According to New Scientist, from the new material it will be possible to make safes, protective clothes and bicycle locks that no thief will be able to open.
The development belongs to an international team of researchers from the University of Durham (Great Britain) and the Fraunhofer ICT Institute of Chemical Technology (Pfinztal, Germany).
The new material has a cellular structure and represents ceramic spheres embedded in aluminum foam. Neither waterjet cutting, nor electric drills, nor a grinder can take it. The authors called their invention Proteus - Proteus: just like the ancient Greek sea deity, capable of taking on different forms, the new material is modified when attacked.
If ordinary hard surfaces simply resist external pressure, then the proteus draws the force of the drill or cutting mechanism on itself, since the ceramic spheres create vibrations that violate the external force. The material also has a second defense mechanism: when trying to cut it, ceramic spheres form smaller and harder fragments that act like very hard sandpaper.
In short, any attempt to destroy a proteus makes it more resistant to destruction. During the demonstration of the new material, the angle grinder took 45 seconds to cut through the steel armor used to protect against explosive mines, but an attempt to destroy the Proteus disabled the tool.
According to the inventors, the only structure in the world that can be compared to a new material is diamond. However, proteus is lighter, cheaper, there is no shortage of aluminum and ceramics from which it is made, and the scope of potential application of the new material is very wide: from safes and body armor to heels for shoes.