Technology: Finally, a Silk That Wrinkles, Unwrinkles, and Then Wrinkles Some More - PressFrom - US
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Technology Finally, a Silk That Wrinkles, Unwrinkles, and Then Wrinkles Some More

01:15  10 october  2019
01:15  10 october  2019 Source:   popularmechanics.com

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Tufts University engineers have developed a silk material that has the ability to wrinkle into highly detailed patterns, and then unwrinkle itself, ready to be imprinted with a new design all over again. The material takes advantage of fibroin, a protein naturally present in silk that 's produced by moths

Engineers have developed silk materials that can wrinkle into highly detailed patterns -- including words, textures and images as intricate as a QR code or a fingerprint. The patterns are stable, but can be erased by flooding the surface of the silk with vapor, allowing the surface to be printed again.

a close up of a device: Scientists have used a natural protein within silk to control how it unwrinkles. Here's what they might be able to do with it.© Tufts Scientists have used a natural protein within silk to control how it unwrinkles. Here's what they might be able to do with it.
  • Scientists have used a natural protein within silk to control how it unwrinkles.
  • The protein, called fibroin, doesn't dissolve in water, but it does change shape. Controlling the way fibroin absorbs water vapor allows scientists to tweak its visual appearance.
  • The researchers say there are many potential applications for the technology, including creating words, textures, and detailed images.

Tufts University engineers have developed a silk material that has the ability to wrinkle into highly detailed patterns, and then unwrinkle itself, ready to be imprinted with a new design all over again.

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Researchers at Tufts University School of Engineering have developed silk materials that can wrinkle into highly detailed patterns—including words, textures and images as intricate as a QR code or a fingerprint.

Learn more When a silk item is wrinkled , it doesn't look as luxurious as it normally would. If you still notice some wrinkles in the silk after the item is dry, you can repeat the process or try another If your item only has a few wrinkles , then making those areas damp and then drying them with your

The material takes advantage of fibroin, a protein naturally present in silk that's produced by moths and other insects. Fibroin doesn't dissolve in water, but rather, it goes through a number of changes in response to external conditions like exposure to water vapor, methanol vapor, and UV radiation. Vapor can soak into silk and alter the hydrogen bonds within fibronin, causing it to unravel and release tension.

Researchers were able to fabricate a silk surface from dissolved fibroin, placing it on a thin plastic membrane (PDMS), becoming what's scientifically known as a silk/PDMS bilayer.

There's an inherent tension within the bilayer that scientists exploit. A cycle of heating and cooling through an electric current will make the bilayer fold into nanotextured wrinkles thanks to the different mechanical properties of the layers. And then, exposing the bilayer to water or menthol vapor causes it to relax all over again.

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Tufts engineers have developed silk materials that can wrinkle into highly detailed patterns The smooth surface transmits more than 80% of light, while the wrinkled surface only allows 20 The list of potential applications that Wang points to include materials with tunable optical properties, some of

The wrinkles will disappear right before your eyes! When you get out, the wrinkles will have softened completely. Remember to hang the clothing item as close as possible to the steam, like on the showerhead or shower rod. Spin for about 15 minutes, and most of the creases should be gone.

"We can print patterns of remarkably high resolution in the silk—and we even showed that we can pick up the moisture pattern left by a fingerprint," says study author Yu Wang, a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts, in a press statement. "But beyond the novelty of reversible printing, there are many other functional applications that the silk patterning technology could provide."

Tufts suggests the silk could be used to create words, textures, and detailed images, like a QR code or a fingerprint. The researchers were able to send the material through the heating and cooling cycle 50 times without diminishing any of its quality.

"Because of its versatility, and ease of manufacture, I think there may be many future applications that we and others will come up with that we have not even imagined yet," says Tufts engineering professor Fiorenzo Omenetto, the paper's corresponding author.

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