Turing structures and the strongest composite material in the world

High-strength materials that are able to resist impact usually have high hardness and high elastic moduli, facilitating also high speeds of elastic waves (sound), so that resulting shock waves quickly dissipate impact energy. Based on theoretical considerations, there is a limit on the maximum possible speed of elastic waves in the medium of about 36,120 m/s, however, in practice, diamond is the strongest material with a speed of sound of 18,000 m/s. Diamond cannot be used as a monolithic material, so light strong composite materials are needed, and diamond-silicate carbide (SiC) with a density of only 3.35 g/cm3, sound speed 15,000 m/s, and elastic modulus E = 754 GPa is one of the best candidates.

In 1952, Alan Turing suggested a system of partial differential equations (PDEs), which can describe the evolution of nonlinear chemical systems yielding periodic spatial patterns, which was called the reaction−diffusion system or Turing structures. Modeling of reaction−diffusion processes of composite synthesis proves a formation of ceramic D-SiC materials with a regular (periodic) interconnected microstructure in a given system. The composite material with interconnected structures at the interface has very high mechanical properties and resistance to impact since its fractioning is intercrystallite.

For more details please see
V. Ya. Shevchenko, A. I. Makogon,* M. M. Sychov, M. Nosonovsky,* and E. V. Skorb, 2022, “Reaction−Diffusion Pathways for a Programmable Nanoscale Texture of the Diamond−SiC Composite,” Langmuir, in press https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.langmuir.2c02184
Arxiv preprint version