The First Uncuttable Material - Proteus

in StemSocial2 months ago

Composite made from structured aluminum and ceramic balls is very light while being extremely durable against cutting and drilling. This could allow it to become the material for personal armor.


Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

Material scientists are the alchemists of modern times. This is only further proven by the new creation that comes from the work of teams from the Durham University and Fraunhofer Institute. It seems, that they are the first ones to create an uncuttable material. Yet, it is very light – its density is just 15 % of the density of lead. Many different things could be made from such a material. Unbreakable bike-chains or even light personal armor.

Vibrations Inspired By Nature

The material is called Proteus and is made from structured aluminum with ceramic balls inside. This allows Proteus to face different kinds of grinders, drills, and other similar tools. When such a tool tries to “eat” as Proteus vibrations get created which quickly blunt down any such tool.

Stefan Szyniszewski from Durham University and his team got their inspiration from nature itself. For Proteus, they used tricks which can be found – for example – in the durable skin of grapefruits or the aragonite shell of clams.

While the grinder or drill will be capable of penetrating the outer layer of the material it will quickly reach the built-in ceramic balls. At that moment, vibrations appear which blunt down the sharp edges of the tool while creating ceramic dust that only increases the durability of the material. Proteus is also quite durable against cutting tools that use a high-pressure water jet to cut. In this case, the ceramic balls increase the size of the jet thus reducing its cutting capability.

The ceramics used in the material is made from very small particles and itself is quite durable against cutting and drilling. It’s similar to how a bag of sand is good against a bullet. Thus, Proteus could find many interesting and useful applications in many different fields. For sure, it could be used to make secure gear for working with cutting and drilling tools. Now, the scientists are working on getting the material patented and searching for partners that would allow them to bring the material into commercial use.


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