Expanding horizons for Shear-Thickening Fluid
Photo by courtesy of Reebok May 01, 2020
UD technology feeds new athletic wear, flies outside International Space Station
It expands, it contracts, it gets stronger, it lets up — it reacts to changing conditions in formidable and comfortable ways.
And the adventures of shear-thickening fluid, invented by University of Delaware Professor Norm Wagner and alumnus Eric Wetzel and now marketed by STF Technologies, continue to develop.
In April 2020, Reebok expanded its PureMove line of athletic wear which incorporates STF into its trademarked Motion Sense technology. The line now includes women’s sports bras and tights, with an expanded range of colors and sizes for both.
“We are pleased that Reebok continues its campaign focusing on women's empowerment, providing the highest quality female athletic wear and encouraging exercise-at-home during this [COVID-19] crisis,” said Wagner, Unidel Robert L. Pigford Chair in Chemical Engineering. “STF Technologies is proud to see UD technology leading this revolution through movement reactive fabrics that meet the challenges and needs of active women of all body types.”
Meanwhile, STF-infused materials are flying outside the International Space Station, part of a Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE) that launched in March.
“As for our work with NASA, we continue to address critical needs for protective materials that can function in the extraordinarily harsh and demanding environment of space and on the lunar and martian surfaces as humanity continues on this great adventure,” Wagner said. “This includes a current experiment on the International Space Station … and future proposed missions to prove out the technology in the demanding environment of low-Earth orbit as we prepare to return to the moon (Artemis mission).
“We also have samples to analyze that just returned in January from two prior MISSE missions,” Wagner added. “This includes support from NASA to STF Technologies as well as the University of Delaware, through the Delaware Space Grant Consortium.”