DailyDirt: More Nature-Inspired Materials
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Lots of cool materials have been inspired by biological materials — like velcro and surfaces with lotus leaf-like structures. Nature has had a headstart of a few hundred million years to create some useful materials, so it’s a great (and open) source of inspiration for new human-made materials that might further improve upon the stuff we already have. Here are just a few more examples of biomimicry that could be everywhere in the near future.
- There’s a type of beetle (Tmesisternus isabellae) that has a color-changing ability based on the interaction of humidity with nanostructures on its forewings. A color-changing pigment inspired by this beetle can be made with colloidal photonic crystals, and these materials resist color fading or bleaching better than traditional dyes and pigments — and could be used in anti-counterfeiting inks. [url]
- The Venus’ flower basket sea sponge grows very strong cable-like hairs, called spicules, to anchor these creatures to the sea floor. These spicules are made of nested glass fibers and demonstrate the advantage of these microstructural details for optimizing material strength. [url]
- A new lightweight bulletproof vest design could look like fish scales, covering a body with a protective layer that allows the wearer to still move freely. Scale armor isn’t new, but 3D printing the scales and coming up with optimal protective structures could make a better kind of personal armor. [url]
After you’ve finished checking out those links, take a look at our Daily Deals for cool gadgets and other awesome stuff.