What can Smart Materials offer?
Smart material classification depending on the external stimulus
How to choose the correct Smart material?
1.The desired effect
First, it has to be defined the parameter that wants to be controlled and the effect that this parameter will produce in the material (change in optical, physical, …, properties). The more accurate and precise the requirements are, the less the costs will be in the subsequent research steps.
2. Smart material choice
A smart material family has to be choosen from all the ones availables that match the derired requirements. In this decision process, it also has to be considered the final field and application this product will have, and the customer for whom the project is intended/adressed.
3. Economic feasability analisys and regulations
A study of the economic benefits that intelligent material provides, give us useful information for estimating the acceptable cost for each product or process. It is also very important to check that the regulations allow us to use it in the desired sector.
4. Functional feasibility and life tests
Once the range of values in which the stimulation can affect the material (leading to a change in their properties) have been stablished, a life test must be performed. This test must prove that the change will take place under the determined conditions only, and not others; then the product has to be tested under real usage conditions.