Scientists from NTU Singapore and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), United States, have developed a new type of ‘chain mail’ fabric that is flexible like cloth but can stiffen on demand.
The lightweight fabric is 3D-printed from nylon plastic polymers and comprises hollow octahedrons (a shape with eight equal triangular faces) that interlock with each other. When encased in a plastic envelope and vacuum-packed, it becomes 25 times more rigid and can hold up over 50 times its own weight.
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Photo credit: NTU Singapore