Scientists have developed the integration technology of molecules that react to mechanical stress into polymers. They begin to glow brightly during damage or excessive load.
Previous variants of polymers that react to external mechanical strength had weak bonds that quickly destroyed under the action of light and heat. Because of this, their practical efficiency decreased, and the effect was irreversible. Researchers from the University of Adolf Merkel and the University of Hokkaido managed to solve this problem.
They developed a new type of sensory molecule, which is activated only under the action of mechanical strength, and retains chemical bonds. The molecule consists of two parts that can be freely stretched and removed from each other, but then they are mechanically connected again.
The new concept is reliable and universal. This allows you to adapt the properties of a substance to various materials and achieve a bright white fluorescence. This requires a combination of sensory molecules of blue, green, red (or orange) color and their response to the offset. In passive state, they do not appear, but when tensile, they start glowing. The brightness depends on the degree of deformation. This process is completely reversible.
Such materials can be used to visualize limit loads into individual components or to determine the mechanical stress on the part. Such sensors can also be useful in fundamental studies of materials and biological systems.
Recently, engineers have developed