Silicone liquid crystal stiffens with repeated compression

ERJ staff report (BC)

Houston, Texas – Scientists at Rice University have discovered that silicone in a liquid crystal phase becomes 90% stiffer when the material is gently and repeatedly compressed. Their research could lead to new strategies for self-healing materials or biocompatible materials that mimic human tissues.

The research has been reported in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.

Silicone in its liquid crystal phase is somewhere between a solid and liquid state. Rice polymer scientist Rafael Verduzco was intrigued to see a material he thought he knew…

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