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Stuff of the Future: New Material Could Cut Driving Vibes

If you’ve ever been a pregnant woman in a car on a bumpy road, you know how uncomfortable a simple country drive can be. But soon, that may all be an experience of the past.  A new material, used in the manufacturing of automobiles, will make riding in a car, vibration-free. So say experts from the University of Surrey who invented the stuff. The miracle material is said to be stiff as metal, but just flexible enough to absorb even strong vibration.

The wonder material with its high level stiffness and damping was written up in Scientific Reports by Nature, the product being the combined work of scientists from University of Surrey, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of California.

The researchers managed to do a feat of almost impossible magic using 3D woven technical textile composite sheets in conjunction with select unbonded fibers. This allows the interior of the material to move with and absorb vibrations, while the exterior stays absolutely rigid.

The scientists believe the new material could offer a new way to travel in cars, trains, and planes, in which travelers ride in total comfort, free of vibrations, a luxury experience.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Stefan Szyniszewski, assistant professor of materials and structures at the University of Surrey, says, “The idea of a composite that resolves the paradox of stiffness and damping was thought to be impossible—yet here we are. This is an exciting development that could send shock waves through the car, train and aerospace manufacturing industries. This is a material that could make the vehicles of the near future more comfortable than ever before.”

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