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Structure of Human Bone Helps Conquer Metal Fatigue
[ Issue 152 Page 2 ] Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 22:40:44 Chan Ju Chong Junior Reporter martinc2907@gmail.com

A cooperative research initiative between researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Japan, and Germany has discovered a method to mitigate the effects of fatigue in metals by drawing inspiration from the human bone structure. Metal fatigue in parts that undergo cyclic stress often incur extra costs and cause unforeseen failures in industries such as the spacecraft and aircraft industries. The team of researchers decided to turn to nature in solving the problem of metal fatigue, and found the answer in the structure of bone; owing to its hierarchical mechanical structure, the bone is highly fracture-resistant. Mimicking such characteristics, the team developed a steel that has not only a layered structure, but also micro-structural phases with complementing degrees of hardness and a metastable composition. The new steel is yet to be commercialized, but much is to be expected according to C. Cem Tasan, Professor of Metallurgy at MIT. The findings have been published in the journal Science.

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