Gallery: New Printable Armor is Hardest Organic Substance Ever Designed


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.

Via Discovery


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  1. Joshwa Figaroa March 14, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    IF you know how to create something then you know exactly what is needed to disassemble it,
    only problem is how to get this tool where it needs to be without damaging other useful things on the commute to the area of treatment.

    So please don\\\’t say things like why would they go out of their way of finding a cure and make this.
    THIS. THIS SHIT IS HARD WORK … we need people to get that through and through and if they want to really see a difference in the world to get up and kick their own asses to be the best they can be, ,educate themselves before they think they are capable of doing so without educating themselves and learn how to make that difference from a higher platform …

  2. MarkmBha February 22, 2014 at 10:16 am

    Interesting article.
    I would think many uses can be found.

  3. lazyrobot January 18, 2011 at 2:28 am

    @Stephane Von Stephane – Well, the substance has proven itself really durable, I mean, it stops bullets. You can’t just waltz up into someone’s brain with a putty knife and scrape this off, something this tough (and where its located) don’t make it easy at all. Scientists are looking for a cure for Alzheimers, OR THEY WOULD NOT HAVE DISCOVERED THIS! Whilst trying to find the cure someone had the bright idea to attempt to make something of it.

  4. Stephane Von Stephane November 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Yeah, so instead of figuring out how to destroy the plaque in Alzheimers patients’ brains, ‘scientists’ are creating BODY ARMOR for the military…what is wrong with this picture?

  5. metis November 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    i’m confused. “…when put together, form a printable substance…” but then “…The scientists believe that the material could be printed…”

    can it be printed or not? your source says it “may be possible” not that it is. i don’t know why i even read inhabitat anymore, if it’s not mac related it’s shoddy reporting or design dreams that are years from realization or reality.

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