Pomelo, by Maurizio Albissola.com
Pomelo, by Maurizio Albissola.com

Inspired by the structure of a pomelo’s rind—which enables the heavy fruit to withstand impact forces without permanent damage—researchers from Aachen University and the University of Freiburg in Germany have developed a new aluminum hybrid material with applications for safety equipment and the automotive industry.  By mimicking the fiber-reinforced foam structure of this fruit’s rind, the new material combines aluminum and aluminum-silicon alloys for optimized tensile strength and ductility, and novel behavior under loads. Specifically, the lightweight, high-performing material has potential to improve the ability of vehicles to resist impact—while reducing overall vehicle mass and improving fuel economy.

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