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Embedding Intelligence in Materials for Responsive Built Environment using Liquid Crystal Elastomer Actuators and Sensors
Schwartz, Mathew; Lagerwall, Jan


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Keywords :
Liquid Crystal Elastomers; Cholesteric Structural Color; Situational Awareness; Embedded Control; Soft actuation; Responsive Materials; Shape Memory Polymers; Kinetic Buildings
Abstract :
[en] Liquid Crystal Elastomers (LCEs) are an exciting category of material that has tremendous application potential across a variety of fields, owing to their unique properties that enable both sensing and actuation. To some, LCEs are simply another type of Shape Memory Polymer, while to others they are an interesting on-going scientific experiment. In this visionary article, we bring an interdisciplinary discussion around creative and impactful ways that LCEs can be applied in the Built Environment to support kinematic and kinetic buildings and situational awareness. We focus particularly on the autonomy made possible by using LCEs, potentially removing needs for motors, wiring and tubing, and even enabling fully independent operation in response to natural environment variations, requiring no power sources. To illustrate the potential, we propose a number of concrete application scenarios where LCEs could offer innovative solutions to problems of great societal importance, such as autonomous active ventilation, heliotropic solar panels systems which can also remove snow or sand autonomously, and invisible coatings with strain mapping functionality, alerting residents in case of dangerous (static or dynamic) loads on roofs or windows, as well as assisting building safety inspection teams after earthquakes.
Disciplines :
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences: Multidisciplinary, general & others
Author, co-author :
Schwartz, Mathew
Lagerwall, Jan  ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine (FSTM) > Department of Physics and Materials Science (DPHYMS)
Language :
Title :
Embedding Intelligence in Materials for Responsive Built Environment using Liquid Crystal Elastomer Actuators and Sensors
Publication date :
19 March 2021
Number of pages :
Focus Area :
Physics and Materials Science
European Projects :
H2020 - 648763 - INTERACT - Intelligent Non-woven Textiles and Elastomeric Responsive materials by Advancing liquid Crystal Technology
Funders :
CE - Commission Européenne [BE]
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