For a fairly little critter, the mantis shrimp undoubtedly makes some major waves into the call of science. The crustacean became an inspiration for research from melanoma into everything – detecting camera technology to polarized lenses to strong and light composite materials. Contributing to your body of understanding for the reason that last category is research out of the University of California Riverside (UCR) that has unravelled among the strategies that assists your animal’s claw move as quickly like a.22 caliber bullet however not to endure any harm.
The researchers have found the “key”with a herringbone pattern found in the outer layer of a fist-like appendage called a dactyl club the animal uses to pummel its prey. That club can go from 0 to 50 mph (80 km/h) in just three thousandths of a second, moving so fast that it boils the water in its path and creates a sonic shockwave that can stun or even kill small prey who happen to be having a very unlucky day nearby. At such speed, you’d imagine the club would have to be pretty tough – and so, it is.
Scientists at the UCR had previously decoded one part of the appendage accountable for its super strength. It’d related to the spiral-shaped structures available at the innermost layers of the club’s covering, which behave as small shock absorbers. Now, their attention have switched to the external coating of the club– where they found the herringbone pattern.
We knew from previous studies that the impact region allows the mantis shrimp to transfer incredible momentum to its prey while resisting fracture, but it was exciting to reveal through our research that the properties of this highly impact-resistant material are created by the novel herringbone structure,” says Nicholas Yaraghi, a graduate student who led the current research, which was published May 30 in the journal Advanced Materials. Yaraghi also says that this is the first time such a pattern has been observed in the natural world.
To check out how efficient the herringbone structure was, the group worked with Pablo Zavattieri, associate professor of civil engineering at Purdue University who created first computer models and then 3D-printed versions of a material inspired by the design. They unearthed that it had been not much more ineffective compared to the formerly-found mantis shrimp coils in maintaining the framework from breaking and releasing actual tension.
As the framework of the mantis shrimp’s dactyl club has resulted in the improvement of some next gen composites, knowing the herringbone structure overlaid atop the shock-absorbing coil may help researchers create even stronger materials such as better body armor, stronger aircraft hulls or better football helmets, says a UC Riverside report about the research.
The smasher mantis shrimp has evolved this exceptionally strong and impact-resistant dactyl club for one primary purpose—to be able to eat. However, the more we learn about this tiny creature and its multi-layered structural designs, the more we realize how much it can help us as we design better planes, cars, sports equipment and armor,” says professor David Kisailus, who’s spent the last eight years at UCR uncovering ways the crustacean can inspire material design.