Your teeth might just be made of one of the most durable materials out there. While their ability to endure decades of chewing is a true test of their power, human teeth are set apart from other synthetic materials since they do not crack easily or crumble to dust over time. Metal, for instance, is a strong material, but it is prone to developing cracks. It is perhaps no wonder that scientists are turning to human teeth as an inspiration for better aeroplane manufacturing materials.
The potential use of this durable material points to the importance of maintaining proper oral hygiene — something that Cuffley Village Dental Practice, a family-friendly dental clinic, frequently reminds its patients of. Before it became a wonder building material, after all, a healthy set of pearly whites indicated good health and a lower risk of dental complications.
The Tried and Tested Durability of Human Teeth
Viewing tooth enamel under a microscope would reveal that it is made up of hard, ceramic crystals surrounded by soft, organic proteins. The protein materials absorb any excess energy caused by pressure out on a tooth while biting or chewing. This unique biological design has been around since dinosaurs roamed the earth and has been so successful that living organisms are still benefitting from it today. It is only reasonable that scientists should look to tooth enamel as an inspiration for durable aeroplane building materials.
Withstanding Vibrations and Pressure during a Flight
Nicolas Kotov, a professor at the University of Michigan College of Engineering, has created an artificial version of tooth enamel with the same resilient properties. In the future, scientists could use lab-grown enamel as an alternative material for aeroplane fuselages and automobile chassis since they are known to be strong enough to withstand constant vibrations, aircraft pressure and extreme G-Forces during a flight.
Tooth enamel is one of nature’s most durable composites. The fact that scientists are turning to human teeth for inspiration when building aircraft shows the importance of how long human teeth can stay functional with the proper maintenance and care.