Magnetic materials: a journey from finding north to an exciting printed future
The potential implications/applications of printing technologies are being recognized worldwide across different disciplines and industries. Printed magnetoactive smart materials, whose physical properties can be changed by the application of external magnetic fields, are an exclusive class of smart materials that are highly valuable due to their magnetically activated smart and/or multifunctional response. Such smart behavior allows, among others, high speed and low-cost wireless activation, fast response, and high controllability with no relevant limitations in design, shape, or dimensions. Nevertheless, the printing of magnetoactive materials is still in its infancy, and the design apparatus, the material set, and the fabrication procedures are far from their optimum features. Thus, this review presents the main concepts that allow interconnecting printing technologies with magnetoactive materials by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of this joint field, trying to highlight the scientific obstacles that still limit a wider application of these materials nowadays. Additionally, it discusses how these limitations could be overcome, together with an outlook of the remaining challenges in the emerging digitalization, Internet of Things, and Industry 4.0 paradigms. Finally, as magnetoactive materials will play a leading role in energy generation and management, the magnetic-based Green Deal is also addressed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Recent Review Articles