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The Antarctic explorer steps out of the base camp's airlock, busily attaching strips of a metallic-looking fabric to his clothing. After a moment, the strips (which are attached to icepicks, radios, and other survival items) are firmly attached to the explorer's clothes. A strong, sharp tug will release
the strips as needed.
How does this work? And why is it better than conventional Velcro? The hooks on the strips are composed of Martensite (memory metal), calibrated to remember two shapes: a straight, pin-like appearance when warm; a tight spiral when cold. As one steps from a warm environment (inside an Antarctic base) into the cold, the change in temperature begins to cause the Memory Velcro 'pins' to curl up into 'spirals'. Thus, as long as the 'pins' are held into the material to which they are intended to stick, they will grip as the temperature drops.
A small heater would be required to re-attach removed strips in cold conditions.
This material would be superior to current Velcro products owing mainly to its increased gripping power, excellent durability, and the ability to stick to any fibrous material capable of being penetrated by the 'pins'.
Martensitic Phase Transformations
How this stuff works [vigilante, Oct 09 2004]
Close-up of Velcro structure [vigilante, Oct 09 2004]
||Excellent! Youve taken something thats simple and convenient and made it complex and difficult. Very halfbakery.
||will the tools re-attach when the explorer is still in the cold? oops missed that bit, sorry. so is the heater attached with a strip of this stuff?
||Sounds like cold-weather piercing techniques to me.
||I suppose you could even have strips with different levels of coarseness - some that form such delicate hooks that they could be used on silk, while others might be better suited to hessian, denim or other coarse materials.
||Suggested category - [Fashion: fastener]