Running shoe material inspired 3D-printed design to protect buildings from impact damage

A material used in running shoes and memory foam pillows has inspired the design of a 3D-printed product that could help protect buildings from collision damage and other high impact forces, equivalent to a car travelling at 60km/hr.

Published in Smart Materials and StructuresDr Tatheer Zahra from our QUT Centre for Materials Science and QUT School of Civil and Environmental Engineering used off-the-shelf bioplastic to 3D print geometric shapes that mimic the behaviour of auxetic materials.

“Rather than flattening when stretched or bulging when compressed, auxetic materials expand or contract in all directions at once, which makes them highly energy-absorbent and load resistant,” Dr Zahra said.

“But existing commercial auxetic material is expensive and not locally available, so I designed geometric shapes that achieved the same behaviour.”

Read the full press release here.