Crack propagation is asymmetric in polar materials

The ICN2 Oxide Nanophysics Group, led by ICREA Prof. Gustau Catalán, has published in Physical Review Letters how, due to flexoelectricity, cracks in ferroelectrics (switchable polar materials) propagate more easily in the ...

Competent chimpanzee nutcrackers

Humans consider themselves as the tool user par excellence. Previous work comparing human tool use skills to that of other species tended to place the animals in artificial conditions far removed from their natural environments. ...

Scientists unlock structural secrets of whale baleen

Chinese scientists working with other researchers have for the first time uncovered the underlying mechanisms of the hierarchical structure of whale baleen, with an eye toward developing advanced engineered materials. In ...

Potholes: How engineers are working to fill in the gaps

Potholes are a perennial problem. They are dangerous to road users, and the damage they cause to vehicles can be hugely expensive. The cost of repairing them is also vast. But still they appear, and reappear, in countless ...

Fungi can help concrete heal its own cracks

Infrastructure supports and facilitates our daily lives – think of the roads we drive on, the bridges and tunnels that help transport people and freight, the office buildings where we work and the dams that provide the ...

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Crack

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