Add 4D Properties from Pre-Shrinking to Create New Products

4D materials (designed to change form when activated by an external trigger) have been around for a long time.  Example: Garment shrink proofing. In this case, a material is mechanically compacted the amount it is expected to shrink during a wash/dry cycle.  When washed the pre-shrinkage is released, resulting in a garment that is temporally too big.  After being tumble dried, the material shrinks back to its desired shape.

Now it is possible to give the property of pre-shrinking to nonwovens and composites as well, creating a whole new range of new products.

If the amount of compaction is increased —  the material will grow when activated.


  • A bandage that grows when wet to put more pressure on the wound.
  • Packaging that signals when moisture has been present.
  • A sheet that grows when heated as the softening point of the thermoplastic fiber is exceeded.

For more background on this development see our blog post.