This new fracture-proof cement has been inspired by sea urchins

It has been possible to synthesize cement at the nanometric level according to an architecture similar to a brick wall, the same architecture that allows sea urchins to have such hardened spines despite being made mainly of fragile calcite.

The finding has been made by researchers in Chemistry and Physics at the University of Konstanz, in Germany, led by Helmut Cölfen.

Brick and mortar

The objective of this development is to make the cement more durable, as he explains Cölfen:

Our cement, which is significantly more resistant to fractures than any other that has been developed so far, provides us with completely new construction possibilities.

For example, if a pillar were constructed with this cement, it could be raised to 8,000 meters high before the material at its base was destroyed by its weight. Normal steel could only reach 3,000 meters high.

People have much better building materials than calcite. If we manage to design the structures of the materials and reproduce the planes of nature, we can also produce many more materials resistant to fractures: high-performance materials inspired by nature