatter the light falling on them. When pressure is applied, the balls take on a flat, lens-like shape and begin to transmit the background image. This effect can be used to imagine the work of colored electronic ink. Or another example is a robotic hand with feedback for softly grasping fragile objects. The meta-liquid automatically, without pressure sensors, only due to its ability to respond to external pressure, regulates the compression force: one when picking berries, another when collecting eggs, and a third when lifting weights.

The team of researchers proposes their invention to create hydraulic actuators, robotics components and smart shock absorbers that release energy depending on the force of the impact. In addition, the innovative substance will help in the development of optical devices that change the degree of transparency.

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