RESPONSIVE MATERIALS RESEARCH
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From pine cones to responsive construction materials: Pine cones open in dry conditions to release their seeds and close again when wet. This response requires no external sensors, motors or energy - it is achieved by swelling of the two layers that comprise each scale of the cone.
This mechanism was the inspiration for developing responsive materials, using wood as the 'active layer' (which expands and contracts with changes in moisture), and a material such as plastic or fiberglass as the 'passive layer.' The result is a material which responds to its environment, with possibilities of creating ‘living’ buildings which adapt to the local conditions.
The project is led by ARTEM HOLSTOV, DR. BEN BRIDGENS, AND PROF. GRAHAM FARMER OF NEWCASTLE UNIVERSITY.