Non-standard properties of the material ensures its synthetic structure consisting of a network of 3D printing plastic tubes, a length of 0.5 mm filled with a liquid mixture of oil and tiny particles of iron. Under normal conditions, metal microparticles are distributed in the oil randomly, so the suspension is in a liquid state. However, near the magnet, the particles of iron are built into the chains along the field lines, making a mixture of viscous, and the grid is tight.
Engineers decided to make the material in the form of a network of tubes, as a solid piece would be heavy and expensive in the manufacture. During the test, it was found that when moving one segment at a distance from eight to one centimeter from a magnet, its rigidity rose by about 62%.
According to inventors, the new metamaterial can be combined with electromagnets in various devices, allowing you to control their physical structure. For example, robotics with a variable stiffness of the structure will be able to wade into narrow spaces, but it remains sufficiently strong enough to carry and move other objects. Metamaterial can also be used to make body armor and sports helmets, making them more adaptive.
British scientists recently invented no less unusual material that