Although we original reported on this fascinating research back in 2012 a new paper by University of California, Riverside and Purdue University engineers now sheds more light on the specific mechanisms involved in the deadly strike of the Mantis shrimp.
Already known to rely on a chitin-like material arranged in a helicoidal pattern for maximum durability, Researchers have now identified ‘brand gaps’ within the structure that effectively cancel out ‘shear waves’ which often penetrate through a substance (at the speed of sound) on impact, causing damage.
“This is a novel concept,” said David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Energy Innovation at UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering. “It implies that we can make composite materials able to filter certain stress waves that would otherwise damage the material.”
As suggested by the comment above, the findings could allow researchers to use similar filtering principles for the development of new types of composite materials for applications including aerospace and automotive frames, body armor and athletic gear, including football helmets.
Read the report HERE