• Mon. May 27th, 2024

A Hydrogel Discovery Revolutionizes Soft Robotics: Lili Chen’s Elastic Material Can Expand 100-Fold, Enhancing Gripper Durability and Resistance

BySamantha Jones

Mar 28, 2024
Hyperelastic gel: a highly stretchable material in the realm of science

A hydrogel disc developed by Lili Chen and her team at Tsinghua University in Beijing is capable of increasing 100 times in area when stretched. This hydrogel is one of the most elastic materials known, able to stretch to around 15 times its initial length. The key to this material’s unique properties lies in the insertion of pearl-necklace chains into its structure.

These chains are made of coiled polymer beads connected by a chain of carbon atoms and can unfurl under strain before rewinding when the strain is released. By drying out the hydrogel so that polymer chains were attracted to themselves rather than water molecules, the researchers were able to create a hydrogel that could stretch to nearly 5 meters before returning to its original length.

The researchers also created inflatable robotic grippers from this hydrogel, designed for delicate object handling like strawberries. These grippers are extremely durable and resistant to damage, able to withstand being stood on or pierced with a needle. Zehuan Huang at Peking University commended the work, stating that this hydrogel represents a major breakthrough in high-performance polymeric materials and will inspire interest in using hyper-elastic gels in soft robotics.

By Samantha Jones

As a content writer at newsnnk.com, I weave words into captivating stories that inform and engage our readers. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, I strive to deliver high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am dedicated to providing informative and compelling articles that keep our readers informed and entertained. Join me on this journey as we explore the world through the power of words.

Leave a Reply