Smart , Strong Material
21 Dec 2010
A cheap , smart , strong material can be made by 3D printing process producing threads using Aragonite , clay or a suitable brick-material , mortared by a suitable conducting polymer . Present , mature weaving technology can weave a super-strong material with embedded chips for smartness . (Not to mention TV screens .)
See NewScientist 13 Nov 2010 p46 "Feat of clay"
In the biological clam , the Mother-of-Pearl (Aragonite structure) is achieved by slow growth . It is also stronger than steel . Optical output is random , but appealing .
Similar materials have been made on small scale using clay .
Scaling-up has been hampered by a slow "curing" process , necessitating slow growth .
We are not limited by biological growth . (But keep it small .)
(My Xmas Gift for 2010 : Free according to all freeware protocols)
A very thin thread looping past an ordinary ink-jet printer with different heads printing Aragonite and a polymer , then through an ageing environment (ie mild heat , acidity , etc ) will build up into a thread of desired thickness .
The thread can then be further treated .
Eg the original starter thread can be dissolved out and replaced by a conducting superglue , giving a really , really tough thread .
The existing , mature weaving technology can then be used to weave any desired material . Eg armor , TV screens , invisibility clothing , temperature suits .
Smart chips can be cheaply implanted at this stage , but a neural-net of some type would be needed for the cheaper materials . Connections between the material and the chips would be rather haphazard and some learning would be required .
A preliminary look indicates that cables woven from the threads would have a sufficient strength-to-weight ratio to function as space-elevator cables .
Military armor should outperform present specs by factors of 10-100 .
Even everlasting razorblades or tyres should finally be possible .
A new occupation :
Taking the clothes to school .
Armor will need to be trained .
Expensive materials might try for programmed interactions , but this is not advised for armor . Neural networks are more robust in case of damage .
An optical-conducting thread-core and a meta-material brick opens up some intriguing speculations .
A true invisibility cloak is possible . Smart , too .
Extreme heat-insulation or heat-dissipation become possible .
Note the similarity of thread-structure with polar-bear fur .
LED's in the material can give any camouflage output .
Including your favourite TV program .
This is then a cheap , printable , flexible TV screen .
Inverse camouflage .
Wear your favourite soapie .
How Smart can the Clothes be ?
Given the present rates of progress of processors , a suit of clothes soon might be smarter than the wearer . Something long suspected , in any case .
So what will happen if the owner dies ?
Gives an entirely new meaning to "Second hand clothes"
And what if one of a pair of socks wants a divorce ?
(Note the mystery of the vanishing single socks .
Time-traveling socks looking and finding for adventure and a savage mate ?
Gloves do not bear thinking about .
But only the truly perverted will wonder about crotch-straps . )
All this with an ink-jet printer and some software off the internet .
Merry Xmas !