(UPI) A series of strength tests and microscopic investigations brings a new revelation for the world's strongest material: It's sea snail teeth.
The natural composite material that forms the teeth of limpets – "limpet" is the informal name for all aquatic snails – is the strongest in the world. Researchers at the University of Portsmouth, in the south of England, confirmed as much after using atomic force microscopy to test the small-scale mechanical behavior of the teeth.
"Until now we thought that spider silk was the strongest biological material because of its super-strength and potential applications in everything from bullet-proof vests to computer electronics," said study leader Asa Barber, a professor at the university's School of Engineering. "But now we have discovered that limpet teeth exhibit a strength that is potentially higher."
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