Experts of Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) for a long time developed a special soft inflatable stretchable material. But this news would not have such great importance, if not the car manufacturer BMW, who with the help of this material intends to radically change the design and approach to security cars of the future.
Let’s start with the most important: safety. Today, the car mainly for these purposes, the airbags which provide a level of protection from accidents, and is fairly simple to use. However, they are not without a number of disadvantages, the main of which is the need to constantly carry out maintenance of this system, as in prolonged inaction, it may simply not work. In addition, the material itself is quite thick and takes a lot of space.
To solve the above tasks, the specialists from MIT has developed a “liquid printed Pneumatics”. It is a process in which a modified 3D printer prints liquid materials in a container with a special gel that gives the “air” object. For printing silicon rubber, inside of which after solidification are formed air chambers. The inflatable material is thin, lightweight and durable, and the structure of air chambers allows you to do without diagnostics and change shape very quickly.
As for design, the experts of BMW have been working on the creation of the concepts of the “inflatable car”, where the material based on silicone rubber would come in handy. But it can be used inside the car: you can make a “growing” panel, shelves, chairs force passengers to connect in a comfortable “sofas”, the seats themselves can change the rigidity and shape, and so on. If you give the imagination run wild, you can come up with many uses for the material of this kind.