theory. smart materials l3

Technical aspects of designing
and making
Smart and
Aim of the lesson
• To understand about Smart and Modern
materials used by Graphic designers-what
they are; how they are made; their properties
and uses.
What is meant by the term
‘SMART’ materials ?
Smart materials can be regarded as materials that
respond to a change of temperature, humidity, contact
with water, electrical current or other inputs.
They usually change in terms of colour or shape when
responding to an input.
Polymorph is a thermoplastic material that can be shaped and reshaped any
number of times. It can be heated in hot water and when it reaches 62 degrees
centigrade, the granules fuse together to form a mass of ‘clear’ material. When
removed from the hot water it can be shaped into almost any form and on cooling
it becomes as solid and strong as a material such as nylon.
Polymorph is suitable for 3D modelling as it can be shaped by hand or pressed into
a shape through the use of a mould.
Polymorph is used for:
manufacturing awkward shapes such as ergonomic handles
joining components together
making moulds for vacuum forming
product-modeling, especially where curved shapes are involved (for
example handles).
• These are inks / paints that produce an aroma when scratched.
They are popular in ‘scratch and sniff’ products, such as perfume
samples etched into women’s magazines.
• The scent is held in millions of micro-spheres. They are absorbed by
a suitable pigment / ink / paint, which is them printed/painted on
the surface of the sticker. When the ink / paint on the aroma sticker
is rubbed or scratched, the spheres burst, allowing the scent to
escape and float in the atmosphere
• diagram
Thermochromic inks
• Thermochromic pigments react to changes in temperature,
changing colour at different times of the day and when exposed to
different temperature levels.
• Thermochromatic pigments are supplied in paste form and can be
mixed with any type of acrylic paint. At normal room temperature
the pigment shows its usual colour, but when heated above 27°C
the colour changes to black. When the temperature falls below 27°
C again the colour reappears
• They are also used as food packaging materials that show you when
the product they contain is cooked to the right temperature.
• Thermo-chromic film is a self adhesive sheet material that is printed
with thermo-chromic liquid crystal 'ink'.
• It is most commonly used in windows and baby spoons to
determine the temperature of the food.
Photochromic inks and pigments.
• Photochromic pigments react to changes in
light levels.
• They are used for security markers that can
only be seen in ultraviolet light.
• Photochromic dyes and inks are used for anticounterfeiting measures, sun tan cream
packaging and reactive glasses.
Photochromic inks and pigments
Photoluminescent pigments
(Phosphorescent and Fluorescent
These are pigments which glow in the dark.
They are able to absorb light energy and store
it. This stored energy is released as light
energy over a period of time, usually in the
They are often used for emergency signs and
contain a photoluminescent layer.
Photoluminescent pigments
The difference between them:
Phosphorescent materials re-emit absorbed light
energy over a long period of time.
Fluorescent materials absorb light energy and
then emit light very quickly.
Examples of graphic products that incorporate
phosphorescent and fluorescent paints are in
emergency and safety signage.
For signage, the process is the same for both
materials. Layers of paint and photoluminescent
pigments are screen printed on to a base layer.
Photoluminescent pigments
Hydro-chromic ink
Hydro-chromic ink changes colour when wet.
Examples include...
Packaging-Where wetting a surface reveals a
winning or losing number in a competition.
Combating fraudulent claims-Inside mobile
phones and other electronic equipment is an
irreversible hydrochromic dot.
Hydro-chromic ink
Hydro-chromic ink changes colour when wet.
Examples include...
Packaging-Where wetting a surface reveals a
winning or losing number in a competition.
Combating fraudulent claims-Inside mobile
phones and other electronic equipment is an
irreversible hydrochromic dot.
Hydro-chromic, Photoluminescent,
Photochromic, Aroma or Thermochromic
• This promotional puzzle is used by a company
called ‘PHK Chemicals’.
• The puzzle is made from 5 mm thick foamboard.
• Name two smart or modern materials that
could be used to make the surface graphics on
the puzzle more appealing.
• 1
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• In 1959, in a famous after-dinner speech called "There's plenty of room at
the bottom," the brilliant American physicist Richard Feynman speculated
about an incredibly tiny world where people could use tiny tools to
rearrange atoms and molecules. By 1974, Japanese engineering professor
Norio Taniguchi had named this field "nanotechnology."
• The “nano” in nanotechnology comes
from the Greek word “nanos” that means dwarf. One nanometer is onebillionth of a metre - that is about 100,000 times
smaller than the diameter of a single human hair.
• Nano technology is about making, manipulating and measuring extremely
tiny things that are so small they are measured in ‘nanometres’.
• In nanotechnology, scientists combine molecules in new ways to make
brand new products and processes to produce new or enhanced
• Lots of substances behave very differently in the world of atoms and
molecules. Materials can have different physical properties on the
Self-cleaning glass
• Self-cleaning glass is an award-winning British
• It works using a 15 nanometre coating of titanium
dioxide that promotes a reaction between the Sun's UV
rays and dirt.
• The broken-down grime is washed away by rain. By
cutting out detergent, these windows are good for the
environment too.
• Ramblers and bikers on the Trans Pennine Trail can now
see their routes more clearly thanks to the selfcleaning glass that covers map boards along the route.
Keeping food fresh.
• Nano materials could help keep food fresh for
• Meat and cheese are often packed in protective
wrappings that stop them drying out, spoiling or
tainting other foods. The best packaging lets in
the least air.
• Now nanotechnology can make this barrier twice
as good. When mixed with plastic, tiny platelets
only a few nanometres thick form a maze which
air takes a long time to get through.
• In 1991, carbon nanotubes were discovered by a Japanese scientist,
Sumio Iijima, opening up huge interest in new engineering
applications. They are among the most exciting of nanomaterials.
• Carbon nanotubes are tiny hollow cylinders of carbon that are tens of
thousands of times smaller than a human hair, but several times
stronger and stiffer than steel.
• Nanotubes are highly conductive, both of electricity and heat, with
conductivity as high as copper. 100 times stronger than steel but 1/6
of the weight.
Although they're hollow, their densely packed structure makes them
incredibly strong and they can be grown into fibres of virtually any
Tiny but tough
• This is a model of a carbon
nanotube. Carbon nanotubes
are as stiff as diamond, 100
times stronger than steel and
6 times lighter than steel.
These are all attributes that
make them an ideal material
for sports equipment, where
strength and light weight are
Carbon nanotubes strengthen
tennis rackets, golf clubs, skis
and bikes.
Nano whiskers
• You might be wearing nanotechnology
trousers, which have a resistance to stains.
They are products made from fabrics coated
with "nanowhiskers." These tiny surface fibres
are so small that dirt cannot penetrate into
them, which means the deeper layers of
material stay clean.
Superstick tape
• The idea comes from gecko toes, which get
their sticking power not from glue but millions
of nanosize split hairs. Each split end exerts a
tiny force; millions together are strong enough
to let geckos scurry up walls. With enough
‘split ends’ of the right size, superstick nano
tape could let humans climb walls too.
• Nanocrystals of various metals have been shown to be 100
percent, 200 percent and even as much as 300 percent
harder than the same materials in bulk form. Because wear
resistance often is dictated by the hardness of a metal,
parts made from nanocrystals might last significantly longer
than conventional parts.”
• Examples: "Metal nanocrystals might be incorporated into
car bumpers, making the parts stronger, or into aluminum,
making it more wear resistant.
• Metal nanocrystals might be used to produce bearings that
last longer than their conventional counterparts, new types
of sensors and components for computers and electronic
• Polymer dispersions are found in exterior paints, coatings
and adhesives, or are used in the finishing of paper, textiles
and leather.
Shining example
• This glossy paint
doesn’t lose its lustre.
A covering of clear,
shiny lacquer protects
it from car-wash
scratches and airborne
pollutants. The
coating contains
ceramic nanoparticles
that cross-link to form
a strong shield against
the outside world.
This sample shows how nanoparticle clearcoat
(on the right) protects paint from scratches
Nano-Solar cell vests
• This lightweight solar vest
would contain flexible solar
panels made from tightly
packed, nano-sized semi
conductor crystals. Solar
power collected by the vest
would be turned into
electric current, to run all
sorts of portable gear, such
as MP3 players, laptops
and mobile phones
Nanostructured polymer films
• Kodak is producing OLED colour screens (made of
nanostructured polymer films) for use in car
stereos and mobile phones.
• OLEDs (organic light emitting diodes) may enable
thinner, lighter, more flexible, less powerconsuming displays. Other consumer products
such as cameras, PDAs, laptops and flatscreen
televisions are made from plastic film built on the
Rollup screens and displays
• Recent nanotechnology
developments have led to the
thinnest electronics ever. One
product of the future will be an
ultra-thin monitor made with
carbon nanotubes that shoot
beams of electrons at special
chemicals in a television
screen. The screen gives off
light and creates an image.
• Nanotubes are much thinner
then traditional TV
Nanoclays and Nanocomposites
• Used in packaging, like beer bottles, as a barrier, allowing for
thinner material, with a subsequently lighter weight, and greater
• The impact of this nano technology is that reduced weight means
transportation costs decline. Changing from glass and aluminum to
plastic reduces production costs.
• Nanoclays help to hold the pressure and carbonation inside the
bottle, increasing shelf life.
• Nanocor is one company producing nanoclays and nanocomposites,
for a variety of uses, including flame retardants, barrier film (as in
juice containers), and bottle barrier (as shown above). "They are
not only used to improve existing products, but also are extending
their reach into areas formerly dominated by metal, glass and
Stink-free socks
• Nanotechnology uses
silver nanoparticles in
sock fabric to kill
bacteria and fungus in
feet and stop them
smelling. Silver has long
been used to combat
bacterial growth but
nanotechnology has
provided a better way to
get silver into socks
without bothering your
feet or coming out in the
• sports equipment: nanoparticles are added to
materials to make them stronger whilst often
being lighter. They have been used in tennis
rackets, golf clubs and shoes.
• clothing: silver nanoparticles have been added to
socks. This stops them from absorbing the smell
of sweaty feet as the nanoparticles have
antibacterial properties
• healthcare: nanoparticles are used in sunscreens.
They offer protection and can be rubbed in so
there are no white marks.
1. Tick the most appropriate ‘key word’ that
describes nano technology.
Smaller bigger
2. State one application of nanotechnology

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