In many ways, it feels like the future is already here. Every day new technologies are making it possible to create products that totally blow our minds. It’s almost to the point to where nothing can surprise us anymore.
The key to creating the kind of awesome products that we have come to expect is the materials they are made of. It takes futuristic materials to turn dreams into reality. It’s truly mind-boggling how many unique materials science has produced in recent years.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these materials and how they are impacting our lives.
10 Amazing Futuristic Materials
When Scotty invented transparent aluminum in Star Trek IV, we were all too concerned with the mind-bending time travel paradoxes to worry about the material itself. But it turns out that it actually exists! And so do several more bizarre and wonderful futuristic materials.
This is a fairly broad term that refers to a substance derived from a wide variety of plant-based materials.
Bioplastics are fantastic because they are produced from natural sources like starch, cellulose, and vegetable oils. This is potentially very environmentally beneficial because they won’t clog landfills for eternity, whereas most plastics come from petroleum-based polymers that aren’t biodegradable.
One major reason bioplastics haven’t gotten wide traction yet is because they are expensive to produce. As costs come down, they should rapidly gain popularity.
Another drawback is the lack of reusability. And although bioplastics are biodegradable, they must be disposed of properly rather than simply dumped into a landfill.
This is a plastic film that is flexible and can be laminated on nearly anything you can imagine. This amazing film contains a transistor, and an organic LED with a pressure sensor in every single pixel.
The endless potential applications for E-skin could include applying it to any surface that the user might wish to function as a touchscreen or a bandage that continually checks such vital stats as blood pressure and pulse rates.
3. Metal Foam
Metal foam is basically a metallic structure filled with a tremendous amount of gas-filled pores. Its design is quite ingenious because it’s very strong, yet amazingly light due to the fact that seventy percent of it is empty space.
Potential applications for this material include artificial joints, prosthetic bones, and a number of construction uses such as heat insulation.
If you want to add something really cool to your home, check out how you can get this amazing glow in the dark concrete!
Believe or not, nanocellulose is one of the strongest materials known to man. This is amazing considering that it’s simply a chemical restructuring of cellulose, the material that makes plant stems and tree bark.
Nanocellulose is light and conducts electricity. The mix is with graphite to make cool things like bendable batteries, lighter vehicles, and flexible telephones. Not only that, it’s also recyclable.
Liquidmetal is very scratch-resistant, can be easily molded into intricate shapes, and is twice as strong as titanium. These qualities make it an extremely popular material for smartphone manufacturing companies. Apple even holds a patent for the use of liquid metal.
Graphene gets a lot of people excited because it’s one of the strongest and thinnest materials ever measured. In fact, it is one of the stiffest materials on the planet.
This material could be used for build faster computers, far superior batteries, and even has the potential to create clothing that functions as computing devices.
7. Willow Glass
Willow Glass is a unique material that is nearly as thin as a sheet of copy paper. And it’s incredibly flexible, making it an ideal material for smartphone screens. Because of this, it holds tremendous potential when you realize that devices with touchscreens will be able to be even thinner than they already are.
8. Carbon Nanotubes
This material is made of long chains of carbon held together by a chemical bond that makes it even stronger than a diamond. And get this…it’s 300 times stronger than steel. Carbon nanotubes have so much tensile strength, it’s literally the only substance on earth strong enough to be used to build a space elevator.
This is a tube-shaped material, with a diameter so small that a single strand of your hair with the same aspect ratio would be over 40 meters long. The most popular current use for carbon nanotubes is for structural reinforcement.
9. Anomorphous Metal
Anomorphous metal is also sometimes called metallic glass. This material has a disordered atomic structure, making it incredibly strong, and are made through a sophisticated process of cooling molten metal very quickly.
This material is also environmentally friendly, designed with electronic properties that dramatically improves the efficiency of power grids.
10. Transparent Alumina
Also known as aluminum oxynitride, Transparent Alumina is a material that starts as a pile of white aluminum oxynitride powder. After going through a complex chemical manufacturing process, the resulting product is cloudy and then has to be polished to make it optically clear.
Close your eyes and try to imagine the skylines of the future being entirely transparent. Well, this material is no longer relegated to science fiction movies. Transparent Alumina is completely transparent, yet is three times stronger than steel.
This means we could potentially see massive skyscrapers and space stations made almost entirely of transparent steel. Imagine the horizon with far fewer huge black monoliths blocking the sun.
Limited Only By Your Imagination
Futuristic materials have changed the way we live our lives. Every device we own is full of technological marvels that people couldn’t have imagined possible fifty or a hundred years ago.
We take for granted what it takes to build a smartphone, or a 65″ flat-panel TV, to create artificial intelligence, or to send a human being into orbit around the earth.
From the food we eat to the way we travel, to complex medical procedures, we have become spoiled by the way of life we are provided by the development of weird materials.
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