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posted by n1 on Friday February 20 2015, @07:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the bioinspiration dept.

El Reg reports:

Limpets – a type of aquatic snail – [...]need high strength teeth to scrape algae off rocks. [...] Scientists used atomic force microscopy to pull the teeth apart at the atom level. They found the teeth contain a hard mineral known as goethite, which forms in the limpet as it grows.

[...]Professor Asa Barber from [Portsmouth] University's School of Engineering said: "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."

The research also discovered that limpet teeth are the same strength no matter what the size. Usually, the bigger a structure, the more prone it is to flaws. Limpet teeth break this rule, as their strength is the same no matter what the size.

These structures could be mimicked and used in high-performance engineering applications such as Formula 1 racing cars, the hulls of boats, and aircraft structures.

[...]The research was published [February 18] in the Royal Society Journal Interface.[1]

[1] That may hold the record for the most scripts on a page with just 38kB of content.

 
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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by CoolHand on Friday February 20 2015, @08:00PM

    by CoolHand (438) on Friday February 20 2015, @08:00PM (#147552) Journal

    Could we finally see our space elevator?

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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 20 2015, @08:14PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 20 2015, @08:14PM (#147558)

    No. There because there are many kinds of factors to consider, such as hardness, but there are also other factors to consider such as tensile strength, Young's modulus, etc. (that whole thing about how concrete is great in compression, but sucks in tension). It depends upon the conditions whereby the forces act. Besides, the article quote implies that the most important advances will be for Formula 1 cars. :/

    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:37PM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday February 21 2015, @04:37PM (#147800) Journal

      Formula 1 cars.

      Formula 1 cars I could care less about, but using the material, which they said would be cheap, in components in EVs would be welcome if it meant lighter cars with longer range.

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Buck Feta on Friday February 20 2015, @09:05PM

    by Buck Feta (958) on Friday February 20 2015, @09:05PM (#147584) Journal

    It's sea snails all the way up.

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  • (Score: 5, Funny) by ikanreed on Friday February 20 2015, @09:10PM

    by ikanreed (3164) on Friday February 20 2015, @09:10PM (#147588) Journal

    Depends on how much es cargo it could carry.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 20 2015, @11:07PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 20 2015, @11:07PM (#147644)

      not to mention we'd be holding on by the skin of our snails teeth