Powerful patterns: Discovery could unlock new abilities for soft materials

Led by Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Stephan Rudykh, researchers discovered a new phenomenon in how soft composite materials rearrange their internal structure at the microscopic scale. Rudykh says this phenomenon can provide a powerful design tool for engineering soft materials with tailored properties.

This is an exciting discovery because it gives us the means to control and fine-tune the properties of these soft materials by controlling their microstructures,” he says. “It enables us to control the mechanical, thermal and acoustic properties, to name a few, and to switch different properties on and off if we want.”