Sometimes inspiration comes from the strangest of places. Case in point: scientists have just created a new super strong material based on the plaque found in Alzheimer’s patients’ brains. The new substance isn’t exactly the same as the plaque that causes the tragic disease, but it has a very similar chemical structure that is then coated with an additional protective layer. The tiny spheres that result are microscopic and when put together, form a printable substance that is tougher than steel, twice as tough as Kevlar and the hardest microscopic organic substance on Earth.
The new substance could be used for a variety of different situations including making cheaper, lighter body armor. Scientists are suggesting that it could be added to steel to make it stronger and could be used to create tougher bulletproof glass because it is clear. Scientists note that it will easily stop a bullet as only a diamond tipped probe can cut through it, and you’d need a force twice the strength needed to dent Kevlar to dent this new substance.
The scientists believe that the material could be printed, but in order to coat steel or make glass panes a different technique would be used. “I think this is an amazing discovery,” said Kenneth Woycechowsky, a scientist at the University of Utah familiar with the research. He added, “the rigidity and stiffness of these spheres is unique, and surpasses any other known organic molecule, even Kevlar.” The researchers have patents pending and are hoping to see the material on the market soon.