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Researchers turned liquid metal into wires that are capable of stretching eight times their normal length

Electronic accessories such as headphones and chargers could get a huge boost from a recent North Carolina State University study.

The study, led by NC State Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dr. Michael Dickey, has turned liquid metal into wires that are capable of stretching eight times their normal length.

This is how it works: a thin tube made of elastic polymer is filled with a liquid metal alloy of gallium and indium. Unlike previous studies, the elastic polymer and liquid metal alloys are kept separate so that the metals can conduct electricity without diminishing elasticity.

“Increasing the amount of metal improves the conductivity of the composite, but diminishes its elasticity,” said Dickey. “Our approach keeps the materials separate, so you have maximum conductivity without impairing elasticity. In short, our wires are orders of magnitude more stretchable than the most conductive wires, and at least an order of magnitude more conductive than the most stretchable wires currently in the literature.”

While this could prove beneficial to electronics and electronic textiles, the researchers still need to figure out a way to stop any leakage of the metal if the wires are cut.

Check out this video of the wire:

Source: North Carolina State University



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fix leaking
By dgingerich on 12/20/2012 1:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
To fix the leaking, the can add concentric ribbing (ribs around the inside of the tubing going around the tube, not the length of it) at spaces of about 1mm. Some will still leak a little, but the ribbing should keep the air from getting in and allowing all of the liquid to leak out. With that ribbing, the only way most of the liquid would leak out would be if someone were intentionally milking it.




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