Smart and Modern Materials Crossword


Complete the crossword, then click on "Check" to check your answer. If you are stuck, you can click on "Hint" to get a free letter. Click on a number in the grid to see the clue or clues for that number.
Smart and modern materials

There is some debate over what is a smart material and also what is a modern material.
What is a smart/modern material?
Modern materials are developed through the invention of new or improved processes, for example, as a result of 'man' made materials/ingredients or human intervention, in other words not naturally occurring changes. They are altered to perform a particular function. Many smart and modern materials are developed for specialised applications but some eventually become available for general use.
Smart materials respond to differences in temperature or light and change in some way. They are called smart because they sense conditions in their environment and respond to those conditions. Smart materials appear to 'think' and some have a 'memory' as they revert back to their original state. The term 'smart' can be ambiguous as in some cases it is difficult to distinguish between modern and smart. and Modern Materials.htm

A web search will bring up many examples of modern materials – the mindsets catalogue includes all synthetic polymers (plastics) as modern.

The catalogue also lists a wide range of smart materials.
If we look at areas of engineering or manufacture it is apparent that modern manufacture includes some very interesting modern materials.
Modern materials will include:-
• Kevlar
• Polymorph and of course all the synthetic polymers and elastomers, which continue to be enhanced and improved.
• Carbon fibre and other reinforced or composite polymers.
• Carbon nanotubes
• Edible starch based “plastics”
• Synthetic rubbers/elastomers
• Synthetic fibres such as nylon
• Lightweight Ceramics such as those used on the space shuttle
• Synthetic diamonds also sapphires and rubies. Cutting tools, sapphire glass, ruby bearings.
• Titanium alloys
• Alloys generally.
• Ceramic cutting tools.
• Biomaterials – polymers and alloys which can be used in the human body without reaction. E.g. polyester heart valves, titanium dental implants.
• Metal foams –aluminium foam is the best known
All smart materials can also be included as modern materials.
• SMA – shape memory alloy – Nitinol.
• Piezoelectric materials – electric current produced as a response to pressure changes.
• Thermo chromic pigments – colour change with temperature change.
• Photochromic pigments – respond to light especially UV.
• Motion control gel – smart grease.
• Ferromagnetic liquids.
• Some simple devices such as LEDs could be regarded as smart materials.
• Liquid crystals – polarise in response to electric current.

   3    4                5        
7                  8           
   12               13           
 14       15                     
        17     18                


2. Changes colour with temperature.
3. Polymer, used to make eye protection products.
7. Lightweight metal material used in construction
8. Very strong, low density and corrosion resistant metal
9. Used to make heart valves and other medical implants.
11. Related to Buckminsterfullerine
12. Used in optical displays.
14. Change colour when exposed to light, especially UV.
16. Used to make parts in F1 and Aerospace.
19. Magnetic liquid
20. Mixture of two or more materials to produce improved properties.
21. A two-part mix adhesive producing a thermoset polymer.


1. Acronym is SMA
4. Emits light.
5. This material changes temperature when exposed to a stimulus, can be used for cooling.
6. A material which produces an electric current when a force is applied.
10. Synthetic gem, used on watches and instrument panels.
13. Can be used to make a slow hinge or damper.
14. Low melting point polymer, used for gum shields.
15. Light weight version used to cover the Space Shuttle.
17. Self cleaning. PTFE coated plastic, used to build Eden!
18. SMA