What are the materials of the future?

When we published the first ATRIA post five years ago, we could not imagine that this blog would go so far and that we would have so many faithful readers every month to know the latest technological developments in terms of Materials and Industry 4.0 . During this time we have endeavored to show you quality, interesting and fresh content to arouse both your curiosity and your desire for knowledge. Thank you very much to all of you for reading us during these 100 posts!. Thanks also for following us on Linkedin, Instagram y Twitter where we also publish small summaries, projects and other events.

And now, straight to the point! To what you have come here, to see the trends of the Materials of the Future . What we are going to show you today are brief introductions to what is to come. In the coming months you will be able to see posts dedicated to those who we think may be more interesting. Let’s start!

Transparent metals

This material will be a real revolution for the construction sector. Imagine the applications that will be open in architecture with completely transparent skyscrapers whose windows act as part of the structure, crazy!

Biomimetic materials

These are materials that mimic others generated by nature for their great properties. Thus we can find from self-cleaning tiles based on the snail shell, to fabrics based on the lotus leaf for its water repellent properties. Nature takes us centuries of development and one of the tendencies is to copy the structures that some of these living beings possess to apply them in fabrics, steels and polymers. Are you ready for the natural revolution? These will undoubtedly be one of the best materials of the future.

Self-healing or self-repairable materials

You have also seen it in one of our posts but it could not be missing in our summary list because we believe it will be a widely used material in the coming years. For the new readers we give you a brief summary: these are materials capable of being repaired if they have suffered scratches. They are very useful in applications such as car paints, table coverings, and any other aesthetic use that may suffer from scratches.

Metamaterials

It is one of the materials of the future that has already entered our list last year, but it is something so innovative that we cannot forget them. We remind you what they are: these are materials capable of being invisible when are subjected to a certain wavelength (in a very very simplified way). These materials will have aesthetic applications, in the military sector (leading developers of this technology) and functional.

During the last year there have been advances and in a few weeks we will publish a post telling you more about these futuristic materials.

Airgel

It is a colloidal material generated by the supercritical drying of liquid gels of different elements such as silica (the most common), alumina, carbon etc. Its star property is that it is a wonderful insulator since 99.8% is air. These are materials with very low density, resistant to compression but very fragile, so their applications have to be very well designed.

Biohydrometallurgy

It is not a material per se but it is used to process and recycle electronic waste. The huge amount of waste of this type that we generate due to the continuous changes we make in mobiles, televisions, computers and other electronic devices, we think it is very important to publicize this type of technologies. Biohydrometallurgy consists in the use of the metabolic processes of some microorganisms to carry out the dissolution of metals through a series of biooxidation and bioleaching reactions. We will dedicate a post soon so that you know more about this process.

Metallic foams through Metallic Injection Molding (MIM)

Can you imagine the strength properties of a metal but with the structure of a foam? Well, it is something that we will see more and more in the future. This type of metal foams can be made thanks to the Metallic Injection Molding (MIM) technique through which we inject a mixture of metal and polymer into a (special) injector. After this process, a post-treatment is done to remove the polymer and the metal is foamed by the gaps left by the polymer. Another variant is to subsequently eliminate these gaps through sintering, so we will obtain a very useful solid piece to be able to generate complex 3D metal parts.

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