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Engineering Materials

Such materials can be produced in sandwich panel form and have potential applications in areas where light weight combined with high stiffness are a requirement, such as in the flooring of aircraft.

Other applications envisaged will make use of the potentially good heat transfer characteristics of these materials for heat exchangers and for cooling electronic components.

Lattice material

View a 3D model of the material.

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Such panels could also be designed to be multi-functional, with the outer layers of a sandwich panel construction consisting of say a solar cell or an electronic membrane. Distributed transistors within the material could be addressed individually to switch shape memory or pneumatic actuators on or off, producing contractions mimicking those of muscles.

At present these materials are being manufactured from aluminium, but they could be made from Ni-based alloys, steels or ceramics. The work is being carried out in conjunction with other universities: Harvard, MIT, Princeton and the University of Virginia.

For more information, contact Professor Norman Fleck -