Engineers Develop New Material Which Cannot Be Cut, Opens Up Wide Range Of Security Applications

Engineers Develop New Material Which Cannot Be Cut, Opens Up Wide Range Of Security ApplicationsRepresentative Image (Pic via Scientific Reports)

A team of British and German researchers has developed a new artificial lightweight material that effectively cannot be cut, and thus can be used in making cut-proof bike locks, security doors and protective clothing, reports New Scientist.

The bio-inspired metallic cellular structure (with an internal grid of large ceramic segments) is non-cuttable by an angle grinder and a power drill, and it has only 15 per cent steel density.

The material has been created by embedding ceramic spheres in aluminium foam.

It has been named Proteus after the Greek shape-shifting god, as the material metamorphosised in different ways to defend against attacks.

The material, unlike a hard surface that resists external pressure, turns the force of the drill or cutting mechanism back on itself due to vibrations created by the ceramic shpheres that disrupts the external force.

“It actually destroys the cutting blade through the sideways jerky vibrations that it creates, or it widens the water jet’s spray,” Miranda Anderson at the University of Stirling, United Kingdom, who worked on the project was quoted as saying.

According to the report, the material has a second defence mechanism. Attempting to cut it breaks the ceramic spheres into smaller fragments which are even harder and act like very tough sandpaper.

“So the attack mechanism causes the material to become more resistant to the attack,” said Anderson.

While an angle grinder took 45 seconds to cut through steel armour used to protect against explosive mines, it was rendered inoperative by Proteus.

According to Anderson, the only comparable structure to the Proteus in the natural world is diamond. However, the new material is much cheaper and lighter than diamond, making it practical for a range of applications from security doors and barriers to shoe soles or elbow pad.