Mantis shrimp inspired scientists to create heavy-duty body armor and aircraft hulls

The mantis shrimp, distinguished by its bright, gorgeous color and aggressive disposition, has recently become the focus of scientists' attention. Thanks to him, researchers have already discovered several technologies that allow you to create a camera for detecting cancer tumors, polarized lenses, and a lightweight and incredibly strong composite material.

Scientists from the University of California Riverside managed to expand the list of amazing technologies of mantis shrimp. They were interested in the front limbs of the predator - the jaws, with the help of which it easily smashes not only the shells of crabs, but also the aquarium glass to smithereens. In this case, the ejection rate of the limbs is the same as that of a 22-gauge bullet.

According to the researchers, such crushing blows became possible due to the special structure of the claws, with which the mantis shrimp acts like a sledgehammer, and in the ability to instantly release the accumulated energy. In just three thousandths of a second, he "accelerates" his gun from 0 to 80 km / h. The jaws move at such a high speed that the water around them boils and provokes a shock wave that can stun and even kill some animals that unfortunately happened to be nearby.

Previously, scientists have already revealed some of the secrets of the incredible power of the mantis shrimp. They are connected to the spiral structures of the inner layers of the claw, which act as tiny shock absorbers. Now, thanks to new research, another secret of the incredible strength of the mantis shrimp jaws has been revealed. Their outer layer consists of chitin and herringbone calcium crystals. Due to this structure, the layer perfectly diffuses external influences.

Inspired by the findings, the scientists modeled an incredibly strong composite structure and 3D printed a sample of the new material. It turned out that the material is capable of extremely effectively dissipating the force of an impact and preserving the structure from destruction.

In the future, the new material is planned to be used for the manufacture of heavy-duty body armor, aircraft fuselages and protective helmets.