Materials able to perform different functions will become increasingly important. They will play a fundamental role in the additive production to the extent that these are designed and structured to perform and adapt, without any additional device.
The ultimate aim of the Group Materials is to foresight an overturning of the current manufacturing processes, introducing materials able to perform both as sensors and actuators, and fulfilling different requirements according to external environmental conditions. These intelligent materials will be adaptable, flexible, and lego-like, apt to being assembled for any application and to be used in any context and condition. In analogy to living organisms they will add functionalization to adaptability and autonomy.
The challenge addresses the identification of primitive blocks, as a sort of "Ribosome of Materials", and the search for a paradigm/law of the functionality of their combinations.
The adjective "stem", commonly attributed to cells, refers to the use of blocks of primitive and non-specialized materials which, even if not able to differentiate spontaneously in several other types, undergo a process of transformation aimed to make them capable of adapt to specific requirements.
In order to adequately address the “stem materials” challenge, different activities and steps have been identified. In the context of this foresight exercise, a face-to-face workshop with outstanding international experts has been addressed as one of the milestones to be achieved in 2017. In this regard, a group of few multi-disciplinary experts will work as volunteers to select the relevant aspects of the challenge.
Pier Francesco Moretti
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