Culver City (CA) - Univeristy of Cambridge researchers are developing new structures that can roll up without hinges or locks. The morphing structures could be used in future laptop screens, keyboards or even for reusable packaging. According to Dr. Keith Seffen of Cambridge's Department of Engineering, the structures will not require any advanced manufacturing processes or special materials.
Seffen's research involves using regular sheets of copper alloy and says, "[The sheets] are simply made and their operation does not rely upon advanced materials." He adds that the sheets will be stiff, but still foldable. Since no hinges or locks are required to fold the material, Seffen predicts that the sheets could actually be cheaper and faster to produce than traditional folding materials.
Child toy bracelets, the kind that start out as straight metal and then turn into a bracelet, was the inspiration for Seffen. He predicts that the material could be used in future displays or even in emergency shelters.
Seffen and his team have already filed patents on the rollable materials.