press release
Published: 27 August 2020

Grapefruit inspires the creation of the world’s first non-cuttable material

Engineers from the University of Surrey, together with an international team of experts, have developed the world’s first non-cuttable material.

In an article published by Scientific Reports, the team detail how they were influenced by the tough skin of grapefruit and the Amazonian Arapaima fish to create an artificial material that cannot be cut with grinders, drills or jet cutters.

The material, which is named after the mythical god Proteus, is made of ceramic spheres which are covered in an aluminium foam structure.

In tests, Proteus shows the remarkable ability to defend itself by turning the force of a cutting tool on itself.

Dr Ewa Jakubczyk, a co-author of the study and Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, said:

“We hope our magical material, Proteus, will soon find itself as the main ingredient of next-generation security tools such as bike locks and security armour. We also have ambitions for the material to be used in construction.

“We have more tests to conduct, but the early signs are incredibly exciting for the future of Proteus.”

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