by TFH Magazine on February 15, 2012 at 7:25 am
An ancient Amazonian fish with thick piranha-proof scales may hold the secret to building better bullet-proof body armor, puncture resistant gloves or even safety goggles and CD cases.
Researchers at several institutions have been looking engineering new materials that contain some of the same properties as these fish scales; they’re light, flexible and often transparent. Now some are taking a step forward and actually building these materials.
At the University of California, San Diego, materials science professor Marc Myers has been studying the scales on the massive freshwater arapaima, which use two layers of scales to repel bites from the predatory piranha.
Photograph by Mark Smith.