Role of smart materials

In modern days, scientists continue to come up with revolutionary discoveries on how to improve how structures respond to environmental changes in preparation for the future. In light of this, smart materials are those that have properties which enable them to process stimuli and respond to them adequately. They are significant to smart structures and cities in many ways. Firstly, these materials help in identifying and avoiding corrosion among other hazards (NASA, 2019). They enable scientists to control the environment through the concept of anticipation, thereby increasing responses in those structures allowing the cities to withstand most threats like strong winds or changes in temperature and voltage.

Through the use of these materials, it becomes possible to prolong the life of buildings, machines and cities in general (NASA, 2019). Provisions such as shape-memory alloys allow structures to retain their initial forms through fluctuations in temperature, thereby preventing issues like breakages that might reduce the longevity and integrity of a building or machine. Additionally, the use of smart materials allows for the incorporation of fundamental engineering models which help in the improvement of structures in terms of overall design and manufacture.

These materials are also valuable to cities as they help in reducing intervals of inspection and general cost of maintenance and repair. Smart materials solve problems upstream by detecting even the slightest of changes in all almost area, from pH, to electricity and temperature. Scientists predict what threats might arise against structures and then fit these materials to them to prevent those hazards. In this manner, cities can withstand issues such as strong winds and earthquakes, thereby guaranteeing security to cities with these smart structures. The MR fluid, for instance, can change from solid to fluid form, by sensing tremors thereby reducing the level of damages caused by these phenomena, whether natural or human-made (Rivera, 2019).


NASA. (2019). Smart Materials. Retrieved from

Rivera, A. (2019). Smart Materials. Retrieved from