Property rarely seen in nature points to better sound resistance, bullet-resistant vests

04/28/2014 | Business Weekly (U.K.)

Auxeticity, the paradoxical tendency of a material to expand when stretched or contract when squeezed, has been observed in human stem cells. University of Cambridge scientists say engineers could use the property -- rarely seen in nature -- in developing new types of sound resistance or even such things as bullet-resistant vests. "We are already seeing auxeticity explored for its super-absorption properties, but despite great technological effort, auxetic materials are still rare and there is still much to discover about them in order to manufacture them better," said Kevin Chalut of the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute.

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