This paper aims to provide an introduction to smart materials, with an emphasis on their capabilities and applications.
Following an introduction, this paper first considers what smart materials are and what they can do. It then discusses existing and emerging applications of shape changing, self-actuating, self-healing, self-diagnostic and self-sensing materials.
Although difficult to define unambiguously, smart materials offer a range of unique characteristics and have been used in a multitude of products, ranging from household goods and novelty items to automotive components and medical devices. They are the topic of extensive research and all manner of new applications will emerge in the future, reflecting both technological developments and a growing awareness of their capabilities.
This paper provides an insight into the rapidly developing technology and applications of smart materials.
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