A Microvascular-Based Multifunctional and Reconfigurable Metamaterial
Devi, U., Pejman, R., Phillips, Z. J., Zhang, P., Soghrati, S., Nakshatrala, K. B., … Patrick, J. F. (2021, August 16). ADVANCED MATERIALS TECHNOLOGIES.
Abstract Nearly all‐natural and synthetic composites derive their characteristic attributes from a hierarchical makeup. Engineered metamaterials exhibit properties not existing in natural composites by precise patterning, often periodically on size scales smaller than the wavelength of the phenomenon they influence. Lightweight fiber‐reinforced polymer composites, comprising stiff/strong fibers embedded within a continuous matrix, offer a superior structural platform for micro‐architectured metamaterials. The emergence of microvascular fiber‐composites, originally conceived for bioinspired self‐healing via microchannels filled with functional fluids, provides a unique pathway for dynamic reconfigurable behavior. Demonstrated here is the new ability to modulate both electromagnetic and thermal responses within a single structural composite by fluid substitution within a serpentine vasculature. Liquid metal infiltration of varying density micro‐channels alters polarized radio‐frequency wave reflection, while water circulation through the same vasculature enables active‐cooling. This latest approach to control bulk property plurality by widespread vascularization exhibits minimal impact on structural performance. Detailed experimental/computational studies, presented in this paper, unravel the effects of micro‐vascular topology on macro‐mechanical behavior. The results, spanning multiple physics, provide a new benchmark for future design optimization and real‐world application of multifunctional and adaptive microvascular composite metamaterials.