Stretchable electric wires? Yay.

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Ever had wires that were just way too small? Maybe you’re not a WiFi person and would always prefer a wired (ethernet) connection, but the damn wire always seems to fall short?

This development is for wire-lovers.

Researchers at Northwestern University (USA) have figured out a way to stretch wires almost 200% their original length, without losing conductivity.

Keep in mind that…

A wire is a single, usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal. Wires are used to bear mechanical loads and to carry electricity and telecommunications signals. Wire is commonly formed by drawing the metal through a hole in a die or draw plate.

Electrical wires are usually covered with insulating materials, such as plastic, rubber-like polymers, or varnish.

Two or more wires may be wrapped concentrically, separated by insulation, to form coaxial cable. The wire or cable may be further protected with substances like paraffin, some kind of preservative compound, bitumen, lead, aluminum sheathing, or steel taping.
[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire]

Based on the definition above, we can see how a regular wire is (on-average) made of materials that are not prone to stretching or bending. They either break or are affected just enough to lose electrical charge somewhere along the way.

So how is the current stretching possible? This new concept replaces the regular metal mumbo-jumbo inside with a new kind of polymer (made with pores), these pores are then filled with liquid metal which help maintain the conductivity required, regardless of any shape or form. The only problem is we don’t know how much it will cost to wire-manufacturers, or if they’ll be willing to change their existing assembly processes. But rest assured, by the time these stretchy wires come around most of us and our devices should be floating in the air like the Jetsons, wirelessly ofcourse.

If you’re anxious to see what the process looks like, here’s a video.:

Source: Engadget

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