Pearls and seashells are made from the same basic stuff as easily crushed chalk – humble calcium carbonate – so why are they so much tougher? Researchers are taking design tips from the micro-structure of these naturally formed materials to produce stronger, more fracture-resistant ceramics for future space missions.
The project began last year, with samples synthesised at Imperial College’s laboratory and tested at Azimut Space in Germany, with the Materials Testing Centre at Coventry in the UK looking into scaling up production processes.
📹 ESA – European Space Agency
📸 ESA, Dr. Erik Poloni, Airbus Defence and Space SAS 2014 A. Gilbert, University of Glasgow
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