The Unsinkable Metal Using Ants and Spiders


Imagine having a boat made out of unsinkable metal. No matter how many punctures the metal structure suffered, it would still float. Now imagine how much that could help thousands of people from drowning because of boat complications. You don’t have to imagine anymore, because this metal exists.

At the University of Rochester, there is a team who came up with a technique on how to make an unsinkable metal. They shot laser beams at the metal, each burst lasting a quadrillionth of a second. They shot the lasers in a specific pattern, trapping air, making the metal water repellent. Even though this amazing discovery works, it only works for a short period of time, before the metal loses it’s amazing unsinkable ability.

Now, ants and spiders come in to play. Both of these insects have the incredible ability to stay afloat for extended periods of time. The researches working on this project tried to find a way to trap air in the metal, similar to what some ants and spiders do.

The group then created a structure with two parallel aluminium pieces facing inward to avoid wear on the metal. The parallel pieces were placed close enough together that air would stay trapped in between them, which keeps the metal afloat.

Now, after the creation was held under water for two months, the metal continues to float. This amazing structure opens up so many doors to further water creations.

Watch the unsinkable metal.

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This relates to engineering because the team had to create different ways to get the metal to always float. They also designed the technique on how metal can float. Further, they researched for information when their original product didn’t work.