For a moment, think about how ice feels.
It’s cold, hard, and either chips or shatters when it breaks.
This finding was published on July 9 in the journal Science.
Study author Limin Tong tells Inverse “many physical properties of ice are still unknown today.” But the demonstrated strength of ice microfibers might mean they can build small structures from these lab-grown ice crystals.
Erland Schulson, director of the Ice Research Laboratory at Dartmouth University, is the author of a related perspective article. He tells Inverse this discovery contributes to our understanding of the mechanical behavior of ice and shows “the potential for improving other crystalline materials.”
“Other nominally brittle crystalline materials could exhibit the same behavior if processed appropriately, leading to very strong and springy fibers.”
Peizhen Xu, Bowen Cui, Xin Guo and Limin Tong, Zhejiang University