Making Fracture-Resistant Cement

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A close examination of the structure of sea urchin spines inspired researchers to find a way...
A close examination of the structure of sea urchin spines inspired researchers to find a way to create a new, more flexible type of cement(Credit: University of Konstanz)

The natural world is a constant source of inspiration for scientists and engineers. The latest biologically influenced innovation comes from a team of German researchers who developed a new type of stronger cement inspired by nanostructures found in sea urchin spines.

The team was inspired by the structural resilience of sea urchin spines, which are primarily made up of a brittle material called calcite. Yet despite the nature of calcite, the spines are incredibly durable because of a nano-level, brick-and-mortar style architecture.

 It was discovered that sea urchin spines are so tough because the crystalline blocks of calcite are surrounded by softer areas of a material called calcium carbonate. This means that when the calcite cracks, the energy moves to the softer layer preventing any further cracking.
This is a micro-manipulator bending a cement microbar
The challenge when translating this principle to cement was that cement is a much more disordered structure. Helmut Cölfen, head of the research team, says the team had to find a way to generate “fracture-resistance at the nano-level.”

About the Common Constitutionalist

Brent, aka The Common Constitutionalist, is a Constitutional Conservative, and advocates for first principles, founders original intent and enemy of progressives. He is former Navy, Martial Arts expert. As well as publisher of the Common Constitutionalist blog, he also is a contributing writer for Political Outcast, Godfather Politics, Minute Men News (Liberty Alliance), Freedom Outpost, the Daily Caller, Vision To America and Free Republic. He also writes an exclusive weekly column for World Net Daily (WND).

One comment on “Making Fracture-Resistant Cement

  1. Pingback: Making Fracture-Resistant Cement – USSA News | The Tea Party's Front Page

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