Researchers from the University of California at Berkeley have developed a method to manufacture a material similar to nacre.
This new material has mechanical properties similar to those of steel and is more resistant ceramics ever created in a laboratory. This new method could be the starting point for using ceramics as structural material in buildings or car chassis as light and strong.
Ceramics are hard and very light, but it is complicated to build anything with them because it would shatter like a dish. Scientists have been trying to mimic nature of the materials that combine strength and endurance. The closest they have found is the nacre, a porous material but enormously strong, which is in the shell of certain shellfish.
The nacre combines layers of calcium carbonate with a protein that works like glue to form a structure that is 3,000 times stronger than calcium carbonate and protein separately. Typically, when scientists make such compounds in the laboratory, the properties of the resulting material does not reach such a high percentage of resistance regarding the components from which it comes.
For years, engineers have tried to design new materials based on very strong materials, such as nacre, or our own bones. Now, ceramics designed by Berkeley indicates that take nature as an inspiration to synthesize the best materials can work.
To shape their pottery imitating the structure of nacre, the researchers first created a slurry of aluminum oxide. Later, the cooled in a very controlled. This allows for long, thin structures that the researchers pressed into micro structures similar to bricks after evaporating water (heat) If this process is repeated, is creating a porous layer of aluminum oxide that are connected to each other, similar to the way that we found in the natural nacre. Then, to mimic the protein that works like glue, researchers at Berkeley have used a polymer that fills the gaps between the different layers.
“The key to the strength of the materials is their ability to disperse energy,” says Robert Ritchie, Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, who has spearheaded this project, said in a statement. “Infiltrating a polymer between the different layers of aluminum oxide is possible that they were traveling on one another when they are applied weight. In this way disperse energy. The polymer acts as a lubricant. “
There are no trackbacks on this entry.