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Product Design

Smart Materials

Define Smart materials. They react and change according to the conditions. For example, material properties will change physically to light or temperature.
Shape memory alloy (SMA). SMAs such as nitinol change shape in response to a change shape in response to a change in temperature or electrical input. E.g. nitinol wire in dental braces changes length in response to a change in temperature.
Thermochromic pigment: Changes colour in response to temperature change. E.g. of use: Room thermometers, packaging that tells you when food is hot or cold and baby feeding spoons.
Phosphorescent pigment: Absorbs light energy during the day and 're-emits' the light energy when it is dark. E.g. of use: Fire exit signs, 'glow in the dark' products such as watch face and colour change mugs.
Photochromic pigment: Changes colour with light intensity. E.g. of use: Welding goggles and reactive spectacle lenses and permanent UV marker pens.
Electroluminescent wire: Thin copper wire coated in a phosphorescent material that glows in response to an alternating current. E.g. of use: Glow bracelets, decorative lighting outdoors and interweaving for clothing.
Piezoelectric material: Gives off a small electrical charge when deformed; increases in size (up to 4%) when an electrical current is passed through it. E.g. of use: In car Airbag sensors, musical greeting cards and barbecue lighters.
Created by: supercars