Microscopic structure of the material largely determines how effectively it will be able to absorb the shocks. Researchers at the Los Alamos national laboratory (USA) have revealed a structure that solves this problem particularly well. They printed on a 3D printer cubes with fractal voids, which can be useful when creating armor, helmets, and other protection.

The structure of impact-resistant materials tend to have voids that contribute to the dissipation of shock waves. Scientists are constantly experimenting to find the optimal shape of these voids. Among them nanoprobes, pictures “Christmas tree”, “cell”, micro bubbles, and many others.

The object of the new research scientists at the Los Alamos laboratory of steel cubes with internal fractal voids of different configuration and size. The researchers studied how well each structure can withstand the mechanical impact elements, flying at a speed of 1080 km/h.

In the experiments it was found that the more complex the internal structure of the cube, the better it dissipates the shock wave. Some cubes with fractal voids appeared five times stronger than “continuous” analogs of the same material.

Scientists admit that their observed structures are not necessarily the most effective. So now they are exploring other models obtained using methods of algorithmic optimization.
Source — Los Alamos National Laboratory