Terrible, horrible things can be done to this millimeters-thick patch of shimmering material crafted by chemists at NanoSonic in Blacksburg, Virginia. Twist it, stretch it double, fry it to 200°C, douse it with jet fuel—the stuff survives. After the torment, it snaps like rubber back to its original shape, all the while conducting electricity like solid metal. “Any other material would lose its conductivity,” says Jennifer Hoyt Lalli, NanoSonic’s director of nanocomposites.I can't even think of a good smart-alecky comment, but I think I'd like to invest in it.
The abused substance is called Metal Rubber, and, according to NanoSonic, its particular properties make it unique in the world of material chemistry. As a result, the company’s small office has been flooded with calls from Fortune 500 companies and government agencies eager to test Metal Rubber’s use in everything from artificial muscles to smart clothes to shape-shifting airplane wings.