Bicycle locks no longer work. As many as 600,000 bicycles are stolen in the Netherlands every year. But a new material might change that.
The material is called Proteus. It is a combination of ceramic balls and aluminum foam (aluminum with holes). The lead researcher, Stefan Szyniszewski (Durham University), drew his inspiration from the shells of marine animals. These shells provided excellent protection, due to a mix of a soft and hard component.
Proteus, named after the Greek god who can change shape, has several defenses against punctures. This makes it ideal for bicycle locks or armored transport vehicles.
Professor of materials science Erik van der Giessen from the University of Groningen calls it still too early for applications of Proteus. Follow-up research must show whether the given explanation for the impermeability is correct.
So we'll have to wait a little longer. Good news for bicycle thieves.