Research and applications of shear thickening fluids
Shear thickening fluids (STFs) have been studied extensively, and an enormous number of patents have been generated due to their potential for commercial applications. STFs draw continued attention as they are considered possible candidate materials for liquid body armour and sporting protective clothing because of their unique properties. This paper presents a review of the "state of the art" STF technology. The ingredient materials, fabrication methods and basic models which describe STF behaviors are discussed briefly. An outline of the patenting activities in the field of STF materials, including the effects of the different particles and their volume fraction in the suspensions on the critical shear rate of shear thickening is presented. Most of the specific patent applications, particularly in body armour, as well as other industrial applications, such as smart structures, and devices with adaptive stiffuess and damping, are also summarized. Recent advances, including the effects of particle surface properties, relationship to carrier fluids, electric or magnetic fields applied on the transition of STFs are included in the review. The possibilities of wider applications or designs depend upon a deeper understanding of STFs, as well as the potential of novel STFs to provide protection applications are an impetus for future research.