Follow the unbreakable bouncing phone! A Polytechnique Montréal team recently demonstrated that a fabric designed using additive manufacturing absorbs up to 96% of impact energy – all without breaking. Cell Reports Physical Science journal recently published an article with details about this innovation, which paves the way for the creation of unbreakable plastic coverings.
The concept and accompanying research revealed in the article is relatively simple. Professors Frédérick Gosselin and Daniel Therriault from Polytechnique Montréal’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, along with doctoral student Shibo Zou, wanted to demonstrate how plastic webbing could be incorporated into a glass pane to prevent it from shattering on impact.
It seems a simple enough concept, but further reflection reveals that there’s nothing simple about this plastic web.
The researchers’ design was inspired by spider webs and their amazing properties. “A spider web can resist the impact of an insect colliding with it, due to its capacity to deform via sacrificial links at the molecular level, within silk proteins themselves,” Professor Gosselin explains. “We were inspired by this property in our approach.”
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