Researchers Have Developed a New Material That Tools Can't Cut Called Proteus

Proteus undergoing a test
Photo : New Atlas / YouTube

When locks, safes, or any other security-providing items are designed, they will be built from extremely durable materials. The materials used for security-providing items will typically mean that it's made from a hardened metal or some other material that can resist destruction.

Proteus undergoing a test
(Photo : New Atlas / YouTube)

However unfortunate it may be, there isn't any material that can provide complete resistance to being destroyed. But it looks like researchers have developed a new material that has a particularly special trick that it uses to resist destruction.

Proteus: A Material That Fights Back

This new material doesn't focus on having enough raw strength. The researchers from Europe responsible for designing the material have made one that actively defends itself against tools by wearing down the tools at a significantly quick rate. A cutting wheel won't stand a chance against this new material. The researchers are calling it the first human-made non-cuttable material in the world.

This non-cuttable material is called Proteus. It's a specially-crafted combination of ceramic and aluminum. The aluminum is a metallic foam that contains small spheres made of the ceramic inside of it. It may not seem very durable when you read about it, but you'll realize that it's an excellent design when you see it in action.

When Proteus was tested with angle grinders, high-pressure water jets, or drills, the material didn't get cut. The interlocking vibrational connection caused by the ceramic spheres in the casing dulls the drill bit or cutting disc when a drill or angle grinder is used against it. The ceramics also get cut into fine particles that fill into the material's cellular structure, which causes it to harden when the cutting tool increases its speed.

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How Does Proteus Work?

The research team has an analogy for what trying to cut through Proteus is like cutting through jelly that's filled with nuggets inside.

The team says that the ceramic spheres cause vibrations in a drill bit or cutting wheel to make it deteriorate at an exponential rate. When a water jet cutter is used against the material, the ceramic spheres cause the water to spread out, which weakens the water's power and lessens the chance the material will be sliced through by the water jet.

In the video below, you will see how a cutting wheel fails to cut Proteus, which shows how durable this new material is against cutting. The cutting wheel barely scratches the surface of the material before it suddenly stops progressing further into it. The grinder's wheel breaks down rapidly until it's completely worn out and needs to be replaced.

Proteus looks like it would be an excellent material to use on safes. However, it might not be a powerful asset if used with locks since there's still a bit of surface weakness that might let a lock get cut. However, this new material is an innovative invention that could see some uses in many different things. This new material might become part of various consumer products soon.

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