Ceramics are famous for being hard but easy to break. Now, researchers have demonstrated that adding carbon nanotubes to a ceramic material can nearly triple its resistance to fracturing.
Since carbon nanotubes were discovered a decade ago, ceramics researchers have tried to exploit the tiny tubes' extraordinary strength and flexibility to make much more fracture-resistant materials.
Such durable materials could eventually replace conventional ceramics or even metals in countless products, says Joshua D. Kuntz of the University of California, Davis.
For instance, engineers might use the toughened ceramic to m