Materials in Today's World

Video Assignment


Now that you have read the text and thought about the questions I posed, take some time to watch this 54-minute video about one type of advanced materials (smart materials) that sense their environment and, in some cases, can even adapt to their environment. As you watch this video see if you can find the following:

  1. Smart materials are defined by their ability to sense and respond and not by the materials properties (chemistry and atomic structure) that we use for classical materials classification. Another way of stating this is, smart materials are defined by their function, not by their materials properties. As you watch this video attempt to separate the function from the materials properties by classifying the materials (metal, ceramic, polymer, composite, semiconductor, biomaterial, nanomaterial) that are utilized in the smart material examples of this video.
  2. Some materials applications are heavily dependent not only on the materials that compose their parts but also the physical structure of their parts. Hook and loop fasteners, e.g., Velcro™ tape, is an example of this. Hook and loop fasteners are composed of two parts that are typically constructed of the same synthetic polymer. However, it is the physical structure of the two parts that make hook and loop fasteners so widely used today. One side is composed of hooks, while the other is composed of loops, which combined with the material properties of polymers make hook and loop fasteners the go-to fastener where temporary bonds are required. Some of the smart materials highlighted in this video depend on the physical structure to properly function. See if you can spot which smart materials these are.

Video Assignment

Go to Lesson 11 in Canvas and watch NOVA's Making Stuff: Smarter Video. You will be quizzed on the content of this video.