Limpet teeth might be the strongest natural material known to man, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of Portsmouth have discovered that limpets – small aquatic snail-like creatures with conical shells – have teeth with biological structures so strong they could be copied to make cars, boats and planes of the future.
The study examined the small-scale mechanical behaviour of teeth from limpets using atomic force microscopy, a method used to pull apart materials all the way down to the level of the atom.
Professor Asa Barber from the University’s School of Engineering led the study. He said: “Nature is a wonderful source of inspiration for structures that have excellent mechanical properties. All the things we observe around us, such as trees, the shells of sea creatures and the limpet teeth studied in this work, have evolved to be effective at what they do.
“Until now we thought that spider silk was the strongest biological material because of its super-strength and potential applications in everything from bullet-proof vests to computer electronics but now we have discovered that limpet teeth exhibit a strength that is potentially higher.”
Professor Barber found that the teeth contain a hard mineral known as goethite, which forms in the limpet as it grows.
He said: “Limpets need high strength teeth to rasp over rock surfaces and remove algae for feeding when the tide is in. We discovered that the fibres of goethite are just the right size to make up a resilient composite structure.
“This discovery means that the fibrous structures found in limpet teeth could be mimicked and used in high-performance engineering applications such as Formula 1 racing cars, the hulls of boats and aircraft structures.
“Engineers are always interested in making these structures stronger to improve their performance or lighter so they use less material.”
The research also discovered that limpet teeth are the same strength no matter what the size.
“Generally a big structure has lots of flaws and can break more easily than a smaller structure, which has fewer flaws and is stronger. The problem is that most structures have to be fairly big so they’re weaker than we would like. Limpet teeth break this rule as their strength is the same no matter what the size.”
Read more: Scientists find strongest natural material
The Latest on: Bioinspiration
via Google News
The Latest on: Bioinspiration
- Cephalopods: Facts about octopus, squid, nautilus and moreon October 13, 2021 at 5:00 am
Cephalopods are members of a class of marine animals that includes octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and nautiluses. The group includes more than 800 species (and new species are still being found ), ...
- Soft Robotic Jellyfish Get Pumped In The Atlanticon September 29, 2021 at 5:00 pm
In a recent paper in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, researchers at Florida Atlantic University describe the process of building and testing five free-swimming soft robotic jellyfish. The paper ...
- Swimming mechanics of the gossamer worm revealedon September 29, 2021 at 4:50 am
Daniels is part of MBARI's Bioinspiration Lab, which looks to nature for solutions to engineering challenges in the human world. Led by MBARI Principal Engineer Kakani Katija, the team has been ...
- Must See: Cornell 3D Prints Soft Robotic Tentacleson September 21, 2021 at 5:00 pm
The team's research is available in an article published in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, which you can download. In that article, they describe the detailed mechanical design of a digital ...
- Robot jellyfish could save the world’s coral reefson September 17, 2021 at 5:00 pm
A research paper based on the work was published in Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. “A main application of the robot is exploring and monitoring delicate ecosystems, so we chose soft hydraulic ...
- The 'SAW' Robot Uses One Motor to Crawl, Climb, and Swimon September 13, 2021 at 5:01 pm
The team published its results in a July paper in the journal Bioinspiration & Biomimetics. "We developed a kinematic model of the robot that accounts for the two-dimensional mechanics of motion and ...
- Piranha vs. Arapaima (VIDEO)on August 9, 2021 at 10:11 am
The secret to Arapaima’s success lie in its intricately designed scales, which could provide "bioinspiration" for engineers looking to develop flexible ceramics.
- The Power of Movement in Plantson April 6, 2020 at 8:12 am
Tedone, Fabio Del Dottore, Emanuela Palladino, Michele Mazzolai, Barbara and Marcati, Pierangelo 2020. Optimal control of plant root tip dynamics in soil ...
- Internet of Things (IoT) Trade Shows, Conferences, and Exhibitionson February 15, 2020 at 11:33 pm
SPIE Smart Structures + Nondestructive Evaluation showcases the latest research in advanced materials, electroactive polymers (EAP), bioinspiration and biomimetics for robotics design, along with ...
- Sacramento State Faculty Joe Bahlmanon August 22, 2017 at 8:27 pm
Bahlman, J W, Price-Waldman R M, Lippe H W, Breuer K S and Swartz S M (2016) Simplifying a wing: Diversity and functional consequences of digital joint reduction in bat wings. Journal of Anatomy 229, ...
via Bing News