A small but extremely dangerous mantis shrimp has inspired scientists to create a new underwater weapon. The resistance of the environment there is very high, but evolution has endowed these crayfish with the ability to launch cavitation bubbles at the target. When they are destroyed, a shock wave, sound and plasma are generated, capable of killing living creatures and crushing stones. Now this mechanism has been recreated in the laboratory.
Scientists copied the cancer claw device and adapted it for printing on a 3D printer. The principle of shooting is based on the fact that the upper part of the claw is very quickly pressed against the lower one, while a special protrusion enters the groove, squeezing water out of it with tremendous force. It remains only to modify the relief of the groove and protrusion so that a thin stream of water flies out in the desired direction, like from the barrel of a cannon.
The pressure of the water jet in such a shot is so great that it forms cavitation bubbles. They fly only 4 cm, but manage to accelerate to almost 70 km / h and create a noise of 218 dB while driving. After hitting a target, the bubbles collapse, generating a pressure of up to 80 kPa, while a plasma with a temperature of 4700 ° C is created at the epicenter. For comparison, it is only slightly hotter on the surface of the Sun.
And scientists hope to turn this destructive force into a weapon, or even better, into an instrument. With a relatively low energy consumption for the operation of the claw, an effect can be achieved that is greater than when firing with a laser or using explosives. And most interesting of all, the technology is almost perfect for destroying objects under water - for construction purposes or to remove some kind of obstacle.