Absorb impact energy from any direction
Our flagship light-weight structural material is engineered with the properties of an ideal impact absorber and can be customized with application-specific crush strength. MetaCORE is produced in flat sheets, blocks, sandwich panels, or can be pre-formed to a smooth curved surface.
MetaCORE’s anisotropic geometry is engineered for a pro-isotropic force-displacement relationship with a high Crush Force Efficiency (CFE) and Specific Energy Absorption (SEA). The CFE ensures safety at the moment of impact, and the SEA ensures safety throughout the duration of a collision event.
Characteristics of MetaCORE with corresponding advantages:
- High Crush Force Efficiency → Mitigates sudden deceleration
- High Specific Energy Absorption → Lightweight protection
- Pro-Isotropy → Multi-directional performance
- Low Mass Density (Lightweight) → Total system weight reduction
- Corrosion Resistance → Increased durability
- Cost Savings → Widely available raw materials
- Customer-Preferred Manufacturing Methods → On-demand customization
Table: Characteristics of MetaCORE with corresponding advantages
|High Crush Force Efficiency||Mitigates sudden deceleration|
|High Specific Energy Absorption||Lightweight protection|
|Low Mass Density (Lightweight)||Total system weight reduction|
|Corrosion Resistance||Increased durability|
|Cost Savings||Widely available raw materials|
|Customer-Preferred Manufacturing Methods||On-demand customization|
Multi-objective optimization rarely produces a single solution. Instead, multiple different solutions with the desired input characteristics can be generated by our process. We embrace the multiplicity especially since some designs excel in unexpected ways.
The MetaCORE product line was conceived as a lightweight impact-absorbing structural material. The geometric motifs shown in the figures below all satisfy these criteria, but in slightly different ways. More importantly, variations in each motif’s geometry (angles, lengths, thicknesses, etc.) allow us to access a different range of material properties.
Having a catalog of motifs means our customers tell us what they want, and we have a shorter lead time to deliver.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a demo is worth a million. This particular variation of MetaCORE [MO] illustrates how a molecularly homogeneous polymer can be formed into a metamaterial with unique properties in each direction.
Compression 1: Soft
Compression 2: Intermediate
Compression 3: Firm
Reduce Weight Without the Trade-Offs
Stiffness vs. Density
Stiffness, measured by the Young’s modulus E, expresses how much a material will deform in response to an applied load. We all intuitively recognize that stiffer materials are generally heavier, and compliant materials are generally lighter. As a result, we’re surprised when we find light materials that are very stiff (composites and technical ceramics) or delighted when we find heavy materials that are very soft (memory foam). This intuition is quantified when we plot the density of a material, ρ, against its Young’s modulus and observe a generally upward-leaning trend.
The highly engineered geometry of MetaCORE has most of its internal volume empty, leading to extremely low densities. The same geometry converts applied external loads to hidden internal deformations giving it a much higher effective stiffness. As a result, MetaCORE exists on the boundaries of what’s possible, far exceeding the performance of conventional alternatives.
Better Protection from Impacts
Specific Energy Absorption Min. vs. Max.
A material’s Specific Energy Absorption (SEA) tells you how much energy can be absorbed by crushing a given amount of the material. Often, materials reporting high values of SEA only absorb in one direction, while the other two directions offer little-to-no functionality. Plotting a material’s maximum SEA vs. its minimum SEA reveals the problem.
Honeycomb and foams are commonly used as lightweight energy absorbing materials. Plotting the minimum vs. maximum SEA reveals the strength of MetaCORE over these alternatives. By design, MetaCORE exists as a high performing energy absorber regardless of the impact’s direction.
Crush Force Efficiency vs. Specific Energy Absorption
Before there were seatbelts in every car, researchers identified useful metrics for engineering vehicle safety systems. One metric, the Crush Force Efficiency (CFE), is particularly good for quantifying the transfer of force from a collision to a vehicle occupant. While CFE is useful, it doesn’t tell you how much energy is ultimately absorbed by the material mitigating impact. This is where the Specific Energy Absorption (SEA) comes in. Some materials, like foams, have a great CFE but absorb very little energy. Other materials like honeycomb have great SEA but allow for undesirable propagation of harmful de-acceleration forces. Plotting CFE versus SEA gives a good high-level perspective on these two critical – and distinct – aspects of crashworthiness.
MetaCORE is specifically engineered with the force-displacement relationship of an ideal energy absorber, giving it extremely high CFE values. Our aluminum and carbon fiber reinforced versions of MetaCORE take these high CFEs and build out exceptional SEA, making the functional combination uniquely high-performance.
Table: Selected characteristics of MetaCORE compared to honeycomb and foams
Simplified Material Choice
Specific Stiffness Min. vs. Max.
By dividing the Young’s modulus by the material’s density, you derive its specific stiffness (sometimes referred to as “specific modulus” or “stiffness-to-weight ratio”). High specific modulus materials are widely applicable in aerospace applications where low-weight high-stiffness materials are desired since they resist deformation. Consider choosing a material for building an airplane. Aluminum seems obvious because it’s less dense than steel, but steel is stronger than aluminum, so maybe we should use a thinner steel plate to save weight without sacrificing tensile strength. However, even if we find the right weight-to-tensile-strength ratios, we end up sacrificing stiffness, which ultimately allows the wings to flex too much during flight. These trade-offs are all too common when selecting engineering materials.
Materials advertising a high specific stiffness like honeycomb are only functional in one direction and exhibit low specific stiffness in the other two directions. Directional independence can be achieved with MetaCORE where the minimum and maximum values of specific stiffness are comparable, benefitting customers by simplifying material selection.
Transportation of goods and products is essential for our quality of life. Lighter, stronger materials let carriers haul more cargo per load, lower operating costs, and increase trailer lifetime. Exceptional cellular volume fraction provides superior thermal insulation for temperature sensitive cargo.
- Panel lightweighting
- Structural integrity
- Better temperature control
Since the Cold War, US Military overmatch capabilities have faded. Advanced materials fielded from the domestic industrial manufacturing base are critical dual-use solutions that strategically restore favorable conditions, especially in the era of multi-domain operations.
- JPADS/aerial drop systems
- Soldier protective equipment
Energy is required to accelerate mass. For EVs, this immutable physical law means lighter vehicles can travel greater distances. Light materials with exceptional crashworthiness are key as we move to zero-emission vehicles.
- Crash protection for batteries
- Crash protection for unconventional occupant seating arrangements
Commercial space flight is now possible. Whether used for low-altitude Urban Air Mobility Vehicles (UAMVs), or in-orbit flight, advanced materials are essential to sustain, expand, and grow this industry.
- Urban Air Mobility Vehicles (UAMVs)