Scientists Look Into Why Deer Antlers Are Tough

By Rodney Rafols , Dec 19, 2016 10:37 PM EST

Deer antlers are tough. Male deer usually tangle each other with it to show dominance. Now scientists look into why deer antlers are tough to see how it might become an inspiration for the next generation of unbreakable material.

To study deer antlers, scientists have to look into it all the way to its nano level. This is how scientists from the Queen Mary University in London have seen why deer antlers are tough. Through that they were able to find out how the antlers are structured.

Study lead author Paolino De Falco from the School of Engineering and Materials Science has said that the deer antlers have fibrils that are staggered rather than lines up. This makes the antlers tough as well as able to absorb blows. The study could lead to making new material that can be much tougher than current ones now out.

The team hopes to make a computer model of the fibrils in the staggered fashion as seen from the deer antlers. This has been stated by study co-author Dr. Ettore Barbieri. The goal is to create a prototype material that could be tested, according to the Queen Mary University's site.

Nature has made a number of tough things. Wood is tough and has been used for many years as a building material, as well as for a number of other uses. Rock is also very tough. By looking at nature, scientists can very well create a tough material that is inspired by nature. Looking into deer antlers might be the first step towards that.

So much of what man has made have been derived in some way from nature. Concrete might be one example, as it is tough and can be hard as a rock. Deer antler though can be tough though at the same time flexible, such as how Kevlar is.

The study has been done using computers as well as x-ray, as Science Daily reports. With the study, there is much possibility for the next generation of building materials and even armor. Scientists look into why deer antlers are tough, and could lead to better protective material in the future. In robotics, a new robot arm has been made that could touch like humans.

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