Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Proteus - Super Tough Material

Interesting Engineering reports: [edited]

Researchers claim they've manufactured the world's first non-cuttable material – and at only 15% of the density of steel they say it could be used to construct lightweight armour or bike locks.

The material consists of ceramic spheres arranged in a cellular aluminum structure to resist angle grinders, drills, or similar brute-force cutting tools. Stemming from the UK's Durham University and Germany's Fraunhofer Institute, the novel material takes inspiration from the durable, cellular skin of grapefruit and the rock-hard, fracture-resistant aragonite shells of mollusks.

Proteus initially gives way to drill bits or angle grinders, but when either reaches the embedded ceramic spheres the material begins to vibrate in a way that blunts the tool as fine particles of ceramic dust fill in the gaps of the matrix-like structure of the metal.

These, in turn, make it even more difficult to cut — since the faster one grinds or drills the harder cutting gets. Due to interatomic forces between the ceramic grains the force and energy of the drill is turned back on itself, and it is weakened and destroyed by its own attack.

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