Engineering Digest – Featuring Soft Robotics, Mechanical Metamaterials, and More

by | Jan 25, 2018

This month's Advanced Engineering Materials covers and top papers.

Advanced Engineering Materials has been bringing you the latest breakthroughs in structural materials that are making those important first steps towards commercialization since 1999. With its further increased, record-high Impact Factor of 2.319 (2017 Journal Citation Reports), the journal covers a variety of key topics, such as composites, ceramics, intermetallics, and coatings, and also high-temperature, cellular, and biomedical materials, with a strong focus on new manufacturing techniques.

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In this monthly feature, we highlight the research behind the artwork on the covers of the most recent issue of Advanced Engineering Materials, as well some of the most read Advanced Engineering Materials publications over the last month. These top-downloaded articles are therefore currently freely accessible! Click on the titles below to get to the corresponding papers. You can find this month’s issue here. Also check out our previous Engineering Digest here and here.

Soft Robotics: Review of Fluid-Driven Intrinsically Soft Devices; Manufacturing, Sensing, Control, and Applications in Human-Robot Interaction
by Panagiotis Polygerinos, Nikolaus Correll, Stephen A. Morin, Bobak Mosadegh, Cagdas D. Onal, Kirstin Petersen, Matteo Cianchetti, Michael T. Tolley and Robert F. Shepherd

Soft robotics is an emerging field that uses various classes of materials, including metals, low glass transition temperature (Tg) plastics, and high Tg elastomers. Organic elastomers, however, have elastic moduli ranging from tens of megapascals down to kilopascals; robots composed of such materials are intrinsically soft − they are always compliant independent of their shape. This class of soft machines has been used to reduce control complexity and manufacturing cost of robots, while enabling sophisticated and novel functionalities often in direct contact with humans. Robert F. Shepherd and colleagues from the Cornell University focus in their review on a particular type of intrinsically soft, elastomeric robot − those powered via fluidic pressurization.
For more information, please read the original research published here.


Illuminating origins of impact energy dissipation in mechanical metamaterials
by Peter Vuyk, Shichao Cui and Ryan L. Harne

Elastomeric mechanical metamaterials have revealed a striking ability to attenuate shock loads at the macroscopic level. It is believed that the reason behind this is associated with the reversible elastic buckling of internal beam constituents observed in quasistatic characterisations. Yet, the presence of buckling members induces non-affine response at the microscale, so that clear understanding of the exact energy dissipation mechanisms remains clouded.
In their recent communication in Advanced Engineering Materials Ryan L. Harne and colleagues from the Ohio State University have presented a validated approach to digital image correlation that directly illuminates the unique integration of micro- and macroscopic deformations and elastic buckling in elastomeric mechanical metamaterials when subjected to impacts.
For more information, please read the original research published here.


Fabrication and Properties of Micro- and Nanoscale Metallic Glassy Wires: A Review
by Jun Yi

Metallic glasses with high mechanical and functional performance, which usually not be achieved using traditional metals in various alloy systems, have been developed in the last decade. However, micro- and nanoscale wires can further improve the glasses’ properties, whilst extending the functionality of the bulk materials. Jun Yi from the Shanghai University provides an overview of the fabrication, the properties as well as the applications of the wires, and presents technical and theoretical challenges that must be tackled to achieve high-performance metallic glass wire devices as well as to understand physical mechanisms of mechanical and functional behaviors of the wires.
For more information, please read the original research published here.


Recent progress on piezotronic and piezo-phototronic effects in III-group nitride devices and applications
by Chunhua Du, Weiguo Hu and Zhong Lin Wang

The fields of piezotronic and piezo-phototronic are rapidly emerging and applications have been developed, such as piezotronic nanogenerators, piezotronic logic devices, piezotronic electromechanical memories, piezotronic enhanced biochemical, and gas sensors. In their recent review in Advanced Engineering Materials Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Science and the Georgia Institute of Technology provide an overview of the rapid progress in the emerging fields of piezotronics and piezo-phototronics, covering from the fundamental principles to devices and applications. Their study will provide important insight into the potential applications of GaN based electronic/optoelectronic devices in sensing, active flexible/stretchable electronics/optoelectronics, energy harvesting, human-machine interfacing, biomedical diagnosis/therapy, and prosthetics.
For more information, please read the original research published here.

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