Improved Steel Copies Bone Microstructure | The Institute for Creation Research

Improved Steel Copies Bone Microstructure

How does one build a structural material that withstands stress and fracture? The answer is to copy optimal designs from living systems because they far exceed man's ingenuity. Recently, an improved steel was developed by copying human bones.1

Human and animal bones are optimally designed to be lightweight, incredibly strong, and resist fracture and fatigue. These bones are also self-healing and fully integrated—both physiologically and structurally—with the rest of the body. Bones are excellent examples of God's creative genius.

The amazing features of bones are facilitated by an incredibly ingenious microstructure that's engineered at hierarchical levels.2 When observed at the nanoscale level, a network of tiny fibers composed of collagen, a type of protein, are found in an intricately layered arrangement. Fibers are oriented in different directions in each layer. On a slightly larger scale, bones exhibit a framework with a lattice-like structure that makes them both strong and light. This type of multilevel engineering ensures that bones resist cracking in any one particular direction—a feature that materials engineers have long sought.

The mechanics of crack propagation is an important area of research for things like cars and sky scrapers. The properties of such materials can, in some cases, determine human life and safety. Because of this, materials that resist cracking have been studied by scientists (called metallurgists) for many years.

The main problem for metallurgists is the attainment of both strength and toughness in a single engineered material, because these properties are typically mutually exclusive. Materials that are really strong (hard) tend be highly subject to fracturing—they tend to be brittle—while materials that are tough (fracture resistant) tend to be pliable and flexible. Developing materials that are both strong and tough has always been an uneasy compromise. In their quest to obtain this seemingly unattainable engineering feat, researchers copied the Creator's Divine engineering they found in bones and published their findings in the prestigious journal Science.1

The Bible says, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:20, NKJV). This recent news story perfectly highlights this profound scriptural truth. Here we have an age-old engineering problem that humans have been unable to solve, but now with the modern tools of microstructure analysis, metallurgists are able to behold the incredible structural engineering performed by our great Creator God and then copy it, albeit at a crude level.

Clearly, discoveries like this do not glorify mankind, but rather our omnipotent Creator. He gets all the credit.

References

  1. Koyama, M. et al. 2017. Bone-like crack resistance in hierarchical metastable nanolaminate steels. Science. 355 (6329): 1055–1057.
  2. Tertuliano, O. A., and J. R. Greer 2016. The nanocomposite nature of bone drives its strength and damage resistance. Nature Materials. 15 (11): 1195–1202.

Image Credit: Copyright © 2015-17 A. Boyde / Bone Research Society. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holder.

*Dr. Tomkins is Director of Life Sciences at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his Ph.D. in genetics from Clemson University.

Article posted on April 6, 2017.

The Latest
NEWS
Thanks for Everything
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:20) Being thankful for...

NEWS
Even Sherlock Holmes Can’t Explain African Dinosaurs
A new species of duck-billed dinosaur, Ajnabia odysseus, was recently unearthed in North Africa.1 This is the first hadrosaur-type dinosaur...

NEWS
Glow-in-the-Dark Platypuses Illuminate the Creator
The platypus is perhaps the most evolution-defying creature on Earth. It’s not enough that it’s a mammal that lays eggs, has a bill like a...

NEWS
Rapid Crystal Growth Supports Flood Model
Secular scientists are finding exactly what Flood geologists have predicted all along—huge crystals can and did grow extremely fast. In other words,...

NEWS
Hot Neptune Atmosphere "Shouldn't Exist"
An exoplanet 260 light-years away is being described as the first of its kind ever detected.1,2 This exoplanet, catalogued as LTT 9779b, is...

NEWS
Inside November 2020 Acts & Facts
Where can we see God’s engineering? What is ICR’s new scientific theory? How do hummingbirds reveal God’s design? How can you refute...

ACTS & FACTS
Thankful Remembrance
We all have so much to be thankful for. Even after such a trying year, we must admit that God has been so very good to us. The Lord has not only shown...

APOLOGETICS
Mayflower Pilgrims, Simian DNA, and Straw Men
Both the Mayflower Pilgrims and biblical creationists are unjustly targeted for straw man vilifications using misleading, false accusations. A straw...

ACTS & FACTS
How Can You Refute Evolution?
Darwinian evolution promotes a mantra that “all creatures great and small—natural processes made them all.” Just one creature somehow...

ACTS & FACTS
Hummingbirds by Design
Zoologists have wonder and appreciation for the animals they investigate, whether the creatures fly through air, swim in water, or walk on land. Stanford...