Wednesday 17 June 2009

Biomimicry : Scientists create a new extremely tough bio-inspired hybrid Ceramic

Scientists with the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have produced a new ceramic material that mimics the toughness of Mother of pearl, or nacre that is four times stronger than artificial bone.

"Through the controlled freezing of suspensions in water of an aluminum oxide (alumina) and the addition of a well known polymer, polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA),we have emulated nature's toughening mechanisms to make ice-templated alumina hybrids that are comparable in specific strength and toughness to aluminum alloy.We believe these model materials can be used to identify key microstructural features that should guide the future synthesis of bio-inspired, yet non-biological, light-weight structural materials with unique strength and toughness." Continue

Here is a video demonstration, close up in the lab of how this new tough, is made.

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