Environmentally Sustainable Smart Materials

Environmentally Sustainable Smart Materials

The advancement of Smart Material Tech in the construction industry, is one of the most significant steps forward to a greener building process in a generation. Smart Materials will play an integral role in revolutionising the sustainability of construction processes. Innovation in the design and production of these materials are contributing to smarter building systems, allowing the materials used to become adaptable to their surroundings. Certain smart materials have a similar behaviour to live, learning systems.

Smart materials are relatively new to the construction sector and are therefore still somewhat experimental. These advancements in building materials are capable of ‘adapting to their exterior surrounding. They alter their properties by applying exterior physical stimuli and thus adapt to their external environment in best possible manner.’ During this adapting process, these materials undergo various energy conversion processes. Architects and developers are using smart materials to therefore perform as almost sensors, learning from their environment to evolve as necessary to generate an appropriate look, feel and performance.

What is a smart material?

Smart materials are; the materials which have the ability to respond to changes in their condition or the environment to which they are exposed, in a useful and usually repetitive manner. Structures that incorporate smart materials are called as “Smart Structures”.

The most widely used are; thermoplastics, especially polylactic acid (PLA) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), which are used in mobile phone casings, toys and car bodies. Smart materials are also starting to be printed thanks to 4D printers.

SOURCES : ieee.org, iberdola.com