Non-Newtonian design

Some fluids get more solid under force, this fluids are often described as non-Newtonian and act in weird and wonderful ways.

These fluid are interesting in that they react differently in direct response to the magnitude of the force they are under.You  have probably seen them as a mixture of cornstarch and water dancing on speaker. The video below shows this odd behavior which may just seem like a source of amusement but has some very real world applications.

I’ve started the video towards the end so you can see it go from being a solid to a liquid but I recommend watching the whole video.


The other way that these fluids are known is as Dilatant basically the viscosity rises under stress, this application is perfect for a few things but is most popular in protective gear. The material can be completely flexible and then become instantly rigid when hit. The is the ever popular D3O that is taking the sports protective gear by storm and is not even looking at providing gear to the military. However the are more mundane uses such as the group who looked into using bags of it to temporarily fill potholes.


Cover image by : Rory Macleod 

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