Aluminum peel

Researchers at the Foundry Institute of the RWTH Aachen University in Germany, and Plant Biomechanics Group of the University of Freiburg, Germany, have taken inspiration from the hierarchical structure of the peel of the pomelo fruit (Citrus maxima) and have developed an aluminum hybrid that could be used to optimize technical components and safety materials. The new aluminum hybrid is the product of a bio-inspired approach, combining metals with different mechanical properties that reflect these naturally occurring structures and mimic the strength of the pomelo peel. The composite exhibits a much higher tensile strength (the force needed to break something apart) than pure aluminum, and a much higher ductility (the ability to withstand permanent changes in shape) than the aluminum-silicon alloy.