Challenges and Trends for Multifunctional Materials


  • Ying Huang North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58078, USA
  • Xingyu Wang North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58078, USA

Received: 9 March 2023 | Accepted: 14 March 2023 | Published Online: 21 March 2023


Materials science is the study of materials, their properties and their applications. As the rapid development of material science, materials tend to approach multifunctionality. Multifunctional materials are designed to perform multiple responsibilities through prudent combinations of different functional capabilities. Typically, each function contributes a distinct physical or chemical process that can deliver system-level improvements beyond the status quo. Even though some researchers have defined "smart material" as multifunctional materials (MFM), multifunctional composites (MFC), multifunctional structures (MFS), and multifunctional material systems (MFMS), the term "multifunctional materials" will be used to refer to all of these materials, composites, and structures in this paper [1]. One of the main advantages of multifunctional materials is their capacity to simultaneously accomplish multiple functions, which can decrease the need for various materials and components in the system. This benefit can result in reduced weight, higher efficiency, and superior properties and the development of multifunctional materials enables technologies that were previously impossible. The properties of multifunctional materials could vary substantially based on the applications and demands of the material. For example, the materials may respond to heat (thermal), stress & stain (mechanical), electrical, magnetic, pH, moisture, light (photonic), and molecular or biomolecular substances, and others. By incorporating these materials into composites, numerous functionalities, including self-healing, self-sensing, self-cleaning, electric conductive, thermal conductive, membrane, shape memory, and actuation, can be achieved. Therefore, multifunctional materials can improve processes and products, create several avenues to increase sustainability, and have a direct and positive impact on economic growth, environment, and quality of life.


[1] Ferreira, A.D.B., Nóvoa, P.R., Marques, A.T., 2016. Multifunctional material systems: A stateof-the-art review. Composite Structures. 151, 3-35.

[2] Lendlein, A., Trask, R.S., 2018. Multifunctional materials: Concepts, function-structure relationships, knowledge-based design, translational materials research. Multifunctional Materials. 1, 010201.


How to Cite

Huang, Y., & Wang, X. (2023). Challenges and Trends for Multifunctional Materials. Journal of Building Material Science, 5(1), 17–19.





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