MIT Researchers Develop a 3D-Printing Technique to Recreate the Conch Shell

Monday, May 29, 2017 - 13:46

Researchers from MIT have developed a 3D printing technology that allowed them to duplicate the conch shell's structure and to test it more closely in the lab.

According to the MIT News, this technology can mimic it to create nearly unbreakable materials that can be used for safety gear, and in construction, aerospace and other industries.

The findings are reported in the journal Advanced Materials, in a paper by MIT graduate student Grace Gu, postdoc Mahdi Takaffoli, and McAfee Professor of Engineering Markus Buehler.

The three-tiered structure makes it very hard for any tiny cracks to spread and enlarge, Gu says. The material has a “zigzag matrix, so the crack has to go through a kind of a maze” in order to spread, she says.

Until recently, even after the structure of the conch shell was understood, “you couldn’t replicate it that well. But now, our lab has developed 3-D printing technology that allows us to duplicate that structure and be able to test it,” says Buehler, who is the head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The team used the samples they printed to perform a series of drop tests. Since these samples are identical, unlike conch shells that have variations in quality, they gave the scientists a way to collect more accurate data.

By the end of the testing period, the researchers were able to conclude that the shell's structure is 85 percent better at preventing cracks than the strongest base material and 70 percent better than a traditional fiber composite arrangement.

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کد خبر: 584612 0 0

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