An Uncuttable Material Inspired by Abalone Shells

A new material called Proteus made from “ceramic spheres embedded in a cellular structure made of metallic foam” that’s believed to be uncuttable could revolutionize security. Inspired by abalone shells—which are composed of an essentially weak material that’s arranged in a manner that makes the shells super-strong—Proteus may be used in various ways, from bank vault doors to bike locks. After being tested with angle-grinders, water jets, drills and other tools, Proteus proved itself impenetrable. Fast Company explains, “The ceramic spheres inside the material vibrate so much that it blunts the tool attempting to cut through. As some of the spheres also break apart into small, hard fragments, those pieces act like rough sandpaper, further wearing down the tool.” Read more about this fascinating material and its potential at Fast Company.