Maro Publications

Smart Materials


from 3/18/2013

Maro Encyclopedia


Patent Abstracts

Patent Titles




3. A smart material is a material where changes in one property can be  used to control some other aspect of an attached structure.  (RDC 3/18/2013)\


 2. “What makes a material smart is that changes like this happen by design. Typically they might respond to stimuli that would leave most materials unchanged, such as exposure to a particular chemical reagent or to light. Typically the magnitude of their response is large, for example increasing a hundredfold in volume when warmed or cooled slightly. It's a tricky business to come up with a rigid and exclusive definition of a smart material. Some researchers insist that no material by itself is truly smart, as opposed to being simply responsive. They insist that being smart isn't just a matter of producing a response in proportion to a stimulus, but includes principles such as adaptation and feedback. Others draw a distinction between merely smart and truly intelligent, in the sense of being able to do things like make decisions or repair oneself. No artificial materials are yet intelligent in this sense, although they can be combined into composite intelligent systems, made up for example of sensors, actuators, information processing and storage units, and so forth.”

(Philip Ball, Smart Stuff, 3/18./2013)


1. “Smart materials are designed materials that have one or more properties that can be significantly changed in a controlled fashion by external stimuli, such as stress, temperature, moisture, pH, electric or magnetic fields.


There are a number of types of smart material, some of which are already common. Some examples are as following:

Piezoelectric materials are materials that produce a voltage when stress is applied. Since this effect also applies in the reverse manner, a voltage across the sample will produce stress within the sample. Suitably designed structures made from these materials can therefore be made that bend, expand or contract when a voltage is applied.

Shape-memory alloys and shape-memory polymers are materials in which large deformation can be induced and recovered through temperature changes or stress changes (pseudoelasticity). The large deformation results due to martensitic phase change.

Magnetostrictive materials exhibit change in shape under the influence of magnetic field and also exhibit change in their magnetization under the influence of mechanical stress.

Magnetic shape memory alloys are materials that change their shape in response to a significant change in the magnetic field.

pH-sensitive polymers are materials that change in volume when the pH of the surrounding medium changes.

Temperature-responsive polymers are materials which undergo changes upon temperature.

Halochromic materials are commonly used materials that change their colour as a result of changing acidity. One suggested application is for paints that can change colour to indicate corrosion in the metal underneath them.

Chromogenic systems change colour in response to electrical, optical or thermal changes. These include electrochromic materials, which change their colour or opacity on the application of a voltage (e.g., liquid crystal displays), thermochromic materials change in colour depending on their temperature, and photochromic materials, which change colour in response to light—for example, light sensitive sunglasses that darken when exposed to bright sunlight.


Photomechanical materials change shape under exposure to light.

Self-healing materials have the intrinsic ability to repair damage due to normal usage, thus expanding the material's lifetime

Dielectric elastomers (DEs) are smart material systems which produce large strains (up to 300%) under the influence of an external electric field.

Magnetocaloric materials are compounds that undergo a reversible change in temperature upon exposure to a changing magnetic field.

Thermoelectric materials are used to build devices that convert temperature differences into electricity and vice-versa.”

(Smart Materials, Wikipedia, 3/18/2013)


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(RDC 6/5/2012)


Roger D. Corneliussen

Maro Polymer Links
Tel: 610 363 9920
Fax: 610 363 9921


Copyright 2013 by Roger D. Corneliussen.
No part of this transmission is to be duplicated in any manner or forwarded by electronic mail without the express written permission of Roger D. Corneliussen

* Date of latest addition; date of first entry is 3/18/2013.